York Hall/Nelson House can be
found on the corner of Main Street and Nelson Street in the historical town of
Yorktown, right across the street from the battlefield used in two wars.
Hall/Nelson House is huge, three story, 1730, solidly built, brick home. This
grand home is a stellar example of a home built in the Georgian style, which was
named in honor of "four British kings named George, who reigned from 1714
to 1830." York Hall/Nelson House has a "simple, balanced appearance,"
giving an impression of "order and stability." It has the typical triangular
pediment above the front door and the cornice, where one can see a cannon ball
from the Revolutionary War decoratively sticking into the bricks! One can see
the decorative molding, under the eaves of the roof, reflecting ancient Greece
and Rome decor influences. Most of the Nelson House is made of the original materials,
including the bricks and most of the mortar in the outer walls. Inside the house,
the wall panels and most of the wooden floors are also original.
townhouse has a lovely garden reminiscent of an English garden from their old
This townhouse was the home of the Nelson Family
and later the home of three generations of the Captain George Preston Blow family.
Nelsons were movers and shakers in both business and public service. The Patriarch
grandfather Nelson immigrated from England in 1705, became a prosperous and influential
merchant, who not only built the Nelson family business, but also this glorious
townhouse in 1730. His son, William continued to successfully run the Nelson family
business, spend the money wisely buying property and served the community as president
of the Governor's Council and as acting governor.
William's son, Thomas
Nelson, Jr followed in his father's footsteps, by running the family business,
served the public in the Continental Congress, the state legislature and was governor
of Virginia from June through October 1781. He was also a dedicated patriot. Not
only did he sign the Declaration of Independence, but was a brigadier general,
who commanded the Virginia militia at the Siege of Yorktown. He died 6 years after
the war ended due to an asthma attack caused by ill health he suffered from, due
to the exposure to elements found in the battlefield environment. Perhaps he inhaled
smoke or some chemical agent from battle and hurt his lungs.
Lucy, his wife
lived in their family home for 30 more years before she died. This home stayed
in the Nelson family throughout the 19th century. During the Civil War, this home
became a hospital for both Confederate soldiers and later for Union soldiers.
The Nelson descendants put the home on the market in 1908, in need of renovation
and restoration. In 1914, Captain and Mrs. George Preston Blow bought this grand
fixer upper and renovated the Nelson House, giving it a place of honor as the
center of a large property, known as "York Hall." In 1968, The National Park Service
bought the Nelson House/York Hall and restored it to its original colonial,
Georgian style appearance.
HISTORY OF MANIFESTATIONS:
Revolutionary War Battle of Yorktown was a fierce fight between the British Troops
and the Continental Army and militia forces. British Commander Cornwallis' signed
a surrender agreement because his troops were taking a beating and it was inevitable
that they would loose.
Members of the Nelson family loved their home for
over 100 years, and took very good care of it. It makes sense that some of them
may choose to visit on occasion or reside there instead of going to the other
side because of issues they still hang onto, and are restless.
of the George Preston Blow family also loved this house; their York Hall. They
also took good care of it. Some members of this family may also come for a visit
on occasion, or may have issues which they are still upset about, making them
restless as well.
Entity of the British Soldier...
This young male entity of a British
soldier who was killed in the Siege of Yorktown has moved into this fine home
which must remind him of his home in England. His apparition has been seen on
occasion in various spots around the house. Footsteps, cold spots, tricks on the
living, and playing with the lights are probably occurrences due to this young
man who needs to have some chuckles too! (see The
General Wayne Inn story & The
Kolb Ridge Court Housing Development.)
The Female Entity
on the third floor.
The sobbing of a woman was heard coming from an
empty third floor room. One of the women in either the Nelson or Preston Blow
family suffered a terrible loss for which she still grieves.
Entities of the families who lived here sometimes return
to visit to see how the living are taking care of their house. Perhaps the staff
of this house museum may see apparitions sitting in the parlor or other parts
of the house with various styles of clothing on.
The entity of the British
soldier and the sorrowful lady are residing in this grand house. Other entities
are known to visit on occasion, from time to time.
INCLUDE: yorkcounty.gov * nps.gov
HAUNTED PLACES: The National Directory,
by Dennis William Hauk, The Penguin Group, 2002.