Historic Merrill - Scott Mansion
The Mansion Curse
Legend has it that, when the lumber industry first began in the area, an Indian chief had a beautiful daughter named Jenny. In fact, some speculate that the Village of Jenny, which predated the City of Merrill was named after this girl. According to legend, she became pregnant and died in childbirth without revealing the identity of the child's father, although, again according the legend, it was one of the white men who had recently come to the area. In his grief, the chief prayed to the Great Spirit and asked that her burial site be sacred and that the land do the white man no good. As luck would have it, the land is where T.B. Scott later built the mansion, with the work probably beginning in 1884. Construction was near completion in 1886 when, on October 7, 1886 T.B. Scott died after suffering for a year with Bright's Disease. His death began a series of unfortunate incidents for people associated with the mansion. Was it the curse, or just bad luck? We'll let you decide that one!
Victims of the curse or misfortune?
T.B. Scott - Built mansion. Died before he occupied it.
A.E. Scott, widow of T.B. - Died one year after him. Never lived in mansion.
Walter Scott (son) - Fatally stabbed in Chicago in 1902.
Edward Kuehle - Owned mansion in 1899. Suffered financial losses and became deranged.
John Barasanti - Foreclosed on Kuehle. On his way to Merrill to claim the mansion when he was stabbed to death at the Union Station in Chicago.
Charles W. Gibson - Had office in mansion. Went uptown one day and disappeared.
Popcorn Dan - Had popcorn stand in Merrill. Lived in mansion, was possibly also the caretaker. Took the maiden voyage on the Titanic. Bad choice.
Besides being cursed, some also believe that the mansion is haunted. Unexplainable sounds and sights have occurred at the mansion. Is the mansion indeed haunted, or were people just allowing their minds to play tricks on them? As with the curse, you can believe what you want to believe. This writer would certainly not want to spend an evening in the mansion alone, especially on Halloween!
The fascination with the mansion has resulted in several websites including information related to the mansion, especially related to the curse and the possibility that the mansion is haunted. Here is a sampling: