Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Heurich house

Overview of interior
Ghost sighting account from an intern
The story we told is like this:
This home was once the home of a master brewer named Christian Heurich.
He was quite successful in spite of some bad luck with fires. Over the years, the Christian Heurich Brewery suffered three fires. An 1875 fire was caused by a spark from a chimney. A worker's careless smoking caused an 1883 blaze. Finally, in 1892, a devastating fire was the result of a malt mill explosion. (A spark can ignite the malt dust in a flash. According to Gary Heurich, modern malt mills incorporate magnets to keep steel fragments from causing sparks.) Mr. Heurich decided to build the first fireproof brewery in the United States. The brewery was built in 1894-95 in Foggy Bottom, at the future site of the Kennedy Center.
The Heurich's lived happily in this home for many years. It was the first fireproof private residence in Washington DC.

Christian Heurich married the widow of George Schnell, whose brewery he and his partner had taken over in 1872. She passed away childless in 1884, leaving Mr. Heurich the plot where the mansion would be built. In February 1887, he married Mathilde Daetz, who had come to Washington a year earlier from a town near Bremen, Germany. Young Mathilde was thrown from her carriage in 1893. She suffered a serious decline in health and passed away in January 1895 at age 33, leaving no children. On January 11, 1899, Mr. Heurich took his third bride, Amelia Louise Keyser, niece of his first wife. This marriage produced four children: Christian, Jr. on December 11, 1901; Anna Marguerite on December 19, 1903; Anita Augusta on June 28, 1905; and Karla Louise on October 20, 1907. Anna Marguerite passed away on September 7, 1904, before her first birthday. A memorial to her appears in the Heurich Mansion’s conservatory. Karla is the sole survivor today.
Anna Marguerite that may be the link to some of the events that have happened here. For a time in the early days of the Columbia Historical Society there were bed room facilities on the top floor. But often those who were offered to stay the night didn't follow through on the offer. Those who did often spoke of hearing strange sounds coming from the main floor and the music room. The sounds of piano music or an infant's screams or the sounds of lullabies being sung by a young woman's voice.
If you look in the window here of the back sun room you can see stone work above a fountain in that room and in the center is the face of an infant. This is a stone sculpture of the face of Anna Marguerite. She was the daughter that died before her first birthday.

No comments:

Post a Comment