1842 Inn

More From Georgia

The spirit of a wee child is looking for someone.

A benign male presence is still a very hospitable host!

A female spirit still enjoys and remembers.



“The 1842 Inn blends the amenities of a grand hotel and the ambience of a country inn. Nineteen guest rooms, hospitality parlors, a spectacular courtyard, and Central Georgia’s best front porch await.” (1842 website)

The 1842 Inn has some glowing descriptions that describe its character, aura and service that is offered living people.

“The 1842 Inn is a symbol of elegance and genteel Southern hospitality which is reflected by everyone,
from the time you walk through the door until you depart.”

“Has an atmosphere straight to of Gone With the Wind.”

“Blends the amenities of a grand hotel with the ambience of a country inn.”

The 1842 Inn is a four-diamond AAA and American Bed & Breakfast Association award winner. One of the finest historic inns in the South, it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and has been selected by the National Trust for Historic Preservation to be a member of Historic Hotels of America.

WOW! What a glorious mansion!!! This four diamond property;The 1842 INN, is located in a lovely Greek Revival antebellum mansion and an “adjoining” Victorian Cottage, that had originally been built for guests of the Gresham family. Both structures share “a quaint courtyard and gardens.” The verandah in the front of this bigger-than-life mansion has 17 Grecian pillars; most impressive structure that makes a statement about the success and artistic tastes of John Gresham.

WOW! What a glorious mansion!!! The 1842 INN is located in a lovely Greek Revival antebellum mansion and an adjoining Victorian Cottage, originally built for guests of the Gresham family. Both structures share “a quaint courtyard and gardens.”

The verandah in the front of this bigger-than-life mansion has seventeen Grecian pillars! It is a most impressive structure that makes a statement about the success and artistic tastes of John Gresham.

It is a popular place for social events such as weddings, receptions, parties, and special occasions.

The inside is a great blast from the past; from “the foyer, laden with Oriental rugs and fabulous antiques, oil paintings and touches of fine crystal and always fresh flowers on the table as you walk through the door, to all of the exquisitely decorated 21 guest rooms; between the Gresham Mansion and the Victorian Cottage. Each of the rooms at the inn are named for people, places and things that are part of Macon or Georgia history.” (Victoria Forrest)

Guest rooms, the common rooms, such as the hospitality parlors, and the library are a step back in time. The furniture and decor showcase “fine English antiques and paintings, oriental carpets, tapestries and elaborate draperies.”

19th century decor is seen throughout the inn. Guest rooms, the common rooms such as the hospitality parlors, and the library are truly a step back in time. Showcased are “fine English antiques and paintings, oriental carpets, tapestries and elaborate draperies.”

Some of the amenities include “meeting spaces, lounges, handicap accessible spaces, a fitness center (off property), non-smoking rooms only, available corporate discounts, full breakfasts, coffee in parlor, hairdryers, small pets accepted, fine linens, private baths in each guest room, plush towels and bathrobes, complimentary wireless internet access, fresh flowers and “fine appointments.”

The following rooms are located in the original Gresham Mansion, and not the Victorian Cottage.

DOGWOOD ROOM: (Once called the Dogberry Wood Tree) – Located on the mansion’s first floor. It features a four-poster, queen-sized bed, fireplace, whirlpool, private entrance, table/desk/data port.

John Gresham Room – Located on the second floor of the main house. Features a four-poster, queen-sized bed, fireplace, table/desk/data ports.

Lyman Hall – Located on the mansion’s first floor on garden porch. Features a four-poster, full-sized bed, private entrance by the garden, table/desks/ data’ ports.

Macon Room – Located on the mansion’s second floor. Guests enjoy a queen-sized bed, fireplace, 19th century English burned walnut chest, porcelain plates on the walls, table/desks and data port.

Magnolia Room – Located on the mansion’s second floor. Guests love the four-poster, king-sized bed, fireplace, table, desk, and data ports.

Mercer Room – Located on the mansion’s second floor. It has a four-poster, king-sized bed, fireplace, whirlpool tub, table/desks/data ports.

Nancy Hanks Room – Located on the mansion’s first floor near garden area. Guests enjoy a four-poster, queen-sized bed, a private entrance by the garden, table/desks and data ports.

Ocmulgee – Located on the mansion’s second floor Guests love the four-poster, queen-sized bed, a courtyard view, and a table/desks/data ports.


Judge John Gresham was a mover and a shaker in Macon, Georgia. A prominent Macon leader, he was a two-time Mayor and the first President of the Bibb Manufacturing Company. He was appointed Judge of the Interior Court.

After the Civil War, Judge John Gresham was elected to the State Senate. Gresham was a member of the Board of Trustees of the University of Georgia, and a member of the Board of Directors of the Theological Seminary at Columbia, South Carolina. He also was an elder in the Presbyterian Church, and was active in public education.

