Frenchtown Tavern

Most buildings from the 1800s have damage that needs renovating or completely torn down and rebuilt. The few that stand the test of time are registered as historic properties and are kept as close to their original design as much as possible. These buildings have survived through history in ways that we can only imagine and have seen people pass through them that we only read about in books. Sometimes though, these people remain in the buildings after their time.

The Frenchtown Tavern was built in 1800. It survived the War of 1812, even with excessive damage. It had survived through the Civil War as well. Most histories found of the tavern is in 1944 when the tavern was purchased by Mildred Alagia. The previous owner suffered a tragic loss of their granddaughter drowning in the Elk River in front of the tavern.

After Mildred became the owner, stories began to circulate of Frenchtown being haunted. Employees would claim of hearing footsteps when they are by themselves in the tavern. Voices were heard when no one was around. A witness said someone grabbed their ankle on the steps and pulled them down. Mildred was once in the basement with her daughter when a cold gust of wind almost blew them over. The third floor also had unexplained cold gusts. There was even once a cross that flew off a wall and went across the room.

It is uncertain of who or what was haunting Frenchtown Tavern. One known ghost was a civil war soldier who was nicknamed “The Gray Man” who was seen often. There were also stories the locals told about a boat full of slaves that were burned alive right on the river in front of the tavern.

The tavern unfortunately caught fire on November 21, 1957. The fire was most likely from the furnace. It’s ruins sat untouched until June 1964 when another fire claimed the remains. It was believed kids started the fire in 1964.

Resources

Gallagher, T. (1988). Ghosts & Haunted Houses of Maryland. Tidewater Publishers, Maryland.

Glover, M. (2014). Ask The Historical Society: Frenchtown Tavern Fire. Cecil Whig. Retrieved from https://www.cecildaily.com/our_cecil/ask-the-historical-society-frenchtown-tavern-fire/article_b01c1a7d-8cc8-5daba10d-0bf690976ed6.html

Ricksecker, M. (2010) Ghosts of Maryland. Schiffer Publishing. Atglen, PA.