597 Barnsley Gardens Rd, Adairsville, Georgia 30103
Three years after the Cherokee natives that occupied the area were sent on the Trail of Tears, Godfrey Barnsley bought at least 4,000 acres of Cherokee land. Godfrey, a cotton broker, planned on creating a beautiful estate for the love of his life Julia Scarborough. They had wed on Christmas Eve in 1828 and Godfrey had amassed a fortune.
On Godfrey's first visit after purchasing the land he met an old Cherokee man that still lived there. Godfrey befriended the old man and hired him to work for him and allowed him to continue living on the property. Construction was moving smoothly until Godfrey told the old Cherokee that he planned on shearing off the bluff above the spring to build the mansion, known as the Woodlands. The old man became upset and explained to Godfrey that the land was sacred to the Cherokee and that the forefathers would be unforgiving if he destroyed it. Godfrey ignored the old man's protests clouded by his passion to create an estate for Julia. The old Cherokee man disappeared, never to be seen again.
Godfrey finished the construction of the Woodlands and the gardens, spending a good amount of his fortune. Away on business, Godfrey's love Julia soon fell ill while at the Woodlands. It was not long after that Julia died from her illness in 1844. Paralyzed with grief Godfrey stopped construction on the estate.
Business began to suffer with the onset of the Civil War, Godfrey began to work day and night on his cotton business so that his family could continue to eat. During a business trip in Mobile Godfrey went to his first seance. During the seance he made contact with Julia who wished that he would complete the estate.
A friend of Godfrey's, a Confederate Colonel, would take leave of the war to help Godfrey in the renewed construction. One day the Colonel shouted a warning of approaching northern soldeirs, but it was too late. Godfrey's friend was shot by the oncoming troops who diminished the estate of it's supplies. Mourning his friend, Godfrey buried him behind the manor.
Feverishly, Godfrey went back to work on the estate with Julia's spirit as his guide. As construction continued Julia's spirit would be seen frequently on the estate, especially in the gardens. Godfrey spared no expense and gave all his time to the completion of the estate. The hard times of the civil war left the Barnsley's in elegant poverty. Godfrey was reunited with Julia in 1873 when he died almost penniless.
Godfrey and Julia's descendants continued to live at the Woodlands. However, living at the Woodlands was an expensive endeavor and money was always needed. Barnsley's granddaughter, Addie, had a son, Preston, that was a prize fighter. Preston would use his earnings to maintain the estate. Preston ruled the estate with an iron fist. He was known for an out of control temper, and it was believed that he suffered brain damage from his fights. Preston finally succumbed to insanity and his brother, Harry, had him institutionalized. Preston believed that Harry was after control of the estate and escaped the institution. Preston made his way back to the Woodlands where he shot and killed his brother. Harry died in his mother's arms in the front room of the Woodlands manor.
Preston was sent to prison and Addie continue to make out a living at the Woodlands. During her life there Addie said that she saw many ghosts, including Godfrey and Julia. She also said that she saw the Confedrate soldeir that was killed there. And most heartbreaking for her, she would be visited by her murdered son Harry.
In the early 1900's the estate fell into ruins, suffering a fire, and damage from intense storms. The property had become overgrown and unkempt. Prince Hubertus Fugger Babenhausen of Augsberg, Germany heard of the property and its history and bought it in 1989. Believing that the property was cursed, two Cherokee chiefs were invited to the Woodlands to put the curse to rest. The Prince restored the Woodlands and the Barnsley gardens. Today it is a beautiful resort that welcomes visitors.
There have been many reports of seeing ghosts of the Barnsley family. Many have seen Godfrey hard at work in the manor. Others have seen Julia walking in the gardens. Most inspiring are reports of seeing both Godfrey and Julia together walking the gardens in peace. Others have reported the sounds of footsteps throughout the villas. Some have claimed that Julia will throw open the curtains, as she couldn't stand the feeling of being closed in during life.
3 comment(s) on this page. Add your own comment below.
Well I didn't believe in ghost at all, and you won't till you see for your self. My sister was getting married at Barnsley Gardens in about 1996 and they hadn't made it into a resort at that time . Anyway we were at the rehursle the night before the wedding it just had got dark we all started back to the cars, we were at the ruins. We realized Mike my mothers boyfriend was not with us.So I took off back to the ruins , when I got up there walked up to the house I was hollaring Mike the whole time. I started back to the car cause Mike was no where to be found. I was passing the maze still hollaring Mike , and all the sudden in an inlet that didn't go anywhere there was a whiteish gray figure of a tall slim like man figure ,, Well I didn't give time for any thing else and took off running didn't think about Mike didn't care , Ran all the way to the car and jumped in and didn't say a word to anyone about it because they would have said I was crazy, Mike was at the car when I got there and we left,,, Went to the wedding there the next day didn't see a thing maybe because I was looking for it at that point,, I did not say anything to anyone for about 3 years, And I was right they thought I was crazy but i know what I saw, and before I seen what I did I would have thought I was crazy,, I just have wondered why I saw him ,, wondering if I should have done something different. or done anything at all.
I visited Barnsley Gardens for the first time in 2012. It was the first weekend in October and the weather was unusually cold and blustery. We had arrived on Sunday afternoon and the rain and prohibited any exploring. I was anxious to see the Ruins so I set out alone on Monday morning. I toured the gardens, the Ruins and the museum-no one else was around. I was viewing the roses at the side of the house and felt that someone was watching me. I looked up to see a female watching me from the large window in the back door. The door that exits from the museum to the back garden with the grassy strip that leads to the gazebo. I looked away and continued to check out the garden. I wondered into the gazebo where I glanced back at the door again. The woman was still watching me. Feeling a bit unsettled, I advanced toward the door about halfway between the gazebo and the door, and I began to make silly faces. There was no change in the women's expression. The idea occurred to me that this was a cardboard cutout, but how had I missed seeing it as I toured the museum? I took note of her sad gaze. She was not looking at me, but rather her head was turned to her left with a downward gaze. Her dark hair was pulled back loosely as if in a bun. Her dress was black and she wore long white gloves to her elbows. Her arms were loosely folded in front of her and her look was forlorn and sad. I did not instantly think "ghost". Later that afternoon I returned with my husband and was anxious for him to take photos as he is a good photographer. When we entered the back garden, I turned to see the cardboard cut-out lady in the window and she was gone. That's when I knew that what I had seen was something special. I was not afraid, though, but I felt her profound sadness.
Ok im just a 10 yr old i qent to the ruins for a light show then i was looking oit back and walking through a garden the i did not realise it but i steped on the grave of the soldier i was so scared i ran (this was at night) all the way back to the fountain and then later at a picture my eyes were really red i started aslking my dad to please leave and so we did couñd someone help me i dont know qhat to do i jist sex the confedarate falg everytime i go there