Rotherwood Mansion


The story of Rotherwood Mansion.

There are two legends concerning Rotherwood Mansion in Kingsport, Tennessee, the first one is about a slaveholder by the name of Phipps. No one knows if the tales of his cruelty was true or not but of course, the tales of how he treated his slaves were gruesome. Many of the stories described how you could hear the cries of the slaves as he tortured them. Phipps passed away in 1865. Throughout the area, everyone knew he was a mean and cruel man that had no love for anyone including his own family. When some of his nieces and nephews moved in with him, he moved from the main house out to the carriage house. In July, he became very ill. It was very hot in the carriage house and the only relief he had was from a young slave boy that would fan him. As the story goes, suddenly the room filled with flies and began to settle on his dying body. The flies crawled into his mouth and nose and began to suffocate him. At first, the slave boy was horrified at the sight, but then he began to enjoy watching this mean slave owner die in such a way.

After Phipps was buried, odd and peculiar things began to happen around Rotherwood Mansion such as maniacal laughter was heard in the hallways, ghostly eyes were seen peering out the windows, and objects were moved around. The scariest of them all was that covers were ripped off those sleeping and standing at the foot of the bed was Phipps himself, laughing at them.

The other tale has to do with the builder daughter, Rowena Ross. Rowena was engaged and the day prior to ceremony, her fiancé and some of her friends went fishing on the Holston River. The river was in front of the Rotherwood Mansion. The boat overturned and Rowena’s fiancé drowned. After that, Rowena became quite the hermit. She finally married 10 tens later but her husband died before they had been married one year. Rowena could not bear the pain and took her own life. Many believe she is the “White Lady” that haunts the grounds outside Rotherwood Mansion.

Rotherwood Mansion

Rotherwood Mansion

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