McRaven House offers antiques, apparitions

Published 9:53 am Friday, October 2, 2015

McRaven House had a grand opening as the entire city of Vicksburg welcomed the occasion in a ribbon cutting ceremony Thursday afternoon.

Various members of the Vicksburg Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Warren County Board of Supervisors, the Vicksburg Board of Mayor and Aldermen, the Vicksburg Chamber of Commerce and other prominent members of the community officially welcomed Dr. Steven and Kendra Reed.

Cars lined both sides of Harrison Street with people hoping to get a peek inside the historic home. Tour guides and ladies wearing antebellum dresses welcomed the community into the gates of McRaven. Outside there were newly posted signs displaying ticket prices for house tours.

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The ribbon cutting ceremony took place on the front porch of the home with Vicksburg Chamber of Commerce executive director Jane Flowers, Mayor George Flaggs Jr. and District 5 supervisor Richard George all speaking a few words of welcome and thanks to the Reeds for bringing McRaven back for Vicksburg.

Steven Reed then gave his thanks to the multiple people who have helped him and Kendra make their dream of saving a historic home a reality.

“We’re just really happy everyone came out today. It’s a great showing. We’re very honored and privileged to be a part of the Vicksburg community. We’re looking forward to working with everyone here. Our goal is not just McRaven, and it doing well, but our goal is to boost the economy of Vicksburg and to get Vicksburg even more well known than it already is,” Steven said.

Jo Ann McPhaul, hotel manager at Lady Luck Hotel, and Shelia McKinnis, of Entergy said they went to the grand opening because they were both interested in seeing the house as well as supporting the Chamber.

“I think it’s just another great attraction for visitors and for people here in Vicksburg,” McKinnis said.

McPhaul was looking forward to seeing the home’s décor while McKinnis had something else in mind.

“I guess I’m hoping to see a ghost,” McKinnis said with a laugh.

They agreed the opening came at the perfect time right before Halloween.

Refreshments were served in the dining room featuring Raven and mansion shaped cookies. Members of the community roamed the rooms of the home searching for apparitions and antiques.

“The house is filled with museum quality antiques so it’s not just a home, it is a way of life. You can walk through McRaven and you can literally see what it would have looked like in that time period,” Steven said.

The new logo of a Raven with a key in its mouth, which incorporates the city’s usage of a key symbol, is seen in multiple locations on the grounds. A theme of purple and black is integrated throughout the home.

Thirteen tour guides mostly uniformed in purple polo’s and black pants, and some wearing period clothing, have been educated on the history of the house to lead the tours.

Doors open to the public at 9 a.m. Friday, Oct. 2.

The house is open for tours every 30 minutes from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays. Haunted tours are given by reservation at 7 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.

Tickets are $15 for historic tours and $25 for haunted tours. Students ages 6 to 18 get in for $10 and children under 6 are free. Guests who want to take both tours save $5 on admission.

For more information, email general manager Evan Winschel at or visit their newly renovated website