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Beautiful Homes of Natchez MS

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Av and I took our old WPA Mississippi book and did some of the driving tours while we were in Natchez. Many of the homes were open for Spring Pilgrimage, but we had so many other things to do that I just took a some pictures - there are just a few below - I'll be putting all of them in a set on Flickr in the next couple of days.

The text below, in italics, is straight from the WPA book:

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The James Metcalfe House / The Parsonage (facing the river at SE corner S. Broadway and Washington Sts)...built about 1849 by Peter Little, pioneer lumberman in Mississippi...the story is that Peter Little grew tired of his wife's continually entertaining preachers in his home, and erected this house and deeded it to a church on condition that entertaining in his home cease.

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Rosalie (foot of S. Broadway)...windows are five feet wide, their huge wooden shutters held in place by slender wrought-iron hinges 26" long. The rooms are 21 feet square with 14-foot ceilings and mantels seven feet high. The house was built by Peter Little in the early 1800s and stands partly on the site of old Fort Rosalie, scene of the Indian massacre in 1829. Brick for this home was burned on the place by slaves. The house was used in 1863 as Union headquarters and later General Grant and his family spent several days in it.

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Connelly's Tavern / Ellicott's Inn (SE corner N. Canal and Jefferson Sts)...built in 1795 during Spanish rule in Natchez. It stands on the old Natchez Trace and is a notable example of Spanish Provincial architecture. Long, narrow, double galleries with slender columns overlook the Esplanade and the river. The lower floor is brick paved. Though the ceilings throughout are low, several rooms are vaulted. It is thought that some of the materials used in its construction were timbers taken from dismantled flatboats, and the vaulted rooms indicate the influence of a ship's carpenter in the construction of the house.

In 1797 the American flag was first raised on this site by Andrew Ellicott, sent from Washington to survey the line between the United States and the Spanish territory. Ellicott kept the flag flying a year in defiance of Spanish objections. It was also on this hill that Maj. Isaac Guion, on March 31, 1798, raised the American flag after the Spaniards had evacuated the fort the night before. Tradition says that Aaron Burr and Harman Blennerhassett met here to plan their defense following their arrest for treason in 1807.


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Choctaw (SW corner High and N. Wall Sts)...home of Alvarez Fisk, wealthy cotton broker and philanthropist in the 1830s and 1840s. ...Steamboats tied up at the wharfs to allow passengers time to inspect its gardens. Fisk donated land for the first school in Natchez and erected the first school building.

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Stanton Hall (entire block on High St. between N. Pearl and N. Commerce Sts)...built by Frederick Stanton, an Irish gentleman who became rich as a cotton broker. It was completed in 1857 after five years' work. Some of the ceilings are 22 feet high. Mahogany doors, carved Carrara marble mantels, heavy bronze chandeliