Recently, I drove my daughter to her first medical school interview at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, VA.  I love history, so I took the opportunity to explore the historic districts the school is nestled between: the Ghent Historic District and the Freemason Historic District.

I was thrilled to tour the Moses Myer House, built in 1792 by the first Jewish family to settle in the Norfolk area after the Revolutionary War. The house is unique in that three quarters of the furnishings are original to the house. Five generations of the family resided there. Stunning!

After finishing my tour of the house, I walked around the corner to the oldest building in Norfolk, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. This church was the only building left standing after the British burned Norfolk to the ground in January of 1776 and sports a cannonball from Lord Dunmore in one of the exterior walls.  I took the opportunity to go inside and say a prayer for Leigh to do well in her interview, and she did.

Here’s where things get spooky…

While in the Moses Myer house, I “heard” the name Ellie or Ella called out. I felt it was a mother trying to comfort her baby. I experienced this while alone in the third story nursery. When I arrived at the church around the corner, I was drawn to a gravestone so old it was propped against one wall of the graveyard, having fallen over. The name on the stone was Eleanor Marsha Palmer, departed this life aged 9 months, Sept. 9, 1802. Did you get goosebumps? Let me tell you, I sure did.

While I know she was not a Moses or a Myer, it still gave me chills. Maybe she was the daughter of a family friend or relative. Who knows?  But it’s definitely fodder for a great story, correct writer friends?


23 Replies to “My trip to historic Norfolk, VA”

  1. That must have been such an awesome experience! Wish I could have been there with you. Too cool!

  2. Very cool. Stuff like that happens particularly in authentically old places. You probably won’t hear voices coming from the tract homes they build these days, unless you’re hearing your neighbor through the zero-lot line walls!

    1. Oh LOL! That’s too funny, Karen. I’m sure you’re exactly right. It’s amazing to explore a place that’s been standing for centuries. I sort of doubt my house will be here in a hundred years…Hehe!

  3. Definitely fodder for a story, Jan. especially a paranormal.

    I’m a big scardy cat, so this would have really raised the hair on the back of my neck. 🙂

    It’s great that you were able to get in some sightseeing while your daughter was interviewing. Best of luck to her!!

  4. So glad you got to do some cool–and a bit spooky–sightseeing in Norfolk. I’m sure some of that unique experience will show up in a Jan Jackson book someday! Glad your daughter’s interview went well, too! Yay!

  5. How cool! It had to be a little unnerving, but still, cool. That’s a beautiful area, I’d like to go sightseeing there sometime. And yeah, book fodder. Go and write 😉

    1. Thanks Cheryel, it definitely sent more than one chill down my spine. And it is beautiful. When I went in the church to pray, I could feel the weight of history. It’s amazing to explore historic areas. My favorite thing to do! Besides read, and yes, WRITE! Definitely need to crank out some pages. =)

  6. Oooooh, Great story, Jan!!!! Glad that you checked out the historical part of Norfolk. I remember the cannonball in the church wall. Being Navy, we spent a lot of time in Norfolk and we were sure to visit those historic sites. Never heard a “spirit” however, so WAY COOL of you to share this with us!!! YES, a book in the making! SO glad that your daughter’s interview went so well. Wishing you and your family the best! Write ON!

  7. Wow! What a great trip it must have been. I love experiencing the history of the places we visit. 🙂 Good luck to your daughter!

  8. I’m finally getting a chance to read your blog. And yes, it definitely gave me goosebumps! It’s a great beginning to a story. You should go for it!

    Good luck to your daughter. I hope she’s very happy.

  9. Great post, Jan. You know how I love the spooky adventures. 🙂 Best of luck to your daughter.

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