Cedar Grove Mansion
Joint has traditionally been jumping because family graves were moved.
An accident, a fatal illness and Sids have caused paranormal activity.
Love for a forever home draws a couple who make themselves at home.
Suicide doesn’t bring peace.
It is hard to know where to start in describing the place. For starters it is one of the largest B & B’s in Mississippi. Not only is it an inn with a great, award-winning restaurant, but an ideal setting for weddings, receptions, special events and meetings.
“Cedar Grove offers numerous spacious and antique-filled rooms, suites, and cottages for your stay. The beautiful and elegant facilities include the mansion, a chapel, a corporate meeting facility and an outstanding restaurant.” – discoverourtown.com
Tom and I stayed here on our summer of 2006 cross country road trip. This gorgeous, huge, 3 story, impressive 1840 Roman Revival style mansion looks much like it did when it was built by John Alexander Klein in the two years before he married young Elizabeth. Then, as a couple, the newly weds went to Europe on a year long honeymoon to help pick out the finishing touches. What wasn’t bought in Europe, was made by special order from artisans. In New Orleans, they commissioned Prudent Mallard to make several pieces of furniture.
From the outside one sees big columns, verandahs and porches, a roof-top garden, formal and romantic gardens, gazebos, water fountains, courtyards and a beautifully tiled swimming pool, complete with some unique, classy decorations.
The inside has many of the antiques, furnishings and finishing touches done by talented craftsmen. When we took the self-guided tour provided to guests, we saw the Italian marble fireplaces, French empire gasoliers, Bohemian glass for the doorway, towering gold leaf mirrors, exquisite clocks and paintings, and the craftsmanship of the woodwork and stone work around the place.
One piece of custom made furniture kept in the family dining room, turned out to be invaluable in the future of the Klein family. During the Civil War and Union occupation, the family fortune was kept hidden away in a compartment safe, well concealed in plain sight in a piece of lovely furniture, one of the pieces that John Alexander had specially made. The Union Army never suspected a thing. This piece of furniture still sits in the same place of honor in the dining room.
The bedrooms all have antique canopy beds, free-standing wooden closets and tables. There is a garden up on the roof line, where guests can enjoy the view.
There are two main dining rooms located on the east side of the mansion, not far from the kitchen. One large eating area has a lovely view of the large grounds. The other smaller eating area is located on an enclosed patio which offers a view of more gardens and a delightful fountain.
The original, renovated, tiled pool is in lovely shape and the pool house next to it was where John and Elizabeth first lived as a couple while their mansion was being finished.
While John Klein was a talented man, not only an architect and jeweler, he had the foresight and smarts to diversify his wealth into other fields such as banking, cotton and lumber. He married young Elizabeth Bartley Day when she was 16 and he was 30. John had met her when the then 14 year old Elizabeth had first moved with her Ohio-based family to be with relatives in New Orleans.
John Alexander Klein gave Cedar Grove Hall to Elizabeth as a wedding present. The finishing touches were finished in 1852. John and Elizabeth had 10 children in this home, three of whom died, which wasn’t bad for the times they lived in, with no vaccines or antibiotics.
During the Civil War, John Klein fought on the side of the South, leaving a pregnant wife behind. The inevitable Union attack from the Yazoo River left an embedded cannon ball in the parlor wall, their own souvenir! Luckily, Elizabeth was a relative of General Sherman. During the siege of Vicksburg, General Sherman moved the very pregnant Elizabeth to the Union side so she could safely have her son. Then General Sherman turned Cedar Grove Hall into a Union hospital which gave the home further protection.
After the war, the Kleins were able to meet the tax burden put on their home because of the money in the hidden safe mentioned above. Various members of the Klein family lived here until 1919, when they sold it to outsiders.
By 1983 when Estelle and Ted Macky bought Cedar Grove Mansion, it was a very long in the tooth fixer upper and needed TLC badly. They restored the mansion and put things back the way they were supposed to be, which surely pleased the entities of the John Klein family which began to show themselves soon after.
Estelle and Ted did a lot of work restoring the grounds as well, bought back the old carriage house, and bought the houses across the street, turning them into cottages to be part of the Cedar Grove Mansion Inn. Cedar Grove Mansion Inn and Restaurant now sits on 5 acres, and is a very impressive place to stay and enjoy.
HISTORY OF MANIFESTATIONS
John and Elizabeth Klein loved their home. John Klein liked to smoke a pipe in his favorite chair in the Gentleman’s parlor on the first floor. Elizabeth Klein took pride in her home and family. Though well-off because of good planning and lucky in other aspects, tragedy did strike the family several times.
Dumb kid accident: One of the Klein’s sons, a 17 year boy, was accidentally shot on the back outside stairway when the gun he was carrying was accidentally dropped and discharged.
Deadly Illnesses or mishaps:
One daughter died in an upstairs bedroom probably from a childhood disease. Two infants died in the nursery of unknown causes; from disease or SIDS? When the family sold the property and mansion to someone outside the family in 1919, 3 family graves were moved to a cemetery.
Cedar Grove was used as a Union Hospital where some men obviously died.
A young woman from a family who lived in the mansion at a later time, shot herself in the ballroom.
Various entities of the Klein family have moved back in, willing to share their home with the living.
The entity of John Klein still is master of his home, perhaps not quite trusting the living’s judgment, and keeps a fatherly eye on the staff, owners and guests.
When someone enters or goes near his gentleman’s parlor and he doesn’t like them for some reason, the smell of a pipe can suddenly be noticed.
The sounds of children playing and the sounds of a baby crying have been heard.
The entity of Elizabeth Klein has been seen walking down the front stairs of the home she loved so much, just happily going about her business.
One of the graves moved in 1919 was of a little girl, perhaps the daughter who died in the second floor bedroom.
The entity of this little girl has been seen by staff and guests and often heard going up and down the steps leading to the second floor. She looks lost, sad and puzzled.
Foot steps have been heard going up the outside stairway, which are perhaps made by the teenage son still trying to come home.
Other people have claimed to see some entities of Civil War era soldiers wandering around the mansion and sometimes going up the stairs.
It is thought by some that the female entity of the suicide death is perhaps also floating around the mansion, ballroom, and using the steps as well.
What a lovely place to try to work out one’s issues, a respite from reality, a truly lovely mansion for both the living and the ghosts who stay here because of their own reasons.
Tom and I stayed here in July of 2006 in a glorious, antique-filled second floor bedroom. While walking around downstairs by myself the next morning, I went by the gentleman’s parlor and smelled the distinct, sweet odor of a pipe smoke for a few minutes before it disappeared. Oh Oh! My presence wasn’t appreciated. Perhaps I was disturbing someone’s quiet time. I made a hasty retreat.
2200 Oak Street,
Vicksburg, Mississippi 39180
601-636-1000 * 800-862-1300
Cedar Grove Mansion Inn and Restaurant, which has glorious view of the Yazoo River from its location on the bluff, can be found in the Garden District on the corner of Klein Street and Oak Street, off of Highway 80, known as Washington Street. It is just one mile from historic downtown Vicksburg.
To find the Garden District, take I-20 Clay Street Exit 4B. Turn left on Washington. Continue until you reach Klein street and turn right. Take the first left onto Oak Street. Entrance will be on the left.
- Cedar Grove Mansion, Inn and Restaurant brochure.
- Haunted Places: The National Directory, by William Dennis Hauk, The Penguin Group, 2002.
- Haunted Inns of the Southeast, by Sheila Turnage, John F. Blair, Publisher, 2001.
Our Haunted Paranormal Stories are Written by Julie Carr