You’ve got until Saturday to solve this mystery

Published 12:01 am Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Who killed Major Holbrook? He was found deader than a doornail on the banks of St. Catherine Creek, so there is a murderer in our midst.

Was it the violent headmaster? The shopkeeper whom he owed money? A jealous friend? A disgruntled cook? Or someone else?

If you would like to find out more about this mystery, gather up a few friends and head over to Historic Jefferson College for our newest program, “Who Killed Major Holbrook? A History Mystery,” which is scheduled to run through Saturday.

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Once you enter the mystery room in the c. 1834 President’s House on the Jefferson College campus, you’ll have one hour to search for hidden clues, solve puzzles, unravel enigmas, find combinations, and open up locked boxes that will eventually lead you to the answer.

Be on the lookout for things that are out of the ordinary but don’t worry if you drift off track, I’ll be there to give you a few clues.  And if you can’t do it in an hour, that’s OK, too. You won’t be locked in.

There really was a Major John Holbrook who came to Jefferson College in the early 1830s to be the assistant superintendent, and he was responsible for introducing the first military program here, patterned after West Point.  Unfortunately, he died suddenly, and military life at Jefferson died with him, at least for another 50 years.  He’s still with us, though. He is one of the two people buried in the Jefferson College cemetery. The History Mystery program weaves together real life figures such as Holbrook, his boss, Professor Williston, a troublesome lad named William Diamond, and local Renaissance man, BLC Wailes, together with actual events that occurred throughout the school’s history. 

The story unfolds through the pages of Major Holbrook’s diary—from the day he arrived on the Natchez docks to the night before his untimely demise.

The History Mystery is scheduled to run Mondays-Fridays at 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., and on Saturday at 9 a.m., 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. 

But never fear, if your schedule does not allow you to attend during those published times, give us a call, and we can work out an after-hours time for your group. 

Speaking of groups, this event is best enjoyed with a group of three to eight people, ages 10 and up. It’s a great team-building exercise, as it promotes communication and working cooperatively while on a deadline. The cost is $10 per person, and can be paid via cash, check, or credit card the day you are arrive. 

Plan on being at the HJC Visitors Center about 10 minutes earlier than your scheduled time. You must contact us in advance to hold your spot. You can email HJC at, call us at 601-442-2901, or message us on Facebook.

Historic Jefferson College is located off U.S. 61 about 5 miles north of Natchez. It is administered by the Mississippi Department of Archives and History.

Robin Seage Person is site director of Historic Jefferson College.