Do You Know the Haunted History of This Popular Mansion in Rockford, Illinois?
I have lived in the Rockford area all my life, and I am ashamed to admit that I was today years old when I learned one of the mansions I have walked or driven by numerous times in my life is seriously haunted.
Do you recognize that building? It's called Manny Mansion, and it is attached to the Burpee Museum of Natural History on N Main St. in Rockford. I am a huge wimp when it comes to anything haunted, and now I'm wondering if ghosts were tagging along with all my visits to the Burpee?!?
This History of Rockford's Manny Mansion
Seriously though, in its prime, the Manny Mansion was THE place to be when it came to social engagements in Rockford. According to hauntedrockford.com, the house was built in 1852 by John Coleman who lived there until he became ill in 1864 and decided to sell it to John Pels Manny.
While the Manny family lived in the mansion they made many improvements, held lots of grand parties, welcomed the births of children, and sadly grieved many deaths. This is where the haunting tales begin.
That Haunts of Rockford's Manny Mansion
According to Kathi Kresol of Haunted Rockford;
By 1867, Eunice had given birth to at least five children and lost all but the eldest boy, George. When their youngest daughter, Katie, was two, she contracted tuberculosis and died on February 16, 1867. It was said that Eunice’s heart broke with the death of yet another baby and she passed away a little over a month later, on March 23, 1867. John built a beautiful monument at Greenwood Cemetery to honor his family.
in the years following Eunices's death, John Pels Manny's businesses flourished and he eventually remarried in 1868 and welcomed 5 more children with his second wife, Florida Lucretia. One of their daughters passed away at just one year old, and John Pels Manny died in 1897 from typhoid.
Staff at the Burpee Museum have often reported hearing music and doors mysteriously opening and shutting over the years, and Haunted Rockford says Psychic Sara Bowker has sensed both John P. Manny's wives in the mansion, and both claim they are the mistress of the home. The children though, are the spirits causing the most haunted mischief. According to hauntedrockford.com, Psychic Sara Bowker has said;
the children run up and down the stairs, and their shadows are the ones that have been seen going from room to room. They like to play tricks on the staff by turning on and off lights and shutting or opening doors.
Will you be thinking twice about the sounds you hear next time you visit the Burpee Museum of Natural History? I know I sure will!