He wanted to build his family’s forever home that would showcase his wealth and status, and had a WOW factor. To John Gresham, money was “a means for gratifying the innocent desires of his loved ones, and for the achievement of noble and beneficial purposes.”

The main portion of the 1842 Inn was built by John Gresham.

Gresham married Mary E. Baxter, daughter of Thomas W. Baxter of Athens, GA, on the 25th of May, 1843. They had five children, but two sons died in infancy: Edmund (7 months) & Edward (18 months). They had three surviving children: Minnie, Thomas and LeRoy Wiley. LeRoy had some painful health issues, but wrote an extensive diary that is considered to be very valuable. He died in his teens in 1865.

John and Mary lived full lives, serving others according to their gifts and passions. Mary died in 1889, and John died two years later in 1891, at the home of his daughter, Minnie and Minnie’s husband.

The Gresham Mansion was bought by the Ben F. Adams family in 1900. It’s structure was “significantly modified and it remained a private home until 1930.“ The Gresham Mansion probably needed to be updated and renovated to fit the needs of a 1900 era family.

Ben’s family was made up of his second wife L. Elizabeth, the son they had together, Robert(born 1900), and John’s two daughters from his first marriage: Mary and Lula.

After Ben died in 1911, Elizabeth developed a mental illness, perhaps due to grief from losing her husband, and was sent to Central State Hospital, where she hung herself in 1912.

From 1930 to 1983, the Gresham Mansion was turned into an apartment rental property. Uh oh! Historical rental properties can go downhill structurally. Sometimes landlords don’t put the rent revenues back into the structure. This huge mansion must have always needed a boatload of money to maintain and repair.

Sure enough, in 1993, it wound up on the real estate market as a fixer upper opportunity. Two energetic people bought this frumpy yet still beautiful historic property and restored it. It opened as an upscale bed and breakfast until 1999, when it was once again put back on the real estate market.

In June of 1999, Mr. Edmund E. Olson and Nazario Filipponi, bought the mansion and the Victorian Cottage and changed the name to The 1842 Inn. The new owners upgraded the rooms in the Victorian Cottage for more guests. Since then, they have maintained the fountains, the gardens, the patio area, the mansion and the Victorian Cottage in a grand, historic style.

They knew that old, expensive-to-maintain historic structures really need to broaden their appeal to those who have money to spend and higher expectations of what is provided.

The owners have broadened their guest possibilities with perks meant to attract the business class, and have a partnership with an outside fitness center.

After this magnificent structure was first restored during its bed and breakfast days, spirits began to make themselves known. Why and who are they?



When a historic structure is restored, spirits who loved it in life, often become active or are drawn back to it.

The Amstel House, VA (Spirit members of the original family moved back in after it was restored).

Geiser Grand Hotel, OR (Spirits were a bit too enthusiastic with their encouragement of the restoration workers).

Pittock House Museum, OR (Oh joy! Someone has restored our dream home and pull all our precious belongings on display).

1842 Inn in Macon, GA (Spirits of former owners with an attachment have come back to the inn after it was restored).


People who adore their old forever homes, may continue to stick around them as spirits, and make them truly forever homes in the after-life.

Goodman-LeGrand House and Museum, TX (Spirits are still holding their big parties).

Swenson House Museum and Event Venue, TX (The Lady of the House still enjoys her forever home as a spirit).

Temple Heights Mansion, MS (Two spirits of former female residents still share their forever home with the living).

1842 Inn in Macon, GA (The spirit of John Gresham falls in this category as does a certain female spirit).


Children who died from accident or illness sometimes like to remain in this world in familiar places where they felt love. Sometimes they are searching for a parent, or a parent-replacement.

Waverley Plantation House, MS (Two little girl spirits resided here; one died from disease, and one died from a fall down the steep stairs. One sought her mother).

Placerville Cuppa Coffee & More, CA (A young girl either died from disease or accident. Her spirit attached itself to one of the owners, a mother figure).

Centre Hill Museum, VA (The spirit of a slave child seeks love and attention from the living).

1842 Inn in Macon, GA (A very young female spirit may belong to folks who worked and were live-ins there from 1912 to 1930, or a family who lived in one of the apartments from 1930 to 1983).


Sometimes the family spirits of spirit children decide to reside in the same structure as their children.

Saint James Hotel, NM (The spirit of a lively toddler keeps the living and his spirit mother busy)

Moss Mansion, MT (The spirit of a young girl who died of disease has other spirit family members to keep her company).

Mendocini House Bodi, CA (The spirit of an Italian momma keeps a throng of spirit children company).

1842 Inn in Macon, GA (A female spirit may be connected to a child spirit. Perhaps she was the little girl’s mom. The toddler probably died during the era when the mansion was divided into apartments. Neither the Gresham Family nor the Adams Family lost a toddler girl).


