Thursday, July 8, 2010

Ghostly History Of The Season's Bistro Building

Benjamin and Burton Crabbe moved from Wilkes County to Henry County in the early 1830’s.

Benjamin settled near Shingleroof Campground. For many years he was tax receiver for the county. Burton was proprietor of a hotel in McDonough. His son James, owned the only carriage and buggy repair shop in the town. This shop stood on the site of the McDonough Buggy & Wagon Factory. James' first wife was Miss Crabbe his second wife was Miss Harrell.

D.T. Carmichael & Son Undertakers-Furniture Company operated in the building for many years. It was during their occupation of the building that many of the victims from the June 23, 1900 train wreck "Camp Creek Train Wreck". This was a wet year in Henry County & heavy rain fell on the area on June 23, 1900. Rge 9:30 pm train arrived at McDonough, 20 minutes late with 38 passengers on 5 cars: 2 coaches, baggage car, sleeper, & diner. As they crossed trestle over Camp Creek & Long Branch the supports had been washed away. The pilings collapsed under the locomotive. Loco pulled all but the sleeper into the water. 7 people survived including the flagman who hurried the 2 miles back to McDonough. Investigation showed that a culvert 50 yards from RR could not handle the overflow which created a swirling lake which washed away the pilings. Suite was brought against Southern for $250,000. Damages of $27,000 were paid. A number of passengers were deadheading employees. Another report says: 9 passengers killed, 7 employees connected with train were killed, 11 off duty employees were killed. While that doesn't quite added up, 31 people were killed. As the victims were removed from the wreckage, they were brought back to McDonough and entrusted to D. T. Carmichael Undertakers-Furniture Company.

In Early 1900’s the building was inherited by Mrs. Carmichael who later sold it to her husband, Mr. Walker. B. B. Carmichael & Son Company was an old established firm, and carried a full line of general merchandise, furniture, etc.

From 1940 until 1976 the building housed A.W. Walker & Son Furniture business. The A.W. Walker & Son Furniture business sold furniture to Amos Rhodes of Rhodes Furniture located in downtown Atlanta.

The building served as the home of Carmichael Dodge Dealership in addition to being a funeral home.

In 1992, the building was sold to the Yorke Family.

In 2005, the building was sold to Griffin Street Holdings and is now the home of The Seasons Bistro.

The French Doors leading into the Summer Room once hung in a castle in England.

I found the above information in March 1999 in the book "Henry County, Georgia: the Mother of Counties" by Vessie Thrasher Rainer, which I read and found at the McDonough Public Library in the special research section-this book is NOT allowed to be checked out my anyone. on the below pages.

Someone else verified they also knew and researched their history, as well, as myself, and they posted this response in the Henry County Times "Hey Henry" portion of the paper in defense of something slandering me in their newspaper.

The original October 2008 Hey Henry in the Henry County Times attacking me was this post-I have always states I was born in Atlanta and have been a history buff for over 30 years -this person obviously is mis-informed.

"Hey Henry, when did John Quinn replace Gene Morris as the local historian? In my opinion as a life long resident of this county, as well as a member of a long standing family of the county, is that Quinn's self-proclaimed title is misleading as well as damaging. What are his credentials to prove he knows what he's talking about? He has given misinformation on this county's history, such as his claim that bodies of the 1900 train wreck victims were laid out in the Square. He also has made claims that different buildings on the square were funeral homes or used for other purposes that weren't true. I should know he made the claims, I went on the first ever "ghost tour" Quinn offered last October. Biggest laugh I had in a long time."

Note:I never have told anyone I was anything more than a history buff-obviously, this person hates the ghost tours that were being given by Bell, Book & Candle during 2008, also-since I only toured in the month of October 2006-which was recorded over 1,000 people. Click here for blog.
After that, Dan Brooks and Caprice Walker did the Haunted History Tours starting November of 2006. Click here for the link. Sadly, Bell, Book and Candle Book Store closed it's doors in 2012.
Ghost tours now are done by at Dawg-Eared Books Co-owner Jeff Wells offers Haunted History Tours click here. Freelance Paranormal Investigations Karen Schmidt heads the team.

This is the link url to the archives of the Hey Henry in the Henry County Times.

This person(s) got someone upset enough to defend me, which I appreciate. And they stated facts-which is listed below, in my defense.

November, 2008

Hey Henry, this is in response to the October 31 comments about John Quinn and the train wreck of 1900. According to Mrs. Rainer’s “Mother of Counties” book* pages 328-329, there were two funeral homes in McDonough, Carmichaels and Bunns. Also, Mr. George C. Alexander said he’d never forget the coffins around the Square. The person who sent that Oct. 31 Hey Henry has insulted the integrity of two of the finest Henry Countians of the past. Whomever wrote those statements did not know their history of McDonough and this is from a true life-time resident of Henry County.

*Out of print, can find copies on E-Bay or at the McDonough Public Library, in the reference section, which is where I found it in March 1999. Many thanks to Debbie Thomas-who helped me with the microfiche, the McDonough Public Library, Roy W Swann, Nancy, Carolyn, and The Genealogical Society of Henry & Clayton Counties, Inc. volunteers who helped direct me to historical books & locations since 1998.

I have been studying Civil War history, trains and doing paranormal investigations since I was a very young boy and am one of the few native-born Atlantans from 1955. I started my paranormal group in 1976.

Georgia Historical Paranormal Society,
and have a great team of paranormal expert and psychic investigators.

I was born in Atlanta, Georgia in 1955. I have been studying history all of my life and, also, studying the paranormal.

In 1998 I moved to McDonough, Georgia and met with Mr. Roy Swann, with the
The Genealogical Society of Henry & Clayton Counties, Inc. and seriously studied the paranormal homes, buildings and history of Henry County.

With all of this information, I presented my findings to McDonough Welcome Center Director Leslie Chrysler and Welcome Center Information Specialist Cathy Lacey-together we all created and started the very first McDonough Ghost Tour in May 2006. In October 2006, I toured 1,067 tourists and visitors with this ghost tour.

I, also, brought the TV public access television station PBA down here during my paranormal investigation, at the Season's Bistro Restaurant.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Article Courtesy Of The Henry County Times By Josh Clark

John Quinn, a local ghost hunter, investigating The Seasons Bistro, perhaps the most haunted place in Henry County. (Photo by Josh Clark, Editor, Henry County Times)

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The more investigators and visitors dig, the more apparent it becomes that the building at 41 Griffin Street, McDonough is the most haunted place in Henry County. The building, a short brick rectangle that faces Griffin Street near Sloan Street at the end of southeast corner of the Square, it's current residents of The Seasons Bistro.

The restaurant's owner, Lynn Loggins was reticent early on to disclose the strange occurances at Seasons Bistro. Rumors of hauntings tend to have a way of leaking out, however, and soon Loggins came to be fond of discussing the spirits that inhabit her business with her customers.

John Quinn, a friend of The Times and a local ghost hunter accompanied us on a visit to Seasons to find out what was going on. Quinn had previously visited the restaurant on another occasion, Friday, October 13, with the Henry County Ghost Hunters, a skeptic group of which he is a recent member.

According to Loggins, the restaurant has been fraught with frequent paranormal activity for quite some time. She and members of her staff have had numerous encounters, as have some of her customers.

Loggins recalls one night several months ago, when she actually saw a ghost in her restaurant. She was working late and was alone in the building. From her office she heard a sound and went to check it out.

see Feature, Page 6