Waverly Mansion & Gardens - West Point, Mississippi
Built in 1852, Waverly is unique among the
antebellum mansions of the South due to its
unique architecture and gardens.
The octagonal cupola atop the
Waverly Mansion gives it a look that
is far different from most Southern
Waverly Mansion & Gardens
West Point, Mississippi
Haunted Mansion in Mississippi
|Copyright 2012 & 2014 by Dale Cox
All rights reserved.
Last Update: November 30, 2014
Ghosts Stories of the South
Gates of Waverly
The mansion and grounds are
open to the public. Restoration of
the plantation house began in 1962.
Site of the Ice House
The hosts of Waverly once offered
their guests chilled beverages
thanks to a 20 foot deep ice house.
Ice House Site at Waverly
The ice house kept blocks of ice
shipped in from the North cool and
insulated, far below the surface of
Waverly Mansion in Mississippi is one of the
most unique and architecturally significant
antebellum homes in America. It is located
off Old Waverly Road between the cities of
Columbus and West Point.
This area of Mississippi was prime cotton
growing country and the wealth that King
Cotton produced was reflected in the
magnificent homes of the plantation owners.
Waverly Mansion was rivaled by few and
exceeded by none.
The magnificent house was designed in the
1840s by architect Charles Pond for Colonel
George Hampton Young who had moved to
Mississippi from Georgia. Waverly was
completed in 1852, but while it is evident the
mansion took several years to build, the
exact date on which construction began is
The distinguishing feature of the design is
the massive cupola that was built atop the
peak of the roof. Featuring an observation
walkway that gave residents a tremendous
view of the surrounding countryside, the
cupola also admits light that floods down to
the ground floor during daylight hours.
The cupola and upper floors of the house are
accessed by a magnificent self supporting
staircase that spirals upward level after level.
A massive wrought iron and wrought iron
crystal chandelier hangs from the top of the
cupola, extending down to a point level with
the second floor of the house.
The interior mantles at Waverly are made
from important marble. The same material
was used to make the front and back steps.
The interior mirrors were imported from
France and each room was given a unique
The builder spared no expense in preparing
his home to entertain guests at the highest
level. A 20-foot deep pit can now be seen
where an ice house once stood. Blocks of ice
from Northern climes were brought here and
stored deep below the surface where the
insulation provided by the earth helped keep
the temperature cool enough to preserve the
ice for weeks. It was then used to cool drinks
for the residents and guests.
Another unique feature of Waverly was its
original lighting system. Gas for lighting was
manufactured on the grounds and then piped
into the house where it provided illumination.
During the plantation days, Waverly was the
center of a massive self-sustaining farm that
produced massive quantities of cotton. Other
features of the plantation included a brick
kiln, sawmill, tannery, gristmill, gardens and
orchards. The farming operation was carried
out before the Civil War by slaves and after
the war by hired laborers.
Although the plantation was never the scene
of a battle or raid, Waverly played a major role
during the Civil War. Noted Confederate
commander Nathan Bedford Forrest was a
friend of the Young family and visited the
home many times. One one occasion he
spent three weeks at Waverly recuperating
from battle wounds.
The house is among the sites on the
Mississippi portion of the Civil War Discovery
Trail. Its connection to General Forrest is one
of the primary reasons, as was the use of the
cupola as a lookout post.
|Photos by Kristina Martin
Waverly remained a showplace for many
years after the war, but that changed during
the early 20th century. The Young family had
ten children, but the last of them died as a
bachelor in the early 1900s.
After his death, the mansion deteriorated due
to years of neglect. The yards became
overgrown, the paint faded and chipped and
some of the windows broke. Teenagers and
college students made nocturnal visits due
to the mansion's "haunted house" look and
legend. Many wrote their names on the walls,
but otherwise did not heavily vandalize the
History lovers Robert and Donna Snow saw
Waverly in 1962, nearly fifty years after the
1913 death of Colonel Young's last surviving
son. It was love at first sight and they soon
purchased the neglected mansion. Over the
years that followed, the Snow family returned
Waverly to much of its original grandeur. It is
once again a showplace of architecture and
In addition to its architectural splendor and
historical significance, Waverly is also noted
as one of the most haunted homes in the
The house is said to be haunted by several
restless spirits. The most prominent is a
young girl who is often heard crying and
asking for her mother. She is thought to have
died at the home of sickness during the 19th
Other ghosts are said to include a horse and
rider that appear in the yard from time to time,
a Confederate soldier who appears in
mirrors behind "living" residents and visitors
and a dinner party of guests that can be
heard laughing and enjoying music in the
Although it is the home of the Snow family,
Waverly is open to the public. The home is at
1852 Waverly Mansion Rd., West Point,
Mississippi, and is open daily from 9 a.m. to
5 p.m. Admission is $10.
No interior photography is allowed, but
visitors can take pictures of the exterior.