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Living Life to the Fullest In Southwest Missouri

Kendrick House

Kendrick House

I originally wrote the article “Kendrick House: Rich with History and Mystery” for Show Me the Ozarks Magazine’s October 2015 issue (flip to page 54). I’ve included the text below, with permission from the magazine. For other articles on the faces and places of the region, check out the current issue of Show Me the Ozarks here.

I also wrote another article on this home called “Kendrick House: The Forgotten Stepsister” in the April/May 2016 issue (pp. 52-53) of Ozark Hills & Hollows.

 kendrick front


Blood runs deep in this house, from the oxblood-stained paint covering the oak floors, to the dark streaks that run off the edges of the family dining table – visible only in a certain light. The walls here pulsate with energy, eager to tell the stories of those who once occupied the space inside them – and perhaps still do.


This is Kendrick House, the only pre-Civil War building that remains standing in Jasper County, Missouri. Located north of downtown Carthage, this was the home of the Kendrick family from the late 1850s until the 1980s, when it was purchased by Victorian Carthage to be used as a living museum.


kendrick old photo


You’ll often find Victorian Carthage’s board member Kelly Harris at the home, dusting the antique furniture or washing the original glass windows, which were brought by wagon from St. Louis. Kelly’s dedication to maintaining the home and its rich history is a labor of love; Kelly’s husband Mike, the current mayor of Carthage, is a descendant of the Kendricks, and Kelly works hard to make sure that his family’s history is kept alive.


Which means that when Kelly’s not working at her job at a local church, she’s at Kendrick House. And when she’s there, she’s not alone. “Some weird things have happened,” said Kelly.  “But nothing that I would consider scary.” She’ll often hear voices coming from another room, or she’ll discover that objects will have been mysteriously moved.


kendrick parlor


One time, Kelly brought her daughter along with her while she did some chores at the house. Suddenly, Kelly heard a heavy stomp followed by a sigh. She didn’t say anything to her daughter because she didn’t want to frighten her, but when the two got in the car to leave, her daughter turned to her and said, “I wonder who that was.”


When Kelly’s daughter was little, she told her mother that she saw a man peering out of the window of the building behind the main house. “She said he was a black man with curly hair, and he had on a white shirt with big puffy sleeves, and it was ripped.” Her daughter had described what seemed to be a slave in the very building that once functioned as slave quarters at a property in Miller, Missouri, but was later relocated to the Kendrick land. “But how would a four-year-old know that?” Kelly pondered.


kendrick slave


But Kelly and her daughter aren’t the only ones who have experienced strange things. The house is a regular exploration site for the Paranormal Science Lab, a regional paranormal investigation group. This group has captured many Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP) recordings at the house*, including one of a little girl’s voice. When the investigators asked the girl her name, she responded with what they interpreted as “Carol.” However, one of the investigators thought he heard “Carrot.”


When Kelly learned about the group’s findings, she was amazed. The investigators had not known about the two-year-old girl who died in the home from polio. Her name was Carol, but her older sister had called her “Carrot Soup.”


kendrick carol


In addition to being a residence, Kendrick House was also used by both the North (1861) and the South (1863) as their headquarters and hospital. It is believed that the Kendrick family’s long wooden dining table was used during surgeries performed on soldiers wounded in battle. Supposedly, the table was moved just outside the back door of the house during the procedures, and that buckets were put on the end of it to collect the blood from the surgeries.


kendrick table


A close examination of this table was performed during one PSL investigation, with the use of UV lights. The investigators discovered dark streaks running down the table, especially at the ends. The violet color even appeared in the wood in area of the table that had been damaged by a candle fire, proving one thing:


Blood really does run deep at Kendrick House.




*I captured my own EVP while recording my interview with Kelly, which I discovered while transcribing my notes: the sound of a man shouting a single word, like a military command. This happened during the part of the interview when we were standing in the kitchen near the blood-stained table. It wasn’t audible to us at the time, but it was clear on the recording, which Kelly later confirmed. I also played the audio clip for my skeptical husband about a gazillion times; he acknowledged that he heard the voice but could not explain it. I wish I still had a copy of that recording to post here, but with changing computers and phone apps since recording the interview, it has mysteriously disappeared.


Kendrick House is located at 131 North Garrison Street in Carthage. For more information, call 417-358-0636, or click here to see the Kendrick House Facebook page.



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Living Life to The Fullest!

Joplin MO LifeI love seeking out new experiences and finding places off the beaten path. I started Joplin MO Life in August 2013 as a way to share my discoveries with others in the Joplin community so that they can learn about the resources that exist right in their own backyards.

I have worked in education and event planning, and have always loved to write. I hold a master's degree in journalism from the University of Oklahoma and a bachelor's degree in marketing from Tulane University.


  1. Thanks Christine! This was such a wonderful visit! You are welcome back any time!

    • My daughter and I were just talking about visiting. Maybe we will see you soon!

  2. Love this, loved the house when we toured it! Proud of you Cousin Kelley!

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