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VOL. 4 NO. 4

g n i enjoy


COTTONWOOD: Brew pub part of downtown revitalization


General Manager Jan Griffey Contributors Ernest Bowker Terri Cowart Frazier Rob Sigler John Surratt Photography Courtland Wells Walter Frazier Marketing Beth Hennington Sheila Mantz Creative Services David Girard

We say ‘thank you’


Award would not be possible without all of you

am a magazine connoisseur. I like the slick feel of their pages and brilliant photography. I also like their content. They offer information in a short, concise, easy-to-read format. So, when the Vicksburg Post decided to do a magazine, I was excited to become part of the Vicksburg Living team. This year, the Vicksburg Post was voted “Best Magazine” in the A/B Division during the Mississippi Press Association Better Newspaper Contest for 2017, and although this honor acknowledged our hard work, make no mistake, we at The Post could not have been successful without you sharing with us your stories and opening the doors of your homes. For this, I say thank you from all of us at the Vicksburg Post. And to kick off our third year of publication, we got a little spooky with this edition of our magazine. Don’t miss out on reading about the ghost stories from Duff Green, the McRaven House and Lakemont. Some of these accounts will make your hair stand on end.


Kuhn Hospital, for the past several years, has also had quite the reputation for being haunted, but what was Kuhn like when it was first built? In John Surratt’s story on the hospital, readers will learn some of its early history, and those it served. In this issue we also take a look inside the Cottonwood Public House, an award-winning brewpub in downtown Vicksburg. Fall is in the air and the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory is gearing up for their biggest season of caramel and candy apples sales. TyAnn Ellis lets readers in on how many of these treats the local franchise sales. Vicksburg also has a variety of events planned for the fall. From the Westside Theatre Foundation’s production of the “Rocky Horror Show” to the Southern Heritage Air Foundation’s Best Little Air show in the World. Be sure and mark your calendars for a fun-filled September and October. —Terri Cowart Frazier

Audience Services Stacy Hartley Contact Information Vicksburg Living 1601-F N. Frontage Road Vicksburg, MS 39183 Vicksburg Living is published six times each year by Vicksburg Newsmedia, LLC, 1601-F N. Frontage Road, Vicksburg, MS 39183. Vicksburg Living is a registered trademark. All contents herein are the sole property of Vicksburg Newsmedia, LLC [the Publisher]. No part of this periodical may be reproduced without written permission from the Publisher. Please address all correspondence (including but not limited to letters, story ideas and requests for reprint materials) to Editor, Vicksburg Living, 1601-F N. Frontage Road, Vicksburg, MS 39183. Vicksburg Living is mailed to select households throughout Warren County, and a limited number of free copies are available at local locations. For information on receiving Vicksburg Living at your home, call (601) 636-4545. Advertising inquiries may be made by emailing or by calling (601) 636-4545. Proudly Produced in Vicksburg, Mississippi

Copyright 2018 by Vicksburg Newsmedia, LLC




HAUNTED STORIES Historic homes have haunting stories believed to be true.


HANG OUT Brew pub has brought a spark to downtown.

FALL TREATS Delicious caramel apples are perfect for those cool autumn days. VICKSBURG LIVING • 5




CITY HALL Unique building of city government has not changed much in 116 years.



KUHN HOSPITAL Vicksburg’s historic hospital has quite a story to tell.

... and so much more inside. VICKSBURG LIVING




VOL. 4 NO. 4

ing enjoy


COTTONWOOD: Brew pub part of downtown revitalization

ON THE COVER The photograph on the cover of this edition of Vicksburg Living was taken by Vicksburg Post photographer Courtland Wells.






OCT. 13 BEST LITTLE AIR SHOW IN THE WORLD The Best Little Air Show In The World, sponsored by the Southern Heritage Air Foundation, will be held Saturday, Oct. 13 at the Vicksburg-Tallulah Regional Airport. Gates will open at 9 a.m. and the show will feature the Hall of Fame Aeroshell Aerobatic Team, the Flash Fire Jet Truck, Air Boss Wayne Boggs and more. Admission ranges from $15 to $50. For more information and ticket pricing, call 318-574-2731 or visit



OCT. 6 OLD COURT HOUSE FLEA MARKET The annual Old Court House Flea Market, 1008 Cherry St., will run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6. The event will feature arts/crafts and food booths. For more information, call 601636-0741.

