I earlier mentioned that the life and fortunes of Dostoyevsky – and one of my own line – was ruined from gambling. This is a tale of a Planter of these parts who ruined himself from the same addiction.
William Fivey of Lisnabrague Lodge, near Poyntzpass owned land both there and at Killycomain (near Portadown). The Ordnance Survey Report for 1837 shows that he leased land in parcels of 3-15 acres at 25s-28s per acre for the former location and at 10-20 acres at 20s-40s an acre at the latter. He was a very wealthy man and also had a lime kiln and several mills.
However he was a profligate gambler and owned several racehorses. Over a period of time he experienced much ill-luck and soon was in dire financial straits. He decided to gamble everything on one final fling.
He owned one particular racehorse in which he had undying faith. He prepared and trained it well and entered it for a race he felt certain it must win. He gambled all the money he had left in the world on the outcome.
It lost. Fivey in fury took the horse home and stabled it. Then he had the stable door bricked up and the horse starved to death.
By 1850 Fivey was forced to sell all his horses and his furniture to meet gambling debts. In the end he had to let Union Lodge to a Doctor Saunderson.
To this day a ghostly horse is said to gallop up the avenue on moonlit nights from time to time. There are those who would deliberately avoid the area then.