Past Themes / Stories
2005 – at Corning Museum of Glass (CMOG) Ghosts in the Galleries
Meet the Kingsbury Family...
Some of the ghosts you may run into during your visit. Check back for updates to the Kingsbury family tree...
Born: 1818 Binghamton, NY
Died: 1891 Corning, NY
Owner of Kingsbury Farm. Started as a corn and tobacco farmer and continued to expand his farm and business ventures until he amassed a great deal of wealth. He was heavily invested in Logging and Tobacco. Eventually built Kingsbury Manor in 1869, an elaborate Victorian house that was a far cry from his humble beginnings. Local superstition speaks of him to having signed a pact with the Devil to ensure the success of his farm and business ventures. Supposedly tried to bring his wife back from the dead in 1872 with the help of local woman who dabbled in the occult. Died wealthy but very lonely having outlived his wife and two daughters. Rumored to haunt the family crypt at Kingsbury Cemetery. (Kingsbury Cemetery, Kingsbury Farm and Kingsbury Manor have been the sites of numerous strange and supernatural events.)
Born: July 3rd 1832 Poughkeepsie NY
Died: October 27th 1870, Corning, NY
Wife of Jonathan Kingsbury. They were Married in Corning in 1850. Died under rmysterious circumstances, (some say of broken heart) a few months after the tragic passing of her youngest daughter Clara earlier that year.
Born: Somewhere in Europe 1820.
Spent most of his childhood in England and Scotland. Unknown when he emigrated to the US.
Came to be employed by Jonathan Kingsbury in 1864 as his Factor (an agent for financial and business dealings). It was long suspected that he also carried out other less reputable tasks and dealings for his employer. He was known around town as a tough and ruthless man to do business with, even in his later years. Montbard lived initially in a flat above Market Street in the village of Corning, and then later at Kingsbury Manor after it was completed in 1869. He apparently had family and business acquaintances in Northern Scotland and the Bourgogne Region in Eastern France. He traveled to those regions, sometimes with Kingsbury, at least once every year. In addition to these duties he was frequently seen in the small Kingsbury Family Cemetery tending the graves and family mausoleum. He was seen there so often that the local children nicknamed him "The Caretaker". People often wondered why Silas performed these duties in the Cemetery when this was a job that seemed far beneath him. Kingsbury could have easily had one of his farm workers perform these tasks. After Jonathan Kingsbury died he continued to work for Jonathan's eldest son Jack.
Date of Death: Unconfirmed.
Montbard likely died 1898 during a duel with another wealthy Coning business owner Drake Smithson, who owned a Saddlery, Carriage Works, and Tack Shop. Apparently Silas had an argument with Smithson over a business debt. During the duel Smithson shot Montbard in the face. The bullet tore through Montbard's right cheek. Accounts vary of what happened afterward. Some say that he was taken to the Kingsbury Manor House and died there. Later that year a grave marker bearing his name appeared in Kingsbury Cemetery but it is unknown if Silas is actually buried there. Others say he recovered and left Corning for a time. According to some locals, several years after the incident a man matching Silas' description was seen in and about the village of Corning. They say he had a noticeable scar on his right cheek. Some wondered aloud if he ever did die. (Decedents of the Kingsbury family still retain Montbard's dueling pistol, which is a .45 cal percussion pistol of historical significance. It was one of a series of pistols made in 1811 by the famous armorer LePage for Napoleon and his army. It was unknown how Montbard acquired the pistol. (It is worth a considerable sum today as a collector's piece.)
Born: April 19th 1852
Died: October 23rd 1880
Jonathan Kingsbury's eldest daughter. Died of heart failure after seeing a vision of her dead fiancé in her vanity mirror. Her haunting image will sometimes appear in her mirror at Kingsbury Manor. Her silver and tortoiseshell hairbrush will appear in various locations throughout Kingsbury Manor, as if moved by an unseen force. Manor employees, when questioned, would deny having touched the item.
Born: June 13th 1859
Died: June 27th 1870
Jonathan Kingsbury's youngest daughter. An unhappy girl who rarely smiled. Rarely seen without her favorite doll, "Mattie",which was a gift from her great Uncle on her fifth birthday. Liked to speak to her doll and always listened to the doll as if it speaking back. Tragically drowned in a "boating" accident during a family visit to their summer cabin on the west shore of Keuka Lake.
Jonathan Kingsbury's eldest son, Carried on with the family business into the early 1900's
Jonathan Kingsbury's grandson, son of Jack Kingsbury
Jonathan Kingsbury's great grandson, son of Robert Kingsbury
Clem Hanson - Farmhand
Born: March 21st 1823
Died: November 1st 1862
Supervisor in charge of Kingsbury's Farm hands in the 1860's. Went missing during a search for his employer's herd of cows that inexplicably went missing from the farm. Found dead near a previously undiscovered pond in the middle of the deep forest six weeks after his disappearance. Very little was left of his face and he was only identified by his clothing and his most prized possession, an ornately carved Meerschaum pipe found nearby the body.
Nellie Brunton and Lydia Hayward - Maids
Victorian era household servants often went into service early as young as 12 or 13 sometimes younger. They enjoyed little freedom and their treatment depended largely on their employer. They worked long hard hours and had almost no time for pleasure. Nellie Brunton was born in Nichols, NY in 1849 and employed by the Kingsburys during the fall of 1860 and worked initallly as a scullery maid washing dishes. Later she became the cook and then the head maid.
Ralph Brunton (Kingsbury) - AKA "The Village Idiot"
Date of Birth: unconfirmed. Probably August 1874
Illegitimate son of Jonathan Kingsbury and Nellie Brunton who was once a cook and later head Maid for the Kingsbury household.
Shy, slow and Strong. Keeps to himself. ……Mostly. Dangerous when taunted by children. Kept unaware of his parentage into adulthood by his mother Nellie.
NOTE: All charachter bios and stories presented here are works of fiction. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental and not intended. No animals were harmed in the production of Kingsbury Cemetery Haunted House