OCT. 13 OVER THE RIVER RUN The 30th Annual Over The River Run, sponsored by the Southern Cultural Heritage Foundation, begins at 8 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 13 at the Old Mississippi River Bridge at I-20 and Washington Street and will cross the bridge and end back at the Warren County State Welcome Center. A 1-mile fun run will follow. The cost is $25 for the run and $10 for the fun run before Oct. 1. Family and corporate packages will also be offered through Oct. 1. For more information, call 601-631-2997 or email

4 SEPT. 1-2 SOLDIER’S EXPERIENCE SERIES The Vicksburg National Military Park will offer the Soldier’s Experience Series at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 1 and Sunday Sept. 2 at the VNMP Visitors Center, 3201 Clay St. Living historians will speak about the common soldier’s tool and percussion musket. Demonstrations will be included. For more information, call 601-636-0583 or visit SEPT. 8 MAD SCIENTIST 5K RUN/WALK The second annual Mad Scientist 5k Run/Walk is scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 8 at the Engineer Research and Development Center, 3909 Halls Ferry Road. A one-mile fun run will be held at 9:15 a.m. The cost is $25 for the 5Krun/walk, $15 for the fun run and $100 for 5K run/walk teams. For more information call 601-634-3706 or email SEPT. 20 THROUGH OCT. 7 VICKSBURG FALL PILGRIMAGE The Vicksburg Bed and Breakfast Association will present a Vicksburg Fall Pilgrimage featuring historic homes of Vicksburg on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday afternoons from Sept. 20 through Oct. 7. Tickets are $45 for three venues and are available online and at the Vicksburg Visitors Information Center, 52 Old Highway 27. For more information, call 601-456-0420 or visit

OCT. 5, 12, 13, 19, 20, 26, 27 & 31 ‘ROCKY HOROR PICTURE SHOW’ The Westside Theatre Foundation will present the “Rocky Horror Show” at the Strand Theatre, 717 Clay St. Shows will begin at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 5, 12,13,19,20,26 and 27 and at 11:59 p.m. Oct. 31. Tickets for the live performance are $15 in advance at the Highway 61 Coffeehouse, 1101 Washington St. and $20 at the door. Tickets are also available For more information, visit

SEPT. 21 AND 22 FIBER FUN IN THE ‘SIP The inaugural Fiber Fun In The ‘Sip will begin at 8 a.m. Friday, Sept. 21 and Saturday, Sept. 22 at the Vicksburg Convention Center, 1600 Mulberry St. The event will be two days of fiber arts that will include knitting, crocheting, weaving and spinning. There will also be live music and a full schedule of classes with a roster of teachers that are nationally and locally known. Entry fee is $5. For more information, call 601-636-0510 or visit SEPT. 14 AND 15 NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM The Old Court House Museum, 1008 Cherry St., will host a Night at the Museum beginning at 7 p.m. Friday Sept. 14 and Saturday, Sept. 15 in the courtroom. The cost is $15 and $10 for grades K-12. Seating is limited, and advance reserved tickets are available only at the Old Courthouse. For more information call 601-636-0741. SEPT. 27 SUPPER ON THE ‘SIP The United Way of West Central Mississippi will host Supper on the Sip from 6-8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 27 on the Old Mississippi River Bridge. The cost is $35 and includes an all you can eat buffet and live music. For more information or tickets, call 601-636-1733 or visit www.unitedwayvicksburg. org/sip

SEPT. 29 9TH ANNUAL BRICKS AND SPOKES The 9th Annual Bricks and Spokes bike ride is scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 29. The event includes 10-mile, 30-mile, 50-mile and 62-mile routes through Vicksburg, across the Old Mississippi River Bridge and Louisiana. All bikes are welcomed as well as skill levels. For more information or to register, call 601-634-4527, email, kimh@ or visit, OCT. 12 TWILIGHT AIR SHOW The Twilight Air Show, sponsored by the Southern Heritage Air Foundation, will be held Friday, Oct. 12 at the Vicksburg-Tallulah Regional Airport. The air show will run from 4 to 10 p.m. and includes a live concert. Admission is $40. For more information, call 318-574-2731 or visit www. OCT. 26, 27 & 28 ‘HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME’ The Vicksburg Theatre Guild will present the “Hunchback of Notre Dame” beginning at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26 and Saturday, Oct. 27 and beginning at 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 28. Shows will also be offered Nov. 1-4 at the Parkside Playhouse Theatre, 101 Iowa Ave. Tickets are $20, $15 for ages 65 and older and $10 for ages 12 and younger and are available the day of the show at the VTG box office. Advance tickets are available online at events/10243.


COURTLAND WELLS | Vicksburg Living

WHERE AM I? A unique spot in Vicksburg


Do you know Vicksburg like the back of your hand? Let’s put that to the test. Let us know if you know where this photograph was taken. Simply email your “guess” to or send us a message through Vicksburg Living’s Facebook page. We will reveal the location in the November/December 2018 edition of Vicksburg Living. Editor’s note: In the July/August edition, the Where Am I? photo was the John Gregg statue located at Melborn Place.

Reading suggestions from the Warren County-Vicksburg Public Library

AUTUMN READING Nonfiction • “Feast by Firelight” by Emma Frisch As autumn arrives, and the weather cools down, take your cooking outside with this guide to gourmet campfire cooking. And if you’re not the outdoorsy type, you can just use your backyard grill! • “Hell’s Princess” by Harold Schecter Want to scare yourself at Halloween? Check out this true tale of one of the prolific (and bloody) female serial killers in American history.

