This profile has a motive. I’m hoping my friend, Edward Branley (aka the NOLA History Guy,https://www.facebook.com/pages/NOLA-History-Guy) will write up a more elaborate story on this property, it’s current and previous residents, and the slave girl known as Chloe! I’ve also been begging him to do an investigation on what really happened to Delphine LeLaurie too- so let’s all get on his FB Page and encourage him to do both!
I’ve painted Sara Matilda Woodruff in front of The Myrtles Plantation. It is located in St. Francisville, Louisiana. It was built in 1796 by General David Bradford. He lived there with his wife, Elizabeth and their five children. He passed away in 1808 and eventually the plantation was run by his daughter, Sara Mathilda and her husband Clark Woodruff. They had three children: Cornelia, James and Mary.
Rumor has it (but there is no evidence) that Sara Mathilda and 2 of her children were poisoned by a slave girl named Chloe. Supposedly, Sara cut off the Chloe’s ear for eavesdropping and in retaliation, the slave- who was working in the kitchen, laced a cake with oleander. They most likely died of Yellow fever, but the rumors remain.
Elizabeth (the general’s widow) died on the property, and eventually Woodruff and his surviving child, Mary, moved to New Orleans. The property was left to a caretaker and then sold to Ruffin Gray Stirling. Ruffin and his wife, Mary Catherine remodeled everything- doubling the size of the house. It was after the remodel that it was called “The Myrtles”.
The Stirlings too lost a child while living in the house and In 1871, the Stirling’s property manager, William Winter, was shot on the porch! He died while climbing up the steps (the seventeenth step to be exact.)
The Myrtles is considered one of the most haunted homes in the country and supposedly has at least a dozen ghosts. Rumors that Sara Matilda Woodruff was an evil and abusive slave owner seem to fuel the reports that 10 murders occurred at the plantation. There are some creepy stories of supernatural events around one of the mirrors, a window, and… the seventeenth step.
You can book a stay or a tour at the Myrtles Plantation here: http://www.myrtlesplantation.com/index.html