Or, Take A Peek Into The Haunted Mansion
Is an Oswego Spirit Haunting the NY Governor’s Mansion?
Written by Steve Yablonski in June 2017
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Is Gov. Andrew Cuomo being haunted by the ghost of a former Port City pastor?
At some recent public events, the governor has taken to playfully discussing spooky happenings at the Executive Mansion, his 160-year-old Eagle Street home.
He claims he doesn’t believe in ghosts, the noises the mansion makes in the dark of night still “creep him out.”
“It’s me alone when I’m in the house because my family’s in Westchester,” Cuomo said in an interview with the Albany Times Union early last month, alluding to the home he shares downstate with his partner, Sandra Lee. “The kids are in school. So it’s me alone. There are stories that this house is haunted. Now, I don’t believe in ghosts, and I’m a big tough Italian guy. But I’ll tell you – it gets creepy in that house and there are a lot of noise that go on and you are very alone.”
Perhaps he is being visited by Gov. Charles Evans Hughes’ father.
The elder Hughes died in the Executive Mansion in December 1909, “following a recent stroke of apoplexy,” according to the New York Times.
Whether there were any other deaths in the mansion before it came into the state’s possession in 1877 is unknown. At the very least, none were recorded.
A native of Wales, the 77-year-old arrived in the United States in 1855 and preached at churches in Oswego, Brooklyn, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, according to his obituary.
The Reverend David C. Hughes was the pastor of the West Baptist Church on the corner of West Third and Mohawk streets in Oswego, according to Justin White, president of the Oswego County Historical Society.
The church was an offshoot of the First Baptist Church, which was located on the east side in Washington Square.
The West Baptist Church was formed in 1853, but the current church that stands today was built in 1867.
“Half the cost was financed by Thomas Kingsford, which allowed for a more substantial ornate church,” White said. “It was designed by Andrew Jackson Warner of Rochester, who also designed the Richardson-Bates House and the Oswego Ladies Home.”
Rev. Hughes was the pastor during the construction of the “new” church and was the pastor from 1866 to 1869.
“Ministers often traveled from one church to another and did not stay in one place for long,” White said. “The building of a new church would have been an important legacy.”
What makes this even more interesting is that he was the father of the Hon. Charles Evan Hughes, who had an equally amazing life, he added.
“He was the Governor of New York State, the Secretary of State under President Harding and then Chief Justice of Supreme Court under President Hoover. He also ran for president in 1915,” White said.
Charles Hughes was a child when he lived in Oswego; started school in the Port City and became a “scholar” of the church Sunday school.
“When the stained class memorial windows replaced the original windows in the church by Haskin Glass Studios of Rochester, Hughes donated one the called “Gethsemane” in memory of his father for his time in Oswego at the minister of West Baptist Church,” White said.
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