Construction of the Sturdivant Hall began in 1852 and was only completed in 1856, followed by Edward Watts and his family living there until 1864. After selling the then house the family moved to Texas. The house was purchased by John McGee a local banker for $65,000 who was made the president of the National Bank of Selma. After Parkman passed away in 1868 the house was auctioned and sold for $12,500 in 1870 to Emile Gillman and stayed owned by the family until 1957 and was sold for $75,000 to the City of Selma.
A large portion of the money that bought the house come from the bequest estate of Robert Daniel Sturdivant for provision for setting up a city museum. The mansion was turned into a house museum and named in the honor of Sturdivant.
The two-story brick structure house gave an appearance of ashlar had two front façade features. Identical front doors were on both levels. The interiors reflect the growing taste for opulence in the 1850’s. On the first floor, the ladies parlor and drawing room was the most detailed with the main entrance being in an L-shape. Other rooms on the first floor include a dining room, warming room, and gentleman’s parlor, the second floor includes a T-shaped hall, four bedrooms, and an attic level landing.
Greek Revival Sets the Stage
The Greek revival style house/museum is striking and this beautiful antebellum mansion had people often reporting on hearing windows and doors being opened and shut. Could it be Parkman who attempted to escape prison when he was shot and killed, his wife had no choice but to sell their much-loved home only years after. There is also reports of doors closing behind people and then lock on their own. The volunteers at the big house tell many stories and encounters have been caught on film.
Visiting Selma also introduce other mysterious scary places, like Grace Hall a beautifully restored structure home to Miz Eliza, which has been a regular guest since 1982 when it became a bed and breakfast, other ghosts that have been spotted include five spirits. Grace Hall no longer has temporary guests and is now a stop on a ghost tour.
The owner of 501 Tremont Street reported that a strong-willed spirit called Gerard gets upset if he changes things around in his house. He claims that Gerard walks freely through the house change things he does not like. this ghost has certain spots where he does not want anything to be placed, including a shelf in the kitchen and if you do put something there he moves it.
The Baker House was built before 1861 and the grounds of this home were the scene of a skirmish during the fall of Selma. A union soldier who was wounded crawled under the staircase and died during the battle. It is said that his blood is still visible under that stair today and the current residents hear footsteps upstairs, even though the second story burned down many years ago and was up to now not replaced.
The castle is another place that falls into the haunted house category of Selma, the German Gothic chose even looks haunted with its overgrown yard and long multi-paned glass tracery windows. The ghosts visiting this house at times talks and questions the actions of the residents.