Linden Bed and Breakfast
A family’s forever home in life,
has become their favorite place in their afterlife.
A matriarch who suffered fatal burns doesn’t dwell on it,
but finds ways to amuse herself!
One of the spectral male owners likes to wear his
dress-up clothes everyday of his afterlife.
“Come as Guests, Leave as Family.”
Both the living owners and the spectral residents show southern hospitality to guests, living up to the promise of Linden’s welcoming culture.
Linden Mansion Antebellum Bed and Breakfast is a wonderful combination of architectural styles. Some sources report that it is somewhat spread out. Though Linden Mansion has an antebellum facade, that borrows elements from Georgian and Grecian architecture, it still has the original 1785 Federalist design, and a two story, rectangular shape, with East and West Wings added behind the original home in 1818 and 1849.
Structurally, the 1818 remodel of the facade with its columns inspired Hollywood’s “Tara,” the mansion seen in the movie, “Gone with the Wind.”
It definitely was an impressive remodel that pleased the 1818 owner, the former Mississippi Senator Thomas Buck Reed, perhaps in memory of a favorite southern family home.
The entrance used by guests, owners and staff has been moved to the West Wing side where the driveway was constructed and the parking lot for visitors is located. The original 1795 doors in the original front entrance may have been too hard to be frequently opened for guests.
The first floor interior has a blend of decor styles reflecting different tastes. The traditional common rooms are in the Federalist style with Colonial style elements, and 1824 additions of a separate front gallery (a large veranda with a roof and sides, and an opening for the outside stairs), perhaps to match the back gallery that was already built.
A dining room was added as well. The additions blended in well with the existing rooms. Guests of the bed and breakfast enjoy all the rooms on the first floor. The gallery spruces up the interior, and some guests stay in the first floor guest room. The dining room, located in the beginning of the West Wing, is where guests are served breakfast, and the parlor and living rooms are favorites for reading, playing games and having conversation.
Most of the Linden’s guest rooms are in the West Wing, though some are also in the East Wing. The wings also have covered verandas with rocking chairs and small tables.
In between the wings and behind the main house there is a grassy area and garden, a lovely place to relax as well, and perhaps fly around if you are a certain spirit!
Many of the Conner family’s antiques and possessions can be found throughout the home, as the family has been here for such a long time.
Surprises are sometimes found by the owners. When we came to visit in 2022, the son-in-law of owner Jeanette Feltus, (one of the husbands of one of her daughters), talked to us and was very excited about finding a covered up old fireplace in one of the ground floor rooms of the East Wing. He was restoring it to what it looked like in 1818.
Most of the families who lived here added their special touch to this property to suit their tastes and needs. In 1785, Alexander Moore and his son James built their two-story forever home, “Oaklands.”
It started out as being a spacious, two story, Federalist style home with a central main hall running from front to back. There are two rooms on each side of the hall. Bedrooms were on the second floor, with one bedroom on the first floor.
The open staircase is located in central hall.
In 1818, the Moore family sold the mansion to the United States Senator and former Attorney General of Mississippi, Thomas Buck Reed. He renamed it “Reedland.” He spruced up the principal face of the mansion considerably, changing the Federalist architecture, using elements of the antebellum Georgian and Grecian styles, made complete with pillars. He also expanded the living space by adding the single story East Wing, giving more room for family, like his mother-in-law and /or mother.
In 1829, the Reed family sold Reedland to Dr. John Ker who became a prominent physician and planter in Natchez. He renamed it “Linden.” Dr. John added the living room and the front gallery. Twenty years later, recently widowed Jane E. Conner was the new owner. She moved in with her nine children, determined to provide for them to the best of her ability while living the life of a widow, dressed in black, with hardly any social life.
Needing more room for her children, she added the single floor West Wing, where she set up a home school so she could teach them herself, as she couldn’t afford to send them away to school. This West Wing really improved what had been a rather odd looking home, matching the East Wing and creating a courtyard and garden area.
Her two school rooms became bedrooms with owners who lived here in the years that followed. Jane added to the wonderful facade by planting seven stately cedars of Lebanon in front of Linden as well!
She was blessed with a plethora of decendants who continued to live here for one hundred and seventy-four years, never selling it out of the family.
The 6th generation of the Conner family is now living here, maintaining and restoring their family home by running their bed and breakfast, using the bedrooms for guests. In 2011, author Barbara Sillery interviewed the owner at the time, Jeanette Feltus, for her story on Linden for her book, The Haunting of Mississippi.
Jeanette became a member of the Conner clan by marrying Richard Feltus, the son of Dick Feltus who grew up at Linden with his brother and sister Margaret. Richard and his siblings also grew up at Linden, but moved out to have their own homes in Natchez.
When Richard’s Aunt Marjorie died in 1970 while living at Linden, Dick and Richard bought out the other four family members. Richard, Jeanette and their two teen daughters Margie and Celise, and father-in-law Dick became the new living residents. Margie and Celise had rooms on the second floor of the main structure, while Jeanette and Richard moved into a ground floor bedroom in the East Wing. Buzzers were installed to allow for communication between parents and daughters. This solved the problem of living with teen music and teens’ need for privacy.
When their daughters were up and out, Richard and Jeanette planned to open a bed and breakfast. Richard suddenly died right before this could be done, followed by Dick. Jeanette went ahead and opened Linden Antebellum Bed and Breakfast. She wasn’t alone in this endeavor, as she had the family spirits cheering her on, trying to be helpful.
HISTORY OF MANIFESTATIONS
Forever homes, especially ones used for more than one generation of the same family, often draw back the spirits who lived there.
