Saturday night

I went on a night tour of Columbia State Park with Full Spectrum Paranormal and the Friends of Columbia.  After taking the Friends of Columbia Lamplight tour of the Cemetery earlier in the month I had high hopes for the Paranormal Prospecting Tour.  Much to my delight it was even more fun than I hoped!  Love it when that happens! I didn’t really know what to expect (I’ll admit I didn’t do much homework beforehand). I was sort of expecting it to be like the Lamplight tour with people acting out scenes from early resident’s lives.  Instead, it was an actual paranormal investigation. Yay!!

We started out at the Eagle Cotage with introductions, safety instructions, historical background, followed by a demonstration of the various equipment FSP use in investigations.  I thought photographers had fun toys, these guys made me envious!  While FSP does do full fledged investigations, this tour was to help educate us, as well as raise funds for Columbia State Park.  The special tours they do are all on a volunteer basis – all funds go to improving the Park.

Wells Fargo Building, Columbia State Park

Our first stop

was the Wells Fargo Building.  If you visit the Park you only get to walk in the very front of the building and see the “business” part – the counter, the safe, the scales, and a desk.  We came in the back and got a quick glimpse of the downstairs living quarters before going into the office area.  After another quick little orientation and baseline recording of our voices, we shut off our flashlights and got to work.

This video

by Full Spectrum Paranormal shows the results of our efforts.  The first knocking is Cassie, but keep listening!  The site of the current Wells Fargo has a varied history.  Like most locations in Columbia, it was once a saloon, a hotel, also like most buildings it burned down several times before being rebuilt from brick.  Wells Fargo originally rented space from the American Hotel in the early 1850s before William Daegener, one of WF’s agents purchased the property, and eventually rebuilt the current building from brick in 1857.

The building was occupied until the sisters of the last owner moved on, and in 1946 Wells Fargo gifted the building to the State Park.

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Long Exposure inside the Martinez House, Columbia State Park

After the Wells Fargo building

we moved on to the Martinez house.  This was a fascinating behind the scenes view, in all my visits to Columbia, it’s never been open. Currently it is only available to view on certain Gold Rush days – and only when there is a docent available.  The building itself is in various stages of repair/decay.  But the history shows through all the layers of wallpaper and flooring.

From the Martinez house

we moved to the Wilson-McConnell house.  This was another treat for me, the building is also normally closed to the public.  Mrs. McConnell was a fixture in Columbia and the reason Columbia State Park exists today.  She lived to the grand age of 99 before passing away in 2003.  The home was then purchased by the State and added to the park.  The home has a fascinating history too.  For one night it was the Governor’s Mansion when Governor when the park was dedicated.  It’s also been in many movies, High Noon being one of the most famous.

While we didn’t hear or see anything there, the home felt like a happy place to me.  It’s also where I captured my favorite image of the night.  Below John of Full Spectrum Paranormal is looking at a photo of Mrs. McConnell placed in her dining room hutch.

John of FSP looking at the photo of Mrs. McConnell

Wrapping things up –

I can’t repeat enough how much I enjoyed this tour!  Thank you so much Full Spectrum Paranormal, Friends of Columbia and Columbia State Park.

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Locations we visited:

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