Fiction • “The Price of the Haircut” by Brock Clarke The stories in this collection are delivered with satire, compassion and irony – just like real life.This book will make you either laugh or cry. Sometimes both at the same time. • “Into the Thinnest of Air” by Simon R. Green The curse of Tyrone’s Castle is reawakened as guests at the inn start disappearing. But with no bodies – and no clues – how can the mystery be solved, and lives saved? Young Adult • “Tradition” by Brendan Kiely Fall means the return of school, and this story explores several issues that students around the country deal with daily. Can Jules and Jamie survive the prestigious Fullbrook Academy and its toxic secrets?



SUEDE DRESS Look stylish tailgating in this long sleeve suede dress by Simple Southern. Paired with a gold and carmine colored stone necklace, one is sure to make a winning impression. Available at Zsa Zsa’s, 222 Frontage Road; Dress, $31, necklace $30. Call 601-883-9954 or


4 HAPPY FALL Make every day happy with designer porcelain ware by Laura Johnson. Pictured is a Happy Everything base plate with a mini jack-o-lantern attachment. Available at the Cinnamon Tree, 1322 Washington St. Plate, $44.95, mini attachment $15.95; More bases and attachments available. Call 601-636-6525.



MINI SAUCERS Whether you are a Bulldog fan or a Rebel, these miniature saucers can make the perfect gift for students or alums. They also work great for holding rings. Available at the Cinnamon Tree, 1322 Washington St. $19.95; More designs available. Call 601-636-6525.

4 WINEGLASSES Toast to the fall season with these elegant gold leafed wineglasses by ELM Designs. Available at Sassafras, 1406 Washington St. $29. More styles available in gold, silver and copper. Call 601-638-3744.

JALAPENO JAM Paired with the subtle heat of jalapenos, Raven’s Original Raspberry Jalapeno Jam simply serve over a block of cream cheese as an appetizer, blend with cream cheese for a spirited fruit dip, or heat to make a glaze on grilled salmon or a marinade for pork tenderloin. Available at Peterson’s Art & Antiques, 1400 Washington St. $8.25. Call 601-636-7210.


PARTY CUPS Entertaining just got easier. Try out these ready-to-fill party cups by Sable & Rosenfeld. Available at Peterson’s Art & Antiques, 1400 Washington St. Package of 64 cups, $11.50. Call 601-636-7210.



APPETIZER For those looking for a quick dessert or appetizer to serve, try Wind and Willow White Chocolate Amaretto Cheesecake Cheeseball & Dessert Mix. Available at Peterson’s Art & Antiques, 1400 Washington St. $4.99. Call 601-636-7210.


CANDLE HOLDERS Make any room sparkle with these gold-sphered candle holders. Available at Sassafras, 1406 Washington St. $24, large, $18, small. Call 601-638-3744. VICKSBURG LIVING • 13




The former University of Mississippi Medical School sits at the front of what is now the Kuhn Memorial Hospital property in this photo from the early 1900s. 14 • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018



o Ann Franco remembers what it was like working at Kuhn Memorial Hospital. /// “It was an interesting place to work; we would get some things you wouldn’t see in a private hospital,” said Franco, who taught nursing at then-Hinds Junior College and later worked as a nurse at Kuhn in the final two years before it closed. “At one time, there was a rehabilitation unit there, and we had blind division that had patients who went there to learn how to navigate and learn other skills. We got people from all over the state,” Franco said. “We served patients and provided care for all, regardless of their ability to pay or not,” said Johnnie Johnson, who was director of nursing at Kuhn from 1980 until it closed in 1989. “These patients were local, and came from Louisiana and from across our state. We were classified as a level 3 hospital during the 80s, and sometimes we provided ambulance service to high level hospitals.” Kuhn closed in 1989 when the state stopped funding for its charity hospital system as a cost-saving move, marking the first time in 106 years the state of Mississippi did not provide funding for a hospital in the city. After Kuhn closed, there were several attempts to find programs to make the buildings viable — two were a nursing home and a youth mental facility — but nothing came to pass, and over the years the vacant buildings went into decline and disrepair. The city acquired the property in November 2016, and now the buildings are waiting for the wrecking ball. But the buildings presently on the property are only the latest to occupy the property at 1422 Martin Luther King Boulevard, which for 142 years had been the site of a hospital complex that served not only Warren County, but the state of Mississippi. The first was the Reading House, which the city acquired in 1847 for $1,200 to use as a hospital after the city’s first hospital burned. Union and Confederate soldiers were treated there during the Civil War, with the Union 16 • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018


Army taking control of it after the siege for its wounded. The hospital was returned to the city in 1865. In 1871, city officials asked the state for funding for the hospital because of the number of patients coming there from across Mississippi. “The state agreed, with the condition the state establish a board of trustees,” said Nancy Bell, executive director of the Vicksburg Foundation for Historic Preservation. “That was when it started being called the state hospital.” Two years later, the Legislature refused to 18 • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018

provide further funding until 1883, when it approved an annual appropriation, that continued until Kuhn Closed in 1989. “The whole time the hospital was a city hospital,” Bell said. “The hospital was never sold to the state. The state provided money for the hospital, but it remained owned by the city.” The Legislature approved the funding, she said, “Because they (the hospital staff) were serving people from all over. Many people were not from Vicksburg, because there was just no place else for people to go. From 1865 to 1878, they treated 9,957 people. Of those,

7,370 were not from Vicksburg.” In 1901, the United Daughters of the Confederacy built an annex for aging Confederate veterans next door to the hospital. “For the most part, the United Daughters of the Confederacy paid for the building with some help from the state,” Bell said. “It was a nice little home where people could live out their lives. The doctors for the hospital cared for them. Money raised by concerts and riverboat rides. In 1918 the building burned; five veterans were living there, and they survived the fire.”