Morgan House, MA (Spirits of the Morgan family continue to spend their afterlives in their home).
Asahel Kidder/Wood Farm House, VT (Owners of the Maplewood Inn now located in the farm house have discovered that they are sharing their inn with spectral members of the Kidder/Wood family).
Dutton House, VT (Spirits here represent several generations of the Dutton family who have various reactions to museum visitors tromping through their home).
Linden Antebellum Bed and Breakfast, MS (Spirits from several generations of the Conner family love their family home, feel welcomed by their descendants, and are free to be themselves, not concerned by the reactions of guests).
The spirits of people who died suddenly before they were ready sometimes decide to remain and enjoy their existences as best they can as spirits, in places that they loved and don’t want to leave just yet.
St. Johns Twin Cinema, OR (A vaudeville actor was mugged and killed in the alley next to this theater. While he yearns to be back on stage, he finds some comfort by becoming a spectral St. Johns Twin Cinema team member, doing his best to support employees).
Liberty Hall, KY (When a child of the Brown Family died in 1817, kindly yet frail Aunt Margaret Varick was asked to make the hard journey to come and comfort the child’s mother. Aunt Margaret died shortly after arriving, and wasn’t able to comfort her niece. To make herself feel better, her spirit is determined to help whoever lives or stays in Liberty Hall).
Moravian College, PA (When WW 1 interrupted the goals of an undergraduate when he was drafted and killed on the battlefield, his spirit came back to college and attends the classes he needs to graduate).
Linden Antebellum Bed and Breakfast, MS (A Reed family matriarch died of her burns suffered when her dress caught fire from the fireplace. She makes the best of it, by finding activities to amuse herself).
Sometimes life’s circumstances deprive people of things that they love and enjoy.
Hartford Twain House, CT (Mark Twain and his wife had to leave the home they loved because of the memory of a daughter who died, and because Mark wasn’t good at managing his money. They are making up for it now!)
Linden Antebellum Bed and Breakfast, MS (The life of Mrs. Jane Conner changed drastically after her husband died. She became a single mom with the huge responsibility of raising and taking care of nine children while observing southern mourning customs. She gave up her formal social life, bought a mansion, and took care of her children).
The spirits who visit or reside here feel very much at home, and will appear to Conner Family members, and to overnight guests as a matter of courtesy and hospitality. The two rooms located on the second floor of the original house are both favorites of the spirits who reside here. The West Wing is also a hot spot, especially Dick’s room.
The spirit of a welcoming gentleman likes to appear in the original house’s two upstairs guest rooms, wearing coat tails and top hat.
The dress attire points to an early 19th century owner, perhaps the spirit of Thomas Buck Reed, or Dr. John Ker, or perhaps any of the Conner family men who lived here in the late 19th or early 20th century.
This well-dressed spirit likes to stay in the attic when he isn’t visiting the living and taking strolls around the second floor hallways.
Cerise was in her room with the door open. She saw a solid apparition walking by her room into the gallery.
In a panic, she buzzed her mom who called the police, and arrived with her gun, but no one was there.
A Party With Family!!
When Margie returned home from college with some of her friends to attend the White Formal, the family held champaign parties before this event. Margie’s close friends wanted to do a seance, so Jeanette asked a medium over to conduct it.
After the seance, Margie and her friends say that a female spirit appeared, thought to be Jane Conner, Marjorie’s four times grandmother.
The spirit of Jane Conner was so excited because of all the parties being held here, as well as being able to speak to her 4 times granddaughter.
Jane is enjoying the parties held for Margie and her friends, as well as all the other social events in this mansion through the eras. She is enjoying her home and the events as a spirit).
Let’s Be Welcoming to Guests
A couple staying in Dick’s room in the West Wing, woke up to see the benign and friendly spirits of Dick, his brother, his sister Margaret, and her two children who died early.
Guest Barbara Sillery’s Experience
In her book, The Hauntings of Mississippi, she reports on her paranormal experience.
She was staying in the south room of the West Wing.
During the evening, she heard the floorboard creaking on and off.
At 2:00 AM, Barbara heard a child’s voice coming from right next to her bed saying, “Hello!”
Barbara answered, “Hello there!”
I Love to Sing Too
A couple and their musically gifted daughter who has a wonderful voice, were staying in Margie’s room.
The parents were awakened by a beautiful female voice.
Their daughter slept through it all, so it wasn’t her who was singing.
Spirit of the Matriarch of Reed Family
Her spirit has been seen flying from the southern part of the East Wing into the grassy courtyard, disappearing before reaching the ground.
This is her favorite thing to do.
When Jeanette’s husband Richard was a teen, he used to play pool in the room on the second floor which had a great view of the courtyard.
He and his friends saw her fly to the ground, as have other guests through the eras.
Owners, members of the long line of the Conner family, along with visitors and guests, have had a boatload of experiences with the many resident spirits who so enjoy their beloved Linden and the people who live and visit here.
Contacts have been made with them through mediums, as they gladly show up to talk to the living.
Paranormal investigating groups haven’t been allowed inside because it is known who is residing here and they don’t want to annoy their friendly spirits.
A big Yes Indeed! Spirits of members of the Conner clan and of earlier residents who loved living here are enthusiastic and fearless as they reside here in their afterlife.
1 Conner Circle
Natchez, MS 39120-7045
Linden Antebellum Bed and Breakfast is located just four minutes from the center of downtown Natchez and the Mississippi River. This impressive bed and breakfast is located on a seven acre estate.
- The Haunting of Mississippi, by Barbara Sillery, Pelican Publications 2011, pg 1-1 -111