Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Haunted Crime Scenes: The Spirits at Moon River Brewery

A Fashionable Murder

 VIDEO: Moon River Brewery

It's hard to believe a simple game could lead to murder — a murder that took place here, in a popular pub in what was once the old City Hotel.

The Moon River Brewery used to be the old City Hotel
The Moon River Brewery used to be the old City Hotel

In the 1830s, the City Hotel was popular with the rough-and-tumble sporting crowd. The men were always armed and spoiling for a fight, and many arguments starting here would end up with pistols-at-paces across the river at Screven's Ferry.... And so it was with mild-mannered Dr. Philip Minis and the hot-tempered James Jones Stark.

In the spring of 1832, Minis had beaten Stark in the gentlemanly game of quoits — and quite soundly at that. Stark bellies up to the bar and declares that Minis wasn't worth the shot and powder it would take to kill the man. Minis dismisses this as the ranting of a sore loser, and it should have ended there.

Stark continues his rant throughout the spring and into summer, at one point declaring that Dr. Minis was "a damned Jew who ought to be pissed upon." Minis writes a letter to Stark asking for a formal apology.


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