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Natchez City Cemetery, Natchez MS and Trying to Find Miss Sophronia

Thursday, September 29, 2005

We've been to the Natchez city cemetery several, several times - but I noticed when I went to their website that the site has a section for particularly interesting monuments. I couldn't right-off find the book that we'd bought earlier about the cemetery, but I made some quick notes about some of the monuments I wanted to take pics of. Here are just a few:

Louise the Unfortunate, Natchez City Cemetery, Natchez MS
This monument above is for Louise. The Unfortunate.

How sad!
Apparently she came to Natchez to meet and marry her fiance. He either died or just didn't show up, and she didn't want to return home. She supposedly went from respectable career choices like seamstress and housekeeper to - over the years - careers that were, ahem, less respectable in society. There are three ideas as to how she came to be buried in this plot, with a headstone (even though no dates are on it), and this is from the cemetery's website:

...some say Louise became friends with a doctor who treated her during her hard life Under-the-Hill, and upon her death he paid for her funeral. Some say a wealthy plantation owner who frequented her room on lonely nights paid her funeral expenses. Others say a preacher paid for her funeral from his pauper funds, but she wasn’t buried in a pauper’s grave.

Natchez Drug Company / Turning Angel, Natchez City Cemetery, Natchez MS

This pic above is of a monument that was erected by the owner of the Natchez Drug Company. There was an explosion at the building that leveled the five-story structure and among others killed five of his employees, the youngest being twelve years old.

The monument reads:
Erected by the Natchez Drug Company to the memory of the unfortunate employees who lost their lives in the great disaster that destroyed its building on March 14, 1908.
Carrie O. Murray
Inez Netterville
Luella D. Booth
Mary E. Worthy
Ada White
In front of this angel monument are headstones for each of the employees. The angel on the monument is referred to as the 'turning angel' because it appears to turn at night as cars' headlights shine on it from the main road.

Christian Schwartz Monument, Natchez City Cemetery, Natchez MS
Schwartz monument - Christian Schwartz had 'White House', the home now known as 'Glen Auburn' built.

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....so we left the cemetery and went to some little just-for-tourists shop right downtown to ask them if they knew where we could find Miss Sophronia that day. Miss Sophronia sells pralines outside Rosalie and also where the Delta Queen and Mississippi Queen steamboats dock, some other places too. When we walked in to this little touristy shop (which I could not believe we were going to, but okay, we wanted to find her), we were asked by this man who didn't sound at all like he was from anywhere south of Pittsburgh if we wanted to try *their* PRAY-LEENS. Ack! I think my ears started bleeding!

((As y'all know, the proper pronounciation for pralines is "praw-leens", or "prah-leens", depending on where you are in the South. There are some people in Georgia who (I don't know why but they just do) call pralines "pray-leens", but I don't even know what to say about that. In any case, you will never be seen as an outsider if you will just pronounce pralines the way they are meant to be said....long and slow....prawwww-leeeeeeens. That's right, sugah.))

Oh! And he didn't even know who Miss Sophronia was! Huh!

Update 2015: Miss Sophronia passed away July 21, 2015.

She touched the lives of a number of people with her quick style and jovial nature. She enjoyed making praline candy and delighted in meeting people from all over the United States and other countries while selling her pralines during the fall and spring tourist seasons and throughout the year at the various antebellum homes in Natchez and under-the-hill. Nobody was a stranger to her.

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Favorite Restaurants:
1. Commander's Palace, New Orleans LA
2. Arnaud's, New Orleans LA
3. Antoine's, New Orleans LA
4. Doe's Eat Place, Greenville MS
5. Root, New Orleans LA
6. Chez Fonfon, Birmingham AL
7. Taylor Grocery, Taylor MS
8. Ninfa's on Navigation, Houston TX
9. Lusco's, Greenwood MS
10. The Dinner Bell, McComb MS

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