Saturday, May 25, 2013

Memphis, TN - Hunt-Phelan House


Marking the Lauderdale Street end of the infamous section of Beale Street where Blues music first developed, the Hunt-Phelan House has just as infamous a history. Built in 1832 by George Wyatt, during the Civil War the house was used a headquarters for Confederate General Leonidas Polk while planning the Siege of Corinth, Mississippi and a few months later after the fall of Memphis, the house was headquarters for Union General Ulysses S. Grant while he planned the Vicksburg Campaign. The house then served as a Freedmen’s Bureau and was finally returned to the family by President Andrew Johnson in 1865. More recently, the house has been opened as The Inn at Hunt-Phelan featuring four-star accommodations and restaurants.

As with a house this old and historically important, it does have some legends. Among them is the legend of servant, Nathan Wilson. In 1873, during the height of a yellow fever epidemic, the Hunt family fled Memphis and entrusted a chest of gold to their faithful servant. He was later found dead in his room but the mud on his boots indicating he may have buried the gold before he died. Stories have emerged that his spirit is still seen and will guide people to his treasure.

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