King’s Tavern

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Address: 619 Jefferson St, Natchez, MS 39120

Latitude/Longitude: 31.560142, -91.399238

Pricing: Free


King’s Tavern is thought to be the oldest building in Natchez, perhaps in Mississippi. Constructed of rough brick, hand-hewn cypress, and ships timbers, the three-storied structure was built as early as the 1760s, but before 1789, and during the time when the Spaniards occupied the area. The first U.S. mail to Natchez was delivered to King’s Tavern by an Indian runner.

The first known owner of King’s Tavern was Richardo King, a New Yorker who had migrated first to the Kingston area south of Natchez. Ricardo operated the old tavern, which served as a gathering and resting place for weary Natchez Trace travelers, and a fortress against the wilderness.. Bullet holes are still embedded in the heavy front door. Notable guests were Aaron Burr and Andrew Jackson. Ricardo sold the tavern in 1817. Eventually the Postlewaite family of Natchez acquired the property, and made it their home for several generations.

Eventually, the years caught up with the old structure, and in about 1930 repairs had to be made to one of the chimneys. That’s when the three bodies were found, encased in the old bricked-up downstairs fireplace. A jeweled dagger was also found, not far from the bodies.

It was impossible to identify the skeletons, two male and one female, but one is believed to have been that of Madeline, the young mistress of Richardo King. Was the jeweled dagger the murder weapon? It’s possible, and it is also thought the murderer was Mrs. King, Richardo’s wife.

What is known is that someone resides in King’s Tavern today. Over the years, literally hundreds of employees and guests have seen images of a young female, so the ghost is believed to be that of Madeline, the slain mistress. She appears at odd times, and is sometimes prankish. She was said to be a happy and mischievous girl and apparently the ghost follows suit. She knocks jars off of shelves, she pours water on the brick floor, she turns on lights, and she breaks glasses. Some have witnessed tables vibrating. Chains, hanging on the walls, begin swinging back and forth. Footsteps, where there are no people, can be heard constantly. Water taps turn off and on with no human assistance

From the Author: Kings Tavern is an operating restaurant today, with standard hours. Please be respectful of their business.

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