History

In our most recent history,
our hotel has been relocated from its original location on Main Street. Our new premises are located on 201 N. Pearl Street.  Our new location boasts a cozy setting of 16 rooms in a richly decorated bed and breakfast.  The new quarters have a selection of unique rooms that have a sense of history known to those who live in and around the Natchez area.

Natchez, the oldest continuous settlement on the Mississippi River, became the first capital of the Mississippi Territory in 1798. Upper Natchez, platted high along the bluffs of the Mississippi in 1790, became widely known for its exquisite mansions and, outside of New York, was the home to the greatest number of millionaires in the United States prior to the Civil War. It existed in stark contrast to lower Natchez which developed along the banks of the Mississippi and was comprised primarily of prostitutes, smugglers, transients and fugitives. Today, Natchez boasts one of the largest collections of antebellum homes in the country and offers visitors a destination rich in history and southern hospitality.



The original Guest House was originally a one-and-a-half story, Greek Revival townhouse probably built for Samuel and Jane Newman in the mid-1840s. They purchased the property in February 1844 for $1,000. As originally built and documented in historic photographs, the Guest House resembled the nearby John Smith House, a smaller brick cottage at the corner of North Pearl and Jefferson streets.

Samuel B. Newman was the grandson of Samuel Brooks, the first mayor of Natchez. Newman was a Natchez Merchant who founded the business establishment of Stockman and Newman. He also served as sheriff of Adams County before relocating to New Orleans in 1853. That same year, Newman sold his brick house to Matilda A. Metcalf for $9,000.

Metcalf owned the house until 1871, when she sold it to Jacob Ullman for $8,000. In 1884, Jacob Ullman's heirs sold the property to Bettie Jacobs for $7,250. In 1900, Bettie Jacobs sold the property to the Natchez Elks Lodge for an undisclosed amount.

Not long after acquiring the property, the Natchez Lodge hired local builder William Stientenroth to enlarge the building. During the 1902-1903 renovation, Stientenroth added a full second floor to the original half story. This explains why the windows differ on the second floor from those on the first. Since the 1902 renovation occurred during the Victorian Era, many architectural features were changed. Fireplace mantels and door moldings were "modernized" into the Victorian style and the front pediment and four massive columns added. The enlarged and remodeled building also featured a swimming pool at the rear where the courtyard exists today.

In 1981, an extensive renovation was under way at the Eola Hotel across the street. Poole Investments Ltd. purchased the building from the Elks to provide a place with larger suites for their V.I.P. guests. This renovation provides 17 guest rooms that boast period and antique furniture with exquisite draperies and wall treatments. The owners purchased most of the antiques from local shops in the surrounding area. The garden courtyard, which houses a full service restaurant, received several architectural awards for its blend of antebellum architecture and modern convenience. The house sold separately from the Eola Hotel in 1989.

In February 1998, a tornado came over the bluff and caused extensive damage to several of the antebellum structures. Two of the large columns at the house collapsed leaving the portico in a precarious position. The tornado severely damaged the slate roof and 48 of the 50 windows were shattered. The hotel closed seven months for renovation. Luckily, the antiques were strong and made it through the tornado with only a few scratches.

In 2004, the Guest House celebrated its 21st year as a fine hospitality estabilishment in the heart of historic downtown Natchez. In February 2006, this gorgeous property was purchased by Mr. Reuben L. Harper and Mr. Les Wisinger.

Bob G. Dean, Jr., owner of the Eola Hotel, purchased the magnificent house in 2007. Once again it became the hotel's "Guest House". Mr. Dean brought with him many exquisite antiques and pieces of art from his extensive collection. He is truly dedicated to preserving the original architecture, style and decor of the property. Together the Guest House and the Eola offer Natchez visitors a choice of what is "Uniquely Natchez".