The state’s presence at the hospital increased in 1908, when the University of Mississippi took control of the hospital and it became the Mississippi State Charity hospital. In 1909, the university built an addition for the medical school with the plan that medical students would do their first two years of training in Oxford and complete their training in Vicksburg to get their degree. The first — and last — class in Vicksburg started in September 1909 with 30 students. In 1910, the Legislature refused to fund the school’s second year, opting instead to build a

charity hospital in Jackson and relocate the medical school there. The three-story medical school building in Vicksburg later housed patients, and one floor became a dormitory for nurses. It also had an operating room and a lecture hall. Kuhn legacy The buildings that bear the name of Kuhn were built at separate times. The building fronting Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard that for many is the face of Kuhn, was built in 1962. The three-story building in the rear of the property was built in 1954 for $1 million.

One-third of that building’s cost was paid by Lee Kuhn, who grew up in Vicksburg and later moved to New York. “When he died, he left $400,000 in his will to Vicksburg Charity Hospital, and asked for the board to decide the use of money to build the building,” Bell said. “The federal government put up the rest of the money.” Kuhn, she said, did not ask for recognition or honor for his contribution, but “people just started calling it Kuhn Hospital.” As Kuhn’s final days neared, changes began occurring at the hospital, Franco said. VICKSBURG LIVING • 19


About two years before the hospital closed, she said, the nursing program was discontinued. “We had foreign doctors working at the hospital,” she said of the final years. “There were not enough registered nurses. Each floor had a head nurse who was a registered nurse and there were lots of licensed practical nurses who took care of the patients.” The rehab unit and blind division were removed. “We just had patient care,” she said. “Then we had to transfer most of the patients who needed surgery to University (Medical Center). There were a lot of babies born there; a lot of people came in to deliver. It was a good comradeship among every one who worked here. “Of course we had to send most of them (patients) to UMC, and us nurses would have to ride in the ambulance with the patients to transfer over. Even the OB patients, if they were having problems, they would have to be transferred, and the nurses would have to ride in the ambulance. “You’d pray on the way there that they didn’t deliver the baby on you in the ambulance. It was a lot of interesting things.” A lot of the cases transferred to hospitals like University of Mississippi Medical Center and local hospitals like Mercy and Vicksburg Hospital, Johnson said, were specialty cases Kuhn was not equipped to handle. “A large number of our cases were maternal cases and newborn babies,” she said. “During this period (1980-89), Kuhn could boast the highest number of newborns within the city. They were delivered by nurse midwives on staff and some doctors. Mothers delivered at Kuhn, because sometimes they had no insurance, and sometimes they delivered because of personal preference.” Johnson said the staff “worked long and hard hours to keep the hospital afloat.” During that same time, she said, the hospital achieved joint commission accreditation. After the hospital closed, she said, nurses and staff were able to find jobs at local hospitals or hospitals in other cities. “When I see my staff members, we always remember the good memories and the sad ones about closing the hospital,” she said. Vicksburg pediatrician Dr. Gordon Sluice, who spent time at Kuhn as a medical student and later cared for some patients in the hospital’s nursery when he began his practice in 1982, said the hospital provided care for people who otherwise would not have received it. “They received quality care from a good staff,” he said. Franco agreed. “It was a lot of good care given to people who could not have afforded to go any place but there.” VICKSBURG LIVING • 21


The 1797 portion of the McRaven House where the spirit of Andrew Glass returns. 22 • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018



The small space under the stairway at McRaven House where two little ghost boys have been known to inhabit.


he wind began to howl. /// A storm was brewing outside, and as the gusts became stronger, it caused the lights to flicker, until they eventually went out. /// The house was dark, now, and eerily quiet, until all of the sudden a strange noise could be heard — thump, thump, thump.

How many of us have heard ghost stories that began much like this one while sitting around a campfire or huddled together at a pallet party? Though fictional in nature, these stories can provide quite a bit of entertainment. Theatrics aside, paranormal activity might really have some “legs” in Vicksburg. Local resident Harry Sharp, who owned the Duff Green Mansion, which is located at 1st East St. said not only did he come in contact with one spirit at the antebellum home,


there have been several. “The most famous one and the one that was seen the most was a Confederate soldier who was sitting by the fire place in the Dixie room that is one of the first floor bedrooms that is directly underneath the dining room,” Sharp said. During the Siege of Vicksburg, the home of Duff and Mary Lake Green had become a hospital that housed both Confederate and Union Soldiers. The Dixie Room, as it is referred now, had been the operating room.



