Thursday, April 9, 2009

" Glenburnie " The Scene of The Goat Castle Murder..

I have for years wanted to visit Glenburnie, mostly due
to my fascination with the Jennie Merrill murder case.
This year it was on Spring Pilgrimage and I got my wish!

Ms. Margaret Guido greets us at the door, what a lovely
and charming hostess she was. Margaret and her late
husband lived at Glenburnie for over thirty years. She
said after his death, there was too much up keep so she
traded houses with her son Gary and now lives on the
bluff overlooking the Mississippi River. Not a bad trade!

This is the Parlor where Carolyn Guido, the
Mistress of Glenburnie explains the "udder"
of the antique sewing chest.

Owner Gary Guido shows us the dining room
where the murder is reported to have taken place.
" there was a blood trail from the dining room to the back porch"

Sideboard in the dining room ...............

One of the costumed hostesses.......

Fireplace in the dining room .............

This bed was beautiful! The haunted painting
was hanging in this bedroom.

Another bedroom.................

This was the original kitchen fireplace...................

The back porch has been enclosed to make a sun room.
Notice the cabinet has historical things connected to
Glenburnie as well as original newspapers about the
murder displayed.

This is a charcoal drawing of Jennie Merrill made from a
photograph. Upon telling us this, Gary made the remark;
" she is still with us"

Close up view of cabinet.............

A view of the patio outside sun room and cottage
out back...................

While I'm posting about Glenburnie, I want to discuss
another subject with you writers. In writing historical
based fiction, when is it, or is it, ok to mess with the facts?
I had heard about a fiction book that is loosely based on
the Goat Castle Murder. I bought the book and have been
PO"D ever since. First off in the book, the murdered woman,
is the one living with goats and in squalor. The book makes
fun of the "southern way" and is truly written by someone
who has done everything but "capture place" ! I have been
doing research off and on for several years on the case thinking
I might someday write a fact based historical fiction book on it.
After reading this hatchet job, I know I am now!


willow said...

Wow, it's all there waiting for you to write it, Carol! Shake a leg, girl!!

NCmountainwoman said...

Great post! I have researched the murder since you first wrote about it. Fascinating.

As for historical fiction...I believe the major facts must be accurate. Like you, I dispise altering the main characters or happenings.

Poetikat said...

You are the ideal person to tell the story (and give it some oomph)! I can't wait to read it!


P.S. I'm reading a book now that you would love - deep south, Civil War mystery set around the world of books. Check my sidebar for the books on my bedside table and you'll find it.

steviewren said...

What a fun tour! This would make a great setting for a murder mystery dinner with everyone in costume and character.

TheWritersPorch said...

Willow, Carolyn, Kat and Stevie..
Thank you for your encouragement!
I talked to the owners of both Glenburnie and
Oakland(Duncan's) home and have been invited back to hear their stories of living in these houses.
I also met a woman who is 103 years old and still sharp as a tack who also invited me to spend a day with her! So I will be going back soon and getting ready to capture place and let the characters come forth!

mary evelyn said...

oooooh, i love real ghost stories! especially historic stories. i'm an avid historical fiction reader, and i think you should absolutely write a novel about this house. when i read historical fiction, i mainly look for the basic facts to be accurate, and to include the main characters. other than that, i think it's up to the writer to use their creative license for character development, and creating secondary characters, etc.

i can't wait to read it!

Renie Burghardt said...

Wow, Carol, what gorgeous place! I would think that even if a book is fiction, the historical facts have to be correct. I hope you do write that book!

Happy Easter!



Haley Papageorge said...

I would read it in a second! I, too, love ghost stories and historic ones at that. Also the truth is always stranger...Go for it!

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi Carol, I hate to see 'real' stories butchered like that also. When writing fiction that is based on truth, I think you need to keep the characters accurate plus all of the facts. Good Luck!!!!

Love the pictures from Glenburnie. I had read that story before --so I loved seeing the photos.


Becca's Dirt said...

I don't like it when the south is made fun of. I happen to think that we are - quaint and there is just something about being raised in the deep south. You should write the book and I would love to read. Do have any books available? I love Carolyn Haines books. I have read a couple of her books in the Bones series and some she wrote just before the Bones series. My son was married to Carolyn's neice some 10 years ago. Small world.

Becca's Dirt said...

PS I enjoyed the tour so much. I love the old antebellum homes. I like the period costumes too. In Mobile we have many old antebellum homes. One of them is the Bragg-Mitchell mansion and Oakleigh and there are many more. Happy Easter.

Reader Wil said...

It looks like a very thrilling plot and the surroundings where the story is set are excellent. I am looking forward to seeing and reading that book, Carol!

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

What a beautiful house! It was so nice that you were allowed to take photographs inside as very often home tours like this don't allow it. Is this house is also haunted? I'd guess so with the "she is with us still" comment.
I think you should write the true story as well as you can research it! It's fascinating...sometimes true stories are stranger than fiction!

A Brit in Tennessee said...

Carol, thank you for that wonderful tour, what an utterly fascinating home, and exquisitely decorated.
I do so hope you take the undertaking of writing the historical facts about Glenburnie, and all that transpired that fateful evening.
What an exciting invitation to be invited back, and spend time in the company of those closest to the truth.
Kudos to you !

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

I do really enjoy some historical fiction, but it does bother me when too much is fabricated. To think that the real, authentic story could possibly be lost makes me a wee bit nuts. Oftentimes it seems the actual story is quite good enough that I don't understand the need to mess with it, which sounds a bit like the book you're speaking of here.

Bren said...

Love this trip to the south. Thank you for sharing! You have a delightful blog and I can't wait to return.

Kathryn Magendie said...

That charcoal drawing! Omg - so compelling - she has secrets - you can SEE the secrets embedded in that face, those eyes -- the set of the jaw, the way the eyes are sideways without facing out - hiding - she is hiding secrets! What an interesting subject to write about...

This house seems as if nothing bad could go wrong - so beautiful and refined and lovely -- and yet something happened - a house of secrets...a lovely house of secrets

(thank you for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment *smiling*)

Katherine Aucoin said...

Oh Carol you must write this story. It's so intriguing and totally Southern! I can't wait to hear that you have begun!

Janet, said...

Good luck on writing the story, I also love historical fiction. I am an aspiring children's writer. I also hate it when people make fun of people and their way of life, we get that a lot too. People are always putting down West Virginia.

A Texas Reader said...

I just returned from my first Mississippi Road Trip, which included a day the Natchez Pilgrimage. I was thrilled to find your blog post. Lucky you, getting interior shots of Glenburnie. I enjoyed every inch of it.

Wasn't the older Mrs. Guido the cutest thing? I loved how she says she traded houses when she grew "ti-ahhd of doing all the "cho-ahs". I could listen all day to those soft Mississippi "R's".

I've bookmarked you to visit again.