Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Columbus Iron Works & the Ghost of James Warner - Columbus, Georgia

In June of 1862, the Columbus Iron Works was an established foundry for steel casting during the Civil War. The foundry poured the steel castings for the ships propellers and machinery that were built in the neighboring Navy Yard. The head engineer, who oversaw the foundry and the building of many of the Confederate Navy’s iron clads and gunships built at the Columbus Navy Yard was James Warner.  He spearheaded the operations and helped establish Columbus’s Iron Works as the largest manufacture of Confederate Machinery in the South.

The Columbus Iron Works was used as a casting and machinery foundry during the Civil War.
 Warner’s contributions to the Iron Works were substantial and he was a highly respected military man in the city of Columbus. However, an unknown assailant shot him in the leg on February 12, 1866 while crossing the street in front of the soldier’s barracks. For ten days, surgeons and doctors tended to Major Warner, but their efforts were in vein. James Warner died on February 22, 1866 and was laid to rest at Linwood cemetery in Columbus, Georgia.

Since his death, over one hundred and forty years ago, a spirit has been seen in the old mill. Visitors who attend events, weddings, and community functions at the Iron Works today, report seeing a man in a blue overcoat. Often, he is seen walking through walls and hovering overhead on what appears to be ghost-like cat walks from the former foundry. Many believe this is the spirit of Major James Warner, still keeping a watchful eye over the industry he worked so hard to contribute too.
Major James Warner's grave at Linwood cemetery in Columbus, Georgia.
Other strange sightings are often reported in the form of photographs taken by patrons and guests who attend these events. Unusual human-like shapes manifest as a mist and occasionally brightly colored “orbs” (which some believe is spiritual energy), are photographed at the location. There are also reports of people hearing the sounds of working machinery in the old mill building. Are the spirits of the old mill still working in the casting foundry? Does this skeleton crew of men still haunt the building along with their superior and overseer, Major Warner? Keep a watchful eye on those actors in the new haunted house in this years “Massacre at the Mill”. That ghostly apparition of a man in a blue over coat may not be an actor at all.


You can find out more about the Iron Works haunted history in “Haunted Columbus Georgia – Phantoms of the Fountain City” by Faith Serafin visit her website: www.AlabamaGhostHunters.com and find out how you can attend paranormal investigations in Columbus, Georgia. 


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  2. my great grandfather may he is great, great. anyway he was foreman at this factory. not sure of the dates . 1880 census shows him as a moulder. 1918 city directory shows him as a formal Col. Iron works. I have a card of his that says Porter and Fell Phoenix foundry and machine shop. do you know where this was. I have looked and cannot find anything on it. thanks