Legend has it that they did hundreds and hundreds of amputations in that room throwing limbs through the open doors on either side where they piled up to the ceiling.” — Harry Sharp, former owner of Duff Green Mansion

The living room of the Duff Green Mansion where 4-year-old Lydia Nettles saw a mean little girl scowling. VICKSBURG LIVING • 27

“Legend has it that they did hundreds and hundreds of amputations in that room, throwing limbs through the open doors on either side where they piled up to the ceiling,” Sharp said, “and this one particular soldier, who had had his leg amputated, has been seen by tourists and guests just sitting by the fireplace staring straight ahead.” Other paranormal accounts include a figure that was standing at the front door of the mansion wearing either a morning coat or some kind of uniform, and sightings of two men in long black coats standing over the bed in two different bedrooms of the home. Guests have also reported feeling a pulling on their legs in another of the bedrooms, Sharp said. “We never told people about the paranormal activities when they checked in unless they were curious and asked,” he said. Sharp and his wife, Alicia, lived at Duff Green for more than 30 years. While there, both heard heavy footsteps ascending the stairway of the main floor. One night, while in the kitchen, Sharp saw a woman in an antebellum gown floating past the door in the dining room. “I saw it as clear as day. She was blonde and had on a blue dress,” Sharp said. Others have seen this woman too, he said. The most interesting sighting at Duff Green, Sharp said, has been that of a little girl who they believe is Annie Lake Green, the young daughter of the Greens who died from yellow fever. “Many people have seen her and heard the bouncing ball in the middle of the night,” Sharp said. 28 • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018

Harry Sharp poses with his children and grandchildren. Sharp and his wife, Alicia, are former owners of Duff Green Mansion. Pictured are Katie Sharp Nettles, Sharp and David Sharp, along with Lee and Lydia Nettles, sitting.

In fact, Sharp said his granddaughter has even encountered the child. “My granddaughter, Lydia Nettles, when she was 4, she is now 13, walked into the ballroom and got very scared and after discussing it with her, she said she saw what we believe was Annie.” Sharp said his granddaughter said she had seen a mean little girl holding a ball scowling at her. “And our granddaughter did not know about these ghosts because we did not talk to her about it,” Sharp said.

The stairway where former owners of Duff Green Mansion heard footsteps coming up the stairs.

Duff Green

McRaven Like Duff Green, the McRaven home, located on Harrison Street, has been known to have several spirits inhabit its premises. “I experience paranormal activity every day,” general manager and tour guide of the McRaven house Brittany Evans said. Known as Mississippi’s Most Haunted House, McRaven spans three time periods and the spirits that reside there are from all three eras. “Andrew Glass is a pretty popular spirit at the home. He built and lived in the 1797 portion of the home,” Evans said. “He was a highway man or what we like to call here at McRaven a ‘Pioneer Pirate.’” Glass would rob folks who traveled along the Natchez Trace, Evans said, and would then use McRaven as his hideaway. Another active spirit in the home is Mary Elizabeth Howard. She resides in the 1836 portion of the home where she lived with her husband, Steven Howard, Evans said. “Mary loves to entertain VICKSBURG LIVING • 29

the guests at the tour home and has a very gentle and loving persona about her. She loves to open and shut the cabinet door of her bureau often times even in front of guests,” Evans said. “She is also quite the entertainer. Mary has been known to lead people astray from the rest of the group and typically becomes very active around young children and mothers.” 30 • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018

Evans said she believes this is because of her tragic story. “Mary gave birth to her daughter at 15 in the bed that we still have upstairs. She spent two weeks holding her infant daughter and falling in love with her before she passed away from child birth complications,” Evans said. There are also two little ghost boys, Evans said, who run around the home by the names of

Eric and Peekaboo. “They like to mess with the guests and guides by peeking through doors or touching someone on the back. We have several toys that they love to play with around the house as well. We will often times come in and see them rearranged,” she said. Additional spiritual inhabitants are Mr. and Mrs. John Bobb and Annie and Ella Murray.

The Dixie Room at Duff Green Mansion, where a Confederate solider has been seen sitting by the fireplace.

“I have found that in my experience one of the smallest and most active rooms in the house is the gentleman’s changing room. The window taps on a regular basis and Mr. Bobb is often seen at the window,” Evans said. Also, there is often a distinctive smell of cigar smoke in the room, she said. Bobb built the 1849 section of the home,” Evans said, and during the Siege of Vicksburg

he and his wife had allowed the home to be used as a field hospital. Fortunately, the couple survived the 40-day ordeal, but later, Bobb was brutally murdered leaving his spirit to roam the home. The Murray family occupied the home following the Bobbs, Evans said, and up until 1960, two of the daughters, Annie and Ella, lived at McRaven as recluses.

