Stunning in stature and steeped in history, some say that the grand Roberson Museum in Binghamton, New York is still inhabited by its original owner nearly 90 years after his death.

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When Alonzo Roberson Jr., the owner of an international lumber company and his school teacher wife Margaret Hayes Roberson reached their 40's, they, decided to move from the home in which they lived on Main Street in Binghamton, New York to Front Street in Binghamton. Commissioned to build their new home was C. Edward Vosbury.

Vosbury, a well-known Binghamton architect was born in the nearby town of Windsor and studied his craft in New York City, Boston, and Paris. The wealthy and elite solicited Vosbury to build their homes in the Front Street and Riverside Drive areas of Binghamton which quickly became known as being the city's most prestigious Edwardian neighborhood.

The building of the Roberson mansion took three years to complete and no expense was spared as the mansion was fitted with an elevator, central heat, gas and electric lighting, and more. In other words, the mansion boasted all of the modern conveniences of that day. The cost to build the Roberson mansion came in at approximately $107,500, a fortune for that time.

Traci Taylor
Traci Taylor

At the time that Alonzo died in 1934, he was both President of the Roberson & Son Lumber Company and Chairman of the Board of Marine Midland Bank and as he and Margaret had no heir, it was decided that upon Margaret's death, their mansion would be donated and turned into an educational center which would bear their name.

In 1954, the Roberson Memorial Center was opened. In the years since, the Roberson has grown with additional wings added on to include art galleries, a digital planetarium, and a science center all of which are open to the public

Credit: David Hermanovitch
Credit: David Hermanovitch

But what about the business about it being haunted? Ask any local and they'll tell you that stories have swirled for an eternity about the ghost of Alonzo Roberson Jr. being seeing in the mansion and some will even tell you that if you drive by at night and glance up at the big front windows, you'll see Alonzo himself peering out over the street.

In her book, "Haunted Southern Tier," Elizabeth Tucker recalls stories shared with her by Roberson staff members. The staff shared that they have seen an older gentleman resembling Roberson in the hallway of the second floor as well as seated in the old theater.

Alonzo Roberson himself isn't the only ghostly figure people claim to have seen or heard. Also spotted have been a man in what appeared to be  West Point uniform, a Native American mother who was singing to her child, and the sounds of children playing when no children have been present.

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