In 1842, at the age of ten, William Kehoe immigrated to America from County Wexford, Ireland, with his mother, father, four brothers, and three sisters. Upon arrival, the family decided to live in the Old Fort District of Savannah. It was here that other Irish immigrants lived and would become family friends. William spent the majority of his youth exploring the local town and growing accustomed to his new home. During this time he befriended a local iron worker and became his apprentice. Knowing he had skill in iron works, William eventually bought his own foundry, which was located east of Broughton Street. After World War I, William decided to expand and built a new foundry on the riverfront. With this new location, he quickly became one of Savannah’s most successful and prominent businessmen. William met a young woman named Anne Flood. In 1868, the two were married. The couple decided on a lot in the historic district of Savannah. Irishman William Kehoe found success in building a foundry on the Savannah riverfront. After his business boomed, Kehoe had a stately manor built in 1892 on Columbia Square for his wife and ten children. It's cost was a whopping $25,000.00! This Queen Anne brick mansion was built as a single-family residence in 1893 by architect DeWitt Bruyn . The dark red brick mansion features Corinthian columns, bay windows beneath a parapet, single, double and triple windows, a truncated turret and a variegated roof line. Surrounded by balconies and porches, tourists are often surprised to learn that Kehoe used cast iron for all the exterior trim.
Kehoe's heirs sold the home in 1930 and over the years it was turned into The Goette Funeral Home , a boarding house, and for a short time NFL legend Joe Namath's private residence, some say his short-lived partners where actor Burt Reynolds and Playboy founder, Hugh Hefner and Rock Star, Joe Walsh. In 1990, the Kehoe House became the historically renovated bed and breakfast that it is today, complete with its own set of Savannah ghost stories. With 13 luxury rooms, is it a surprise that children guests are not allowed?
It has been said that the souls of the Kehoe twins still remain. Keep in mind that this story has been heavily debunked. It goes like this: The six-year-old boys of William Kehoe were playing hide and go seek inside the chimneys when they became stuck and died. It is known however that at least one, perhaps two of the Kehoe girls died of either yellow Fever or Scarlet Fever in the house. The ghosts of the children can been seen running through the halls and popping up in rooms, only to disappear moments later. Lights flash on and off, doors lock and unlock, and the doorbell rings though no one is there. Several guests even reported feeling their beds dip and then seeing the indentations of an invisible entity sitting with them on their bed. Customers and one of my personal friends have reported the scent of perfume following them wherever they went in the building. Some staff I have spoken with have reported hearing the voice of a young boy echoing through the quiet of the room, asking them to come play with him. Shadows fly by the staircases. A couple of my friends have stayed there and invited me to do investigations. I can assure you this building is quite haunted! The ghosts of The Kehoe Family definitely linger here. It's possible that one or all of the Kehoe's are attached to their former home. I have heard stories of hanky panky, perhaps illegal things that went on during the time this mansion was a funeral home. A few months ago, I was lounging on an antique couch in the front sitting room when a spirit whispered soft, hissing and unintelligible words in my ear. The air around the room became spontaneously cold.
This is one haunted mansion folks. Join us on tour as we regularly visit this gorgeous haunted mansion. Spooky Steve will tell you more and show you evidence of the haunting's at The Kehoe House, A Historic Inn.