“But the really strange part about these sisters is that they lived like it was the 1800s,” Evans said. “There was no running water or electricity. The only modern convenience they had was a telephone because they chose to be hoarders. They would order stuff from catalogs with their telephone and they bought so many items, they ended up having to shut down the house VICKSBURG LIVING • 31


The McRaven House bedroom where poor Margaret Howard died shortly after giving birth to her daughter.

The McRaven House Gentleman’s Changing Room where the aroma of cigar smoke has been detected. VICKSBURG LIVING • 33

The mirror in the parlor of Lakemont that cracked the first day the home was opened for Spring Pilgrimage.

Lakemont homeowner Becky Jabour

and only stay in the dining room. Often times you will hear the piano being played or people talking in the dining room, and we believe this must be the spinster sisters,” Evans said. Lakemont Unlike Duff Green and McRaven, there is only one spirit that resides at Lakemont and she is known as the “Perfumed Lady.” “The legend of the perfume lady was passed on to us by the Coccaro family when we 34 • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018

The front gallery at Lakemont, where the perfumed lady has been known to return.

bought the house in 1973,” Becky Jabour said, “but it seems people have been fascinated by the house and ghost story for many years. I even have newspaper articles dating to the 1950’s with the story of the tragic and untimely death of William Lake and the ghost story of the Perfumed Lady.” William Lake and his wife Ann had moved to Vicksburg from Maryland. They raised their children in the River City and became an important part of Vicksburg’s early community.

“William Lake had become a prominent lawyer and judge,” Jabour said. “He also served as a state senator and United States Congressman and was elected to the Confederate Congress in 1861.” But after being elected to the Confederate Congress, his political rival M.L. Chambers challenged Lake to a duel, she said. Dueling was not uncommon during this time period and was, in fact, used quite often to settle disputes.

The parlor at Lakemont.

Unfortunately, the duel did not end well for Lake. He was killed and died in the arms of Captain P.T. Leathers, his longtime friend and owner of the Natchez Steamboat Company. Mrs. Lake watched the duel through a spyglass from the top story of the home and witnessed her husband’s untimely death. Though she lived in the home for many years following the duel, she continued to grieve until her death. And it is the ghost of Mrs. Lake who is now said to haunt the ante-

bellum home. Ann Lake was known to have a penchant for the expensive perfume often brought to her by her husband when he returned from his trips to New Orleans, Jabour said, “And in the afternoon, on the front gallery there is a sudden hush, then the strong scent of perfume.” Jabour said at some point, everyone in her family has smelled the perfume on the front porch. She also recalled other strange events that

occurred in her home. Other unexplainable incidents that have happened are the bedroom door closing by itself, books falling out of the bookcase, “And we hear walking on the stairs and in the hall at night when no one is up,” she said. “The house was opened to the public for the first time in 1978 for the Spring Pilgrimage. On the first morning as I was telling the story of Mrs. Lake, the Perfumed Lady, the mirror in the parlor cracked mysteriously,” Jabour said. VICKSBURG LIVING • 35



Cottonwood award-winning Pub House B rewpubs and small craft breweries have become very popular in Mississippi in the last few years, and that includes Vicksburg where an award-winning brewpub has made a big splash since opening earlier this year.

Cottonwood Public House, one of downtown Vicksburg’s newest attractions, serves a mixture of locally brewed beer and craft pizza in a casual environment on Washington Street, while bringing a sense of community to residents of the area. That was owner Tim Cantwell’s vision and goal when he decided residents of The Loft in his First National Building needed a place to come and go and have a casual dinner, listen to live music and enjoy an in-house brewed beer. “We are full in the residences and the folks who live here for the most part aren’t from here so they don’t have a sense of community,”


Cantwell said. “We try to create a sense of community inside The Lofts. That deck is heavily used, but it’s not big enough and this was an ugly old rooftop.” “We talked about public house because that is what we wanted it to be,” General Manager Jon Weimorts said of how they chose the name. “We wanted it to be this community place. You are going to be able to get good ingredients, quality food and drink. We also want it to be casual.” The only way to expand the area was to purchase the buildings at 1309 and 1311 Washington St. and use the available roof space, which left them with the entire downstairs area to use for another project. “I’ve known Tim many years and he called me to do some consulting at the bar at 10 South,” Weimorts said. “About a year later he called me out of the blue and we start talking about this building. They were talking about taking the building for the rooftop … We got the whole building so we were talking about how we were going to do everything. We were laying it out and we knew we were going to do a bar.” After looking at the space available, they decided to also add a brewery to the project and created the Key City Brewery.


