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(Back to Wisconsin Haunted Index)

Walker House – HauntedHouses.com

walker-house

Haunted Place: The Walker House and Cornish Pub.

ADDRESS:

1 Water Street
Mineral Point, Wisconsin  53565

The Walker House at Mineral Point

LOCATION:

The Walker House can be found in the southern part of town, right in front of the bluff where minerals were mined. It is also right across from where the old railroad station was located, on Commerce St. , near the corner of Darlington on Water Street.

mineral-point-hauntings

DESCRIPTION: 

This handsome imposing, long rectangular 3 story stone structure has lovely wood beams and woodwork on the inside. A central staircase takes the visitor up to the other two floors.  The current owners have stabilized and restored the first and second floors, and will soon have the rooms on the third floor ready to offer its future guests. 

The left side of the first floor is now a work room/storage area, as the well has been filled in and cemented over.

The first floor pub, located on the right side of the first floor is the oldest part of the inn. It is interesting, because of the two little side rooms that have been carved out of the bluff, by the miner who built this original stone house. These unique side rooms offer places to sit and enjoy a brew or other beverage.

The second floor is where two large dining rooms and the kitchen are located, a great place for fine dining and/or events, receptions and celebrations.

HISTORY:

In the early 1800s, mining for minerals was profitable here, and the railroad made Mineral Point the end of the line.  An upscale inn, which included a fine dining restaurant and pub was established in 1836, by building onto a  pre-existing miner's former stone house, which proved to be a financial success. The right side of the first floor, which was the older stone house, became the inn's pub, while the left side of the first floor was where the well was located, and also a place for storage. The kitchen was located between the right and left side of the first floor. It was moved to the second floor in the late 20th century, when a former owner dug into the cliff and set up the kitchen in the addition on the back of the house.

The second floor had two dining rooms and the third floor offered the guests lovely guest rooms.
This Inn served  a variety of people throughout the years: Miners, gamblers, locals, tourists, patrons and employee’s of the railroad.  The dining rooms has also been the setting for community meetings, events and other activities.  The inn was in continuous use until 1957, when it closed its doors for 7 years, standing vacant and forlorn.

However, a building that handsome was an irresistible fixer-upper opportunity, and sure enough, it was bought by Ted Landon, and his partners, who reclaimed it from the vandals, and spent 10 years  stabilizing, repairing, and  restoring it. The Cornish Pub Inn  was open again, ready for business, in 1974.  After only 4 years, in 1978, Ted Landon and his partners sold this business to Dr. David Ruf, who hired a good manager, Walker Calvert to oversee and run the inn and pub.  The Inn was then called, The Walker House.

One or two more owners came along.  When the Grubers owned the building,  the inn was known as The Walker-Gruber House. By 2002, the inn wasn't open to the public, and was once again a grand fixer-upper opportunity.  In 2003, historical enthusiasts were greatly concerned, and  the Walker House had the dubious honor of being one of the most endangered properties in Wisconsin.  After some stabilizing work had been done on the property yet again, it was upgraded a little to be just one of the top 10 historical structures put on the endangered list, still in need of a lot of TLC!

Luckily, Joseph and Susan Dickinson came along and saw the possibilities of rehabilitating this still handsome structure, dripping with historical value. They bought it in November, 2005, and have been dedicated ever since to bring the inn back to life and open it as a restaurant, pub and inn.  The Cornish Pub was the first thing to open. The second floor was the next project.  When they finished, there were two restored and renovated dining rooms and a kitchen for civilized dining and events.  Their last project, which was almost done when Tom and I visited, was the restoration of the rooms for future guests on the third floor.

mineral-point-hauntings

HISTORY OF MANIFESTATIONS:

Possible reasons.

A common stimulus for paranormal activity in a structure is renovation and restoration projects.
(Lemp Mansion * Heceta House)

Staff hear disembodied voices which is always a thrill and surprise.

Sometimes an entity who built a special home or building will come back and keep an eye on the living, either on a visitation schedule or in a grounded haunting.  (Adams House * Hearthstone House * The Olde Pink House * Belmont Mansion)

An unpleasant individual,  William Cafe, who was not known for his agreeable countenance, but had a hot temper and a feisty temperament, shot another man at the climax of an argument. William was found guilty of murder and sentenced to die by hanging by his neck until he was dead.  Wearing a gray suit to be buried in, the story goes that William sat upon his coffin in the horse-drawn wagon, banging a funeral dirge  with two beer bottles, as they took him to be hanged in front of this Inn, on the make-shift gallows, annoying and aggravating to his end.

If a person is cantankerous while a live, being dead doesn't improve his or her personality.
(The James Hotel * Collingwood Art Center)
 
Perhaps William lost his head in this hanging:  It doesn't say how the hanging went, but if the fall was too jarring, the executed person's head just popped off, which I guess is better than not having enough of a fall to break the neck, and then wind up strangling to death.  People who suffer a bad hanging have been known to become restless entities, and haunt the nearest building.

(Whitley County Jailhouse * Wyoming Frontier Prison * MacArthur Military Museum)

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MANIFESTATIONS:

Two known entities have been seen and heard since the first renovation and restoration started in 1964, though other entities may be here as well.

A male entity dressed in a minor's attire of the 1800s:

He has been seen puttering around the pub area on the first floor.
The male entity of William Cafe - Does his best to annoy and tease the living for chuckles, though he hasn't harmed anyone.

On the second floor -

Appears to the living, wearing his wrinkled gray suit, both headless and with his head,  in the dining rooms.

Also in the dining rooms, he is blamed for the poltergeist paranormal activity; (probably flying glasses, plates, silverware, moving chairs, and anything else this entity can move to get some chuckles at the expense of the living.)

He shuffles up and down the second floor, breathing heavily, making scary noises;.

He appeared on the back porch, sitting on a bench without his head.

He turns door handles but doesn't open the door.

Other entities may be here as well.

Staff hear disembodied voices which is always a thrill and surprise.

STILL HAUNTED?

It seems to be, according to eye witnesses. I couldn't find any paranormal investigation that had been conducted at this inn, that may be a good spot for ghost hunters to visit, if the owners would allow it.

mineral-point-hauntings

SOURCES INCLUDE:

Haunted Places: The National Directory,
by Dennis William Hauk
pg.458-9
2002
Penguin Books

www.walkerhousemineralpoint.com
http://www.prairieghosts.com/walker.html - (out-dated)

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