|South Side Historic District Walking Tour Guide: “John and Eliza Palmeter were a childless couple who devised their estates to the providing of a home for elderly women of limited means. The Palmeters came to Racine in the early 1860s. John worked as a carriage maker at first and later established a successful real estate agency. He died in 1889 and left his estate to Eliza, who incorporated the John H. Palmeter’s Old Ladies Home before she died in 1895; but no building was constructed with her endowment fund until its invesments provided enough money for that purpose. The building opened in 1905, and for nearly ninety years this residence provided a home and family for the fortunate old ladies who lived here. It eventually became too costly to operate and the Palmeter Home closed in 1993.”
1858 Spiritualist Register
WISCONSIN—Healing—Mrs. E. Burgess, Mrs. Palmeter, W. F. Van Vleck, Racine.
1859 Spiritualist Register
WISCONSIN.—Healing.—Mrs. Palmeter, Racine; Mrs. P. Bachelor, Oshkosh; Mrs. A. C. Giltner, Waupum; Mrs. Ferguson, Monroe.
October 1, 1881 Racine Advocate (newspaper)
Mr. and Mrs. J. H. Palmeter have returned from their western visit.
(J. H. Palmeter stands for John H. Palmeter)
Racine: Growth and Change in a Wisconsin County, page 523
“The founding of Racine College in 1852 resulted in an otherwise unlikely proliferation of Episcopal churches in the area. The priests on the faculty were available to conduct services for congregations that could not support a resident clergyman. Moreover, since after 1859 many of the college’s students planned to go on to the seminary at Nashotah, they tended to be interested in teaching Sunday School and assisting in other ways. Immanuel on the north side of the City, St. Stephen’s on the northwest, Holy Innocents on the west side, and St. Paul’s in Sturtevant were all founded or nourished through infancy by the Racine College community. The college’s second president, Dr. James DeKoven, was also instrumental in the founding of three local institutions which are now independent but which retained ties with the Episcopal Church for many years: St. Luke’s Hospital, Taylor Orphanage, and the Palmeter Home for elderly women.”
Ghost stories at the Palmeter Home:
Not hearing stories..we’ve been living it. All of the employees. I will tell you a couple of them.
We see two old ladies roaming around upstairs once in awhile. Employees
have described the same two.
The elevator runs by itself. It will open up go to the top floor, open up again and come down…even when there’s no one in the house besides the advocate running the desk.
Our Director and an Advocate were looking in one of the rooms talking about how they wanted to redecorate it. They were the only two people in the house at the time. They turned around to leave and a mirror that was on the dresser flew across the room and smashed against the wall.
We had a priest come in and look around. He said he could see ghosts everywhere even men….he said the house used to be a funeral home too…do you remember anything like that?
There is one other story I will tell you about. It was the day after the priest was there. By the way things have been really acting up since he was there. One of the advocates shift was just about to end so she was taking a walk around the house. We have these wooden carved figures of women from the area that have been murdered and their stories are written on the wood. The advocate came around the corner and one of those wooden
figures was standing in the middle of the doorway by itself. A very bright light was shining from the chest area where your heart would be. The advocate turned around and went back to her desk and started praying the figure fell down.
I am going there tonight at 8:00 with a priest that says he can clean the house…I am actually pretty nervous about it..