The house was built sometime around 1818. William Scarborough was a wealthy shipping merchant, who became destitute, after his biggest project, the Steamship Savannah, failed to become a commercial success. After being sold a couple of times, the house became property of the board of education until 1962. After years of abuse at the hands of school children, the historical preservation society took on the project, restoring it to it's original beauty. Soon after, it became the Maritime museum.
You can probably tell, I am more interested in old houses than ships, but the museum is impressive, with it's ship models and wood carvings. At the time, I didn't know it had been a school, also.
We visited the museum on a week day, when very few people were around. It's a self guided tour, so we went through pretty quickly. We walked back to the entrance, where the gift shop was, just as rain began to pour. We thought we would wait a while, hopping the rain would let up, and started a conversation with the gift shop girl.
We waited and waited, but the rain just got worse. It started to thunder and the wind blew, until it was a real storm. We were bored and asked the girl if we could look through the museum again. She said sure, as we were the only people there. While we were looking through the old house, the power went out. It was very dark and, the wooden figureheads, lurking in every corner, were throwing eerie shadows around the rooms. I heard children laughing and decided a school field trip must have made it in from the storm. If they could handle the rain, so could we. It was time to go, but first, I needed to visit the ladies room, in the basement. Several children passed me on the stairs down to the dark basement. They were dressed a little odd, long skirts and bonnets, but I figured it was part of their field trip. Besides, they were so cute.
When we got back to the entrance, it was still raining, but we said we were leaving, anyway. The gift shop girl said she was leaving also.
I said, "What about the field trip kids?"
She suddenly turned very pale, and said, "You saw the children?"
I said yes, I had seen them in the basement. At that, she started packing up her things to go, and walked out the door with us. I suppose, the children were my imagination....hmm