Built as a Victorian style home over the foundation of the original house owned by Drewry Carmical, the structure is named for Dr. A.J. Green, who was one of the first doctors in Union City. The home also served as an office for Dr. Green with a patient’s waiting room on the large front porch. It is now operated by Green’s grandchildren as the Green Manor Restaurant.
One “visitor” to the restaurant is thought to be Florence Westbrook, a relative of the city’s first mayor Drewry Carmical. Florence seemly has “returned” to the home in spirit, as she died tragically while residing there more than a hundred years ago.
According to Green Manor general manager Rebecca DeWitt and employee Linda Johnson, Florence’s spirit, ghost, or paranormal activity attributed to her, have occurred in different areas of the structure.
One time, a lady patron who was dining with us but knew nothing about Florence, came out of the ladies’ room and asked me who the old lady in the restroom was but no one else was there,” Johnson said.
In fact, such reported sightings and other paranormal phenomena associated with the restaurant caused the Georgia Ghost Society group, which investigates reputed haunted structures, to visit the Green Manor in 2007 to conduct an investigation.
A framed certificate the group gave to Green Manor officials, which still hangs in the restaurant, verifies that paranormal activity does exist there, according to the group’s founder & director, Robert Hunnicutt.
With regard to Florence, DeWitt said the story she has heard is that Westbrook was ill and came to the structure to recuperate as, at that time, it was in the country.
“What I heard is that one day, some men were working to burn off the fields on the property and Florence had gone out to where the men were working to bring them water,” she said
Somehow her dress caught fire and she ran and burned to death.”
Although this incident can’t be documented in city or county records or publications, DeWitt said Florence is buried in a nearby church cemetery.
Hunnicutt’s group, said he had heard stories about Florence and reports of police officers responding to the restaurant’s burglar alarms going off at night after it had closed, but found no one.
“However, there were reports that several police officers responding to these calls reported seeing what looked like a woman peering down at them from an upstairs window in the building when no one was supposed to be inside,” he said.
In its investigations, Hunnicutt’s group uses what he described as environmental sensors, which measure temperature readings at different locations in the structure they are investigating as well as taking magnetic frequency readings and using motion detectors.
“These instruments are used not so much to catch ghostly paranormal activity but more to alert us to any possible fraud attempts or fake sightings in a structure,” he said.
After collecting data from these instruments and carefully going over reports of such paranormal activity, Hunnicutt said he had little doubt that the Green Manor was indeed haunted.
“One of the most interesting things we found at the Green Manor that intrigued us were some pictures on the second floor which had hard plastic buttons attached to keep the pictures from swinging back and forth,” he said.
“What was really interesting was that these buttons had actually melted and were running down onto the wallpaper.”
Although such paranormal occurrences may exist, it is the Green Manor’s great Southern buffet cuisine, friendly family service and atmosphere that has made the restaurant what Union City Mayor Vince Williams called “a type of landmark in our city that cannot be found anywhere else in the world.”
“It is a part of what makes our city, and certainly this region, a place where people want to go and see for themselves and see the other treasures we have in Union City,” he said.
Williams added the Green Manor has been an “amazing asset to the Union City community with its delicious menu that is loved by everyone, and its amazing fried chicken.
“The items they have on the menu every day, fried chicken, green beans and mac & cheese, are all award winning,” Williams said.
According to Johnson, eating at the Green Manor is “habit forming.”
“People love the food and want to come back and the only dress code we have is our diners can’t come naked,” she said with a laugh.
DeWitt said the restaurant wants patrons to feel as though they are walking into their grandmother’s kitchen.
“We welcome everyone and, many times, you can see someone in jeans sitting next to someone in a suit and tie.” The Green Manor offers both dining in and takeout. Hours are Monday through Friday from 11 :30 am to 2:30 pm (last seating at 2 pm). Sunday times are 11 :30 am until 5 pm (last seating at 4 pm). They are also available for catering and special events.
For reservations or more information, call (770) 964-4343.
– By Bill Baldowski