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In 1848 Abner T. Shaw purchased a two room cabin and 173 acres of land on the edge of Whites Creek from the Cartwright family. Abner married Mary Jane Grizzard in 1850, and over the next few years they became the parents of several children. The house in which they first lived had likely been built a number of years earlier, and the growing family soon required a larger dwelling. As opposed to being destroyed, it was one of the few homes completed during the Civil War in 1862. It’s said that when the Northern Colonel saw the Freemason symbol emblazoned in the front peak of the house he stopped all ransacking and only took what was necessary for his men to survive. The Colonel was a Mason himself and allowed the construction to continue. It was one of at least four homes in the area he built with the rammed earth method. It’s said he chose it because the original two room cabin had burnt twice leaving him with an irrational fear of fire. The unusual method of building involved using planks to make horizontal forms into which rock and rubble were tightly packed, and then the aggregate was covered, layer by layer, with concrete to make the walls 16 to 18 inches thick.

The Shaw house was built just to the west of the road, and the barn and one or two slave cabins stood back of the residence, the stable, spring house and family orchard were located on the opposite side of the road. By the end of the Civil War Abner and Mary Jane Shaw had four children and the farm had grown to include 300 acres, with the purchase of two tracks of adjoining land in 1857. Mary Jane died in 1864 and was buried in a small graveyard behind the house. Abner, remarried Mattie before the end of the war and she bore eight children during the 1870s and early 1880s, and when Abner Shaw died late in the summer of 1884, as many as 10 of his 14 children were still living in house. The home was purchased by the Phelan Family in 1914 and then renovated by the Bailey Family in 1985. 

The Abner T Shaw House, the barn and spring house are on in the National Registry of Historic Homes. 

And yes. It’s haunted.

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