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Madrona Manor –
Place - Madrona Manor
1001 Westside Road
Healdsburg, California 95448-9434
Web Link * (707) 433-4231
The Madrona Manor — a Bed &
Breakfast Inn — can be found in the heart of California's
wine country, in a town called Healdsburg, in Sonoma County. It was
built up on top of a knoll of land, surrounded by very tall
John Alexander Paxtron, a rich, California
state legislator, built this grand Victorian mansion, Madrona
Manor, in 1880, for his wife, Hannah, and their two sons, Blitz and
Charles, to be their family home. He also planted vines in his
winery, which still produce award-winning wine to this day.
After John died seven years later, Hannah,
the story is told, kept his body in a lead-lined glass coffin in
the mansion, until she herself died in 1902. Their sons inherited
the Manor. Charles killed himself there, after his wife ran away
with another man.
After 1913, Madrona Manor was sold many
times and had many owners. When it stood vacant in the 1980s, Mr.
& Mrs. Muir saw this property for sale, and decided to buy this
grand, old mansion and transform it into a long-time dream of
theirs, which was to own and run a bed & breakfast inn.
During the renovation of this old mansion, workmen and
carpenters told Mrs. Muir of the eerie feeling of an unseen
presence watching them.
Since the Madrona Manor has opened, employees also have felt
that they were being studied by a presence they couldn't see.
Guests have found their belongings in strange, unusual places,
much to their annoyance.
One guest, who was in Room 101, got quite a surprise, upon
awakening during the night, of finding an unexpected visitor, an
apparition of a 30 - something woman, wearing a long black dress
and had a black ribbon tied around the collar of her dress,
standing right next to the bed. She went from the side of the bed,
to sit in the blue velvet chair by the window. This visitor
disappeared, after the guest asked her what she wanted.
After having finished a wonderful dinner, a guest, Mrs. P,
looked up and saw one of the French doors, leading to the dining
room, open up and an apparition of a small, gray-haired lady,
dressed in clothes from the 19th century, came into the dining
room. In utter awe and fascination, Mrs. P continued to stare at
this elderly lady as she came over to Mrs. P., and stood right
beside her. The lady told Mrs. P, "I'm glad you can see me. I feel
so bad that no one else can. This was my house once and I like
what's been done to it! I'd like to tell someone that. Now, you can
At breakfast one day, a cup turned completely around in a circle
on its saucer, fully jolting awake a Madrona Inn guest.
Mrs. & Mr. M have accepted the apparent
fact that they have non-paying, unseen residents in their Madrona
Inn. These innkeepers have a peaceful relationship with these
ghosts from the past, though, as Mr. & Mrs. M don't bother
them, and the ghosts don't bother the living, which has worked out
well for all concerned.
All Photographs © Tom Carr