The Banning Museum was built in Wilmington, California in 1864. The 23 room residence is a fine example of domestic Greek revival architecture in California. The interior has been carefully restored to its Victorian beauty and 18 rooms are open to the public. The house and surrounding 20 acres of parkland were acquired by the City of Los Angeles in 1927. The Banning Museum is a City, State, and National Historic Landmark.
The home was owned by General Phineas Banning, the founder of Wilmington, CA. Banning played a large part in the development in building the Port of Los Angeles, constructing the first breakwater and dredging the harbor. He ran a network of stage and freight routes that connected the growing port east to San Bernardino and south to Fort Yuma. The Banning Mansion is also known to be haunted.
While visiting the General’s office, the ghost of Civil War General Banning and his men have been “seen” plotting a strategic battle or attack of some sort. Former spectral residents of the Banning home still wander the hallways and Victorian rooms. Others have witnessed the spirit of a stern looking woman standing on the top of the stairs landing in the museum. There have also been reports of ghosts in the old school house and the stagecoach barn.
The MVD Ghostchasers gals had our own ghostly experience at the stop at Banning Museum. We had completed the house tour and the guide led us out back to the stagecoach barn. As soon as we walked into the huge building I glanced to the right. For just a few seconds, I saw a stable boy looked up at us—and then he quickly vanished. I kept my eye on that section of the stables during the entire tour, but sadly, he did not return.
The house is very historically interesting and the park grounds are beautiful! Keep your eyes and awareness open at all times. The Banning residents and staff have chosen to stay close to their home and you just might encounter one of them.
Photo on right: Banning Stagecoach barn where ghostly stable boy was sighted. Photo by Debe Branning
From Phoenix, travel west on I 10 into Los Angeles, CA. Take the I 110 South to the San Pedro Harbor area. The Banning Museum is a great place to stop—along with the Drum Barracks—while waiting to board The Queen Mary
The Banning Museum
401 East M Street
Wilmington, CA 90744
310 548 7777
For more info: www.mvdghostchasers.com
Debe Branning [email protected]