Brewer Zack Erickson moved to Vicksburg from San Diego, where he had spent the past several years working in the vibrant craft brew scene. “That is the mecca,” Weimorts said. “San Diego is the largest craft brew producer in the country.” Cottonwood’s brewing area is visible from the street through one of the two sets of floor to ceiling French doors that make up the front of the restaurant. The kitchen in Cottonwood is dominated by a stone pizza oven, with food served in the restaurant made predominantly from fresh ingredients from local suppliers. Weimorts and Blake Parmegiani, the kitchen manager, have been adamant not to use frozen ingredients, bur rather utilize local farms and distributors. The restaurant has a Murphy bed style stage that can be dropped down to host live acts. Since opening in February, Cottonwood has created 15 full-time jobs and has become the “go-to” place to hang out in downtown Vicksburg. “The physical space and level of coolness is all we hoped it would be,” Cantwell said. The new restaurant/bar has also brought accolades from across the state. In June, Cottonwood was chosen Outstanding Economic Impact from the Mississippi Main Street Association as part of the Vicksburg Main Street Association. And in an effort to expand the local home brewers hobby, Key City Brewing Company held a “brew off” in July hosted at Cottonwood called the “Key City Summer Homebrew Competition” that brought competitors from all over the state. Shelby Rayner and his single malt, single hop, Smash IPA named “Hoptimus Prime Did Have a Beard?” won the inaugural event. Similar events are planned in the future, including an Octoberfest and an adoption event with the humane society. Next year, the roof top satelitte bar/beer garden and event space will open above the two-story loft apartments currently being framed. “The community support has been great,” Weimorts said. “So many regulars come in and enjoy a beer or pizza or drinks, and they keep coming back.”


Zack Erickson is the brewer of Key City Brewery in Cottonwood.

Blake Parmegiani is the kitchen manager at Cottonwood, creating unique pizzas in the stone oven pizza.




How you like them Apples? I

t has been said that an apple a day keeps the doctor away. /// So what better way to ward off illness than with the taste of a buttery sweet caramel apple?

Caramel apples are favorites all year long at the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory However, when the leaves begin to drop and the first signs of fall can be felt in the air, TyAnn Ellis knows this is the season when their apple sales peak. “We sell a ton of apples all year long,” Ellis said, “But the fall season is actually considered ‘apple season,’ which means they are more crisp and juicy.” Ellis and her husband, Brady, are the owners of the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, which is located at the Outlets at Vicksburg. During the fall season, Ellis said she uses more than 400 apples weekly. And with a variety of 18 different caramel apples to choose from in addition to candy apples, it is no surprise the couple’s apple sales account for a third of their business. 40 • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018

“Our personal customer favorites are Snickers, Pecan Bear, Tiger Butter, Cheesecake and Strawberry Cheesecake, Ellis said. Customized caramel apples are also offered by the locally owned franchise. “We do a lot of custom apples as well, especially around holidays, and if someone is having a themed birthday party.” Ellis said she has created Disney characters on the caramel apples, as well as Sponge Bob and Spider-man. “We have also done a red cross for Nurses’ Appreciation Week, bride and groom caramel apples, and we have made a mummy apple and a spider apple,” she said. Themed caramel apples are specialties provided by each franchise, Ellis said, since each owner has to come up with their own design.


Green Granny Smith apples are used for both the caramel and candy apples made at the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, but because the business is a franchise, Ellis said, recipes are top secret. However, Ellis did say that from start to finish it takes two to three hours to make the caramel apples. And once the caramel is ready for dipping, a helper is required. “We have to hurry up and hand dip, because every second counts,” Ellis said, adding that her hands usually get tired after making 180 to 250 caramel apples at one time. “Red candy apples are not as long of a process, she said, “But it does require cooking at a higher cooking temperature, which can cause some serious burns. We like to call them our battle wounds.” The results, however, are well worth the effort for both kinds of apple treats. “All said and done, I do have to say it is a rewarding seeing the same people come in for the weekly snack or hearing how amazing they are when they bite into them,” Ellis said. Ellis revealed her personal favorites are 42 • SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2018

the Snickers, Smore’s and apple pie caramel apples. “I just can’t have one,” she said. Ellis described the franchise’s secret caramel recipe used on the apples as unique. “Our caramel apples have a soft caramel on them. It is not chewy or considered as a hard caramel,” she said. So for those wearing braces, indulging in one of the treats might not cause alarm for orthodontists. “We have many customers who come in and enjoy these treats with braces,” Ellis said. The shelf life of a Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory caramel apple, Ellis said, is anywhere from five to seven days. “The Red Candy apples will last five days, she said, that is if they are not sliced. “Once you cut them they will start to turn due to it being a fruit,” she said. For more than a century, folks have been enjoying candied apples, while caramel apples came along less than 50 years later. Ironically, both treats were invented after experiments were conducted using holiday candies.

In 1908, Newark, New Jersey candy maker William W. Kolb invented the red candy apple after experimenting with red cinnamon candy he was selling for Christmas. And in 1950, Kraft Foods employee Dan Walker came up with the recipe for caramel apples by using excess caramels from Halloween sales. According to, in 1960, Vito Raimondi is credited for inventing and patenting the first automated caramel apple-dipping machine with the help of his uncle. “Vito worked making caramel apples in his uncle William Raimondi’s candy shop,” the website stated, “Because hand-dipping caramel apples was tiring work.” Ellis said they do not use any type of machinery in making their caramel apples. “Everything is made from scratch, and we hand dip,” she said. Ellis said the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory caramel and candy apples make great gifts, offering them in cello bags with a ribbon. And to make sharing easier, Ellis said they will slice the apples into eight pieces. “That is only if you want to share,” she said.





uilt in 1902 at a cost of $50,000 (about $1.436 million today), the Vicksburg City Hall has served as the seat of city government for 116 years.

