GHOSTS OF THE PRAIRIE
THE WALKER HOUSE
Mineral Point, Wisconsin
Located in Mineral Point, in the southwestern corner of Wisconsin, is one of the oldest inns in the state.
It was built in 1836 and did a brisk business for many years, serving as a meeting house for men from all over the region. On November 1, 1842, a public hanging took place at the Walker House and a man named William Caffee was executed for shooting another man in an argument. The hanging was a strange and bizarre affair with the condemned man being brought to the inn astride his coffin, beating out the tune of a funeral march with empty beer bottles. He was a man that would be remembered in Mineral Point for many year and while no one would realize it at the time..... death would not keep William Caffee from showing up again at the Walker House.
The old Walker House in Mineral Point
(Courtesy of Richmond Powers)
In 1957, the inn closed it's doors and stood vacant for over seven years, abandoned to ruin and vandalism. In 1964, the building was purchased by Ted Landon and he was intent on restoring the place to it's former glory. As Landon began work on the restoration of the building, strange incidents started to occur that seemed to have no explanation, including sounds of heavy breathing and mysterious footsteps.In 1974, the tavern and inn re-opened but things did not go well for Landon and his partners and in 1978, they sold the place to a Dr. David Ruf. He would place the management of the place in the hands of Walker Calvert, the man who would encounter the resident ghost more times than anyone else.
The strange sounds continued to be reported in the building, along with voices that came from nowhere and actual apparitions like that of a headless man who Calvert spotted in the dining room in 1981 . The spirit stayed visible for several minutes, wearing a rumpled gray suit of miner's clothing, and then vanished. A short time later, another ghost (this one with a head) was spotted on the second floor of the inn.Is it really the ghost of William Caffee, still lingering at the site of his last moments on earth? The staff and visitors of the Walker House certainly think so.
Mineral Point, Wisconsin is located in Iowa County in the southwestern part of the
state. The town can be found at the junctions of highway 159 and 23. The Walker House
is located just outside of town but is no longer open to the public.
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