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?