The city sold bonds to finance construction of the three-story brick building, which is a Beaux-Arts Classical Revival design by architect J. Riely Gordon. Gordon designed 72 courthouses, including Copiah County Courthouse in Hazlehurst and the Wilkinson County Courthouse in Woodville. Beaux-Arts architecture was a popular form for public buildings in the U.S. from 1880 to 1930. It featured massive buildings made of stone. When it was completed, the building had a rounded front facade and a rounded twotiered gallery, with winged heralds blowing trumpets accenting the roof at the four corners of the building. City Hall faces the Mississippi River Commission building, which was built in 1894. At the time City Hall was completed, Vicksburg was governed by a city council. That changed in 1913 to the present commission form of government. The city has since outgrown the building, with other offices moving to other buildings. Presently, City Hall houses the offices of the mayor, the North and South aldermen, city attorney and accounting.


Vicksburg City Hall was built in 1902 in the Beaux-Arts architecture style that was popular for public buildings during that time period.

A lone resident in a car passes by Vicksburg City Hall on Walnut Street in the early 1900s.



Kaylee Kilgo, Kimberly Smith, Carolyn Pugh and Stacy Momoan

Elyce Curry andAshley Gatian

John Van, Christy Pecanty and Ashley Tankesly


Revelers gathered for a night of food and drinks back in time for the annual Ritz on the River hosted by the Vicksburg Convention Center. This year’s theme was Retro Prom with decorations and music, as well as some outfits stemming from the 70s, 80s or 90s.


LàShauntà Glover and Jimmy Smith

Erin and Ritch Southard

Judy Slaughter and Elyce Curry



Milton Robichaux, Tim Walker, Chester Masterson and Jeff McPherson

Rose Rogers, Peter Rogers, Vicki Pedron and Alder Ahlvin

Jeannie Nicolson, Jennifer Tillotson and Jeff Pedron


The Warren Central High School graduating class of 1978 held its 40th class reunion on July 7 at The Anthony. Former classmates from near and far attended, as well as teachers who taught at the school.


Pattie Tew, Wayde Stewart and Jeff Grimes

Anna Jones, Jeri McGuffie, Julie Nosser, Peggy Robinson, Amy Mooney and Alberta Wheeler

Tina Ladner, Karen Harris and Kim McKay






The Vicksburg Warren School District held its annual convocation at the Vicksburg Convention Center on Aug. 3. The annual event is aimed at motivating and inspiring teachers, administrators and employees of the school system. This year’s featured speaker was Ron Clark, who runs the innovative Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta.

Ron Clark speaks with Nancy Robertson.


Sha’Kyria Allen, Christianna Clay, Ashley Naylor Taylor Stamps and Bra’Shayla Williams

Destiney Swartz, Machia Lumpkin, Kaleah Moore, Erin Lawson and Lexi Miller

Katherine Smithey, Brandie McMullin and Stephanie Lloyd

Chad Shealy and Kelle Barfield

Samantha Bailey, Aline Roberts, Susan Mims and Dana Tankersley

Jason Bennett and Eric Green

Crystal Hood, terry Wong, Naomi Welch, Will Gurtowski, Tina Hodnett Eleanor Phillips and Sylvia Strong

Peyton McKenzie, Makayla Walker and Trevion Scott

Alonzo Stevens, Joe Loviza and Alex Monsour

Pam Parman, Zelda Cole and Charisse Brown






The Vicksburg Homecoming Benevolent Club in July awarded $7,000 in scholarships to 15 area high school students during its annual scholarship brunch at St. Mary’s Catholic Church community center. The brunch was one of several events during the club’s annual four-day reunion, which also included a golf tournament, a wine and cheese hour, banquet and a farewell worship service.

Preston Nailor and Kim Nailor

Juanita Gilmore and Quentrell Sturgis

Tina James-Brown and Katrina James


Ida Williams, Aisha Williams and Alfred Williams

Shamar Dorsey, Shawn Dorsey, Sha’Kyria Allen and Lakeshia Allen

Hope Lee, Vickie Henderson, Zanetta Bowman and Gabriel Bowman

Melodie Fisher and Markia Anderson




Leadership Vicksburg hosted the free Downtown Movie Night and invited all of the public to enjoy “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.” There was a car show hosted by the Vicksburg Cruisers Car Club, as well as food trucks and other attractions.

Members of Leadership Vicksburg


Jason and Layla Walker, 5

Chris, Carter and Colton Pope

Charlene, Nathan and Joe Moseley



Vicksburg Living Sept./Oct. 2018  
Vicksburg Living Sept./Oct. 2018