If a person dies from unpleasant circumstances, their spirit may be left with a restlessness, and may try to escape from their bad end by trying to relive their positive memories.

Kahler Grand Hotel, MN (The Hersey Candy heiress was brutally killed by two mob soldiers and burned in a city incinerator. Her spirit still loves her favorite hotel though).

Kolb Court, GA (The spirit of a Civil War soldier who suffered a painful death in battle on the Kolb farm, bonded to the land where he died. After Kolb Court development was built here, guess who moved into one of the new houses? The living are his new family, and are so much fun to tease!)

Ludwell-Paradise House in Williamsburg, VA (The former mistress of this home died in mental hospital but now her spirit lives in the home she loved).

1842 Inn in Macon, GA (The female spirit here may be Elizabeth Adams, who died in a State Mental Hospital by hanging herself).



General Paranormal Activity

Mysterious sounds are heard and ghostly apparitions have been seen throughout the stately home.

The Spirit of Tall, Blonde Woman

She hasn’t interacted with the living. She just shows her presence while going to her favorite rooms.

Her solid form has been seen in one of the bedrooms, in the parlor, and in the Victorian Cottage; formerly the mansion’s guesthouse.

The Spirit of John Gresham

He has appeared as a semi see-through apparition in places in the mansion, wearing a long dark jacket.

He sees his role as protecting the living in his home.

Example: Activity in the Dogwood Room.

A female guest was nervous about staying in the Dogwood Room because there was a door to the outside in this room. She had gotten out of the shower, wrapped in a towel.

When she entered the room, she saw a friendly, see-through male apparition wearing a long dark jacket, that could’ve been his judge’s robe or a presbyterian robe.

She could tell by the look on his face that he was communicating. “Don’t worry, I am here to protect you!”

Then she felt a warm feeling around her neck and shoulders, which was not placed by fingers or hands.

The Spirit of a little Female Toddler/crawler

Her apparition is that of a see-through toddler, and she appears most often on the second floor.

She could be looking for her Daddy. At her age, she may have been a “Daddy’s Girl.”

On the same evening, she once appeared in two rooms.

On this evening – In one room, a gentleman saw this little one walk out of the fireplace that was being used. After looking at him briefly, she walked back into the fireplace and the fire went out.

The other room she visited was the John Gresham Room, where a husband and wife were sleeping.

This little child pulled the fingers of the man until he awoke.

He saw her briefly, and tried to wake his wife, but the little spirit vanished.

This activity continued all night, and the man was never able to wake his wife so she could confirm the sighting.


For many years, residents, owners, guests, and staff have had a boatload of vivid, personal experiences with these spirits who are willing to share their home with the living, and don’t seem to mind all the people coming to visit.

I couldn’t find on line any hard evidence of these hauntings, though The 1842 Inn is on Ghost Tours, and the spirits have been mentioned on the inn’s website. While paranormal investigations are not allowed, it is no secret that they indeed have spectral residents in this high-class hotel.



Most probably so!

The spirit of Judge John Gresham is still protecting guests in his forever home, the spirit of a wee child is still looking for her Daddy, and the spirit of a tall, thin blonde woman is still going about her past life, doing things she has done while alive.

No one knows who this female spirit is for certain. She may be Elizabeth Adams, trying to find peace in remembering the years here before she had mental issues.

She may be the wee spirit girl’s mother, who lived with the child when apartments were here.

She may be the former maid/housekeeper of one of the families who lived here, who really enjoyed her working experience.

She could be the landlady of the apartments that existed here from 1930 to 1983.



353 College Street, Macon, GA 31201

The 1842 Inn is prominent in Macon because it sits on top of a hill on College Street.


  • The crier.net website: 1842 Inn glorifies Southern Hospitality, By Victoria Forrest, October 26th, 2000
    By Victoria Forrest, October 26th, 2000
  • Explore Georgia (.org) website: 1842 Inn, Jan 22, 2020 2:34PM
  • ghost.hauntedhouses.com
  • Presbyterians of the Past website, BIOGRAPHIES: John J. Gresham, 1812-1891, by B Waugh, 08/o4/2017
  • Macon Georgia (.com) website, Ghosts tours in Macon, GA: Here’s your 2020 spooky Guide, Happy Hunting!, The 1842 Inn (3524)
  • Gateway Macon (.org) (The Locals Guide for Things to do:Top 5 Haunted Places in Macon, Part Two – Post 303, blog
  • The 1842 Inn Website
  • Only in Your State Website, These 9 Haunted Hotels in Georgia Will Make Your Stay A Nightmare, by Amanda Northern, November 24th, 2015, Posted in GA
  • DunWoody Crier website, Article: The 1842 Inn Glories Southern Hospitality, There are times when it is not easy to recreate the past. But, the past is brought to life in Macon, Georgia at the 1842 Inn.

Our Haunted Paranormal Stories are Written by Julie Carr

Haunts in Georgia