Mapping a Modern Mississippi < Places < King’s Tavern

King’s Tavern

The King's Tavern was built in 1769, making it the oldest building in Natchez. With great age comes great character, and King’s Tavern has plenty. Although the building required extensive renovation, the Charboneaus have preserved the ambience that has withstood time. Specializing in hand-crafted flatbreads and cocktails, Chef Regina Charboneau strives to use the freshest ingredients. 

Photo Courtesy of TripAdvisor

The Stories

As a landmark, everyone in Natchez knows King’s Tavern. Constructed in the 1790s using sun-dried bricks and bargeboards from scrapped Mississippi river flatboats, King’s Tavern has marked the southernmost terminus of the old Natchez Trace trading route since the city’s earliest days. In its more than 220-year history, the building has served as an inn, watering hole, staging shop, mail station, private home, and, most recently, as a restaurant popular for steaks and smoked prime rib. That restaurant closed in early 2012, and by the time the Charboneaus came looking for a place to make rum, King’s Tavern had been shuttered for over a year. “The building just spoke to me,” said Regina, who, as chef de cuisine of the American Queen steamboat company, proprietor of Twin Oaks bed and breakfast, and founder of four preceding eateries, wasn’t exactly looking for another restaurant project. But the ambience of the ancient structure stirred something. The couple bought both buildings, and the Charboneaus’ rum distillery project evolved in a new direction...

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Credit to: James Fox-Smith, Country Roads Magazine

Credit to: NPRO Studios

So, with the kind of “ancient” history that began at Natchez long before even the white man came, one can well imagine the potential for haunted sites that must be present here – and in this regard Natchez certainly does not disappoint.
Ghost writer Dr. Alan Brown, of Meridian, recently published his book Haunted Natchez in which he summarizes many of Natchez’ most well-known sites.
In this article, I’d like to focus on the site that many perceive to be the “crown-jewel” of Natchez’ haunted locations and that is King’s Tavern, the oldest structure in Natchez. When one approaches the history of King’s Tavern, whether it is reading its story online or the official historical marker on the grounds of the tavern itself, one is hard-pressed to find factual information. I would even go so far as to say that it is virtually impossible to find the true history of the tavern unless one digs into the actual archives and records located at the Natchez Historical Society.
We, as the Natchez Area Paranormal Society, did just that. In October 2010, we launched a full-scale, multi-faceted investigation into King’s Tavern, which culminated in an over-night field investigation with over 10 infrared and full spectrum static cameras and all kinds of sophisticated metering equipment and audio recorders, which occurred on November 27-28. Much of the historical research was done by me, and P.I.’s Chris Jackson and Summer Stone. The facts of the origins of the tavern that can be substantiated by historical record are as follows...

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Credit to: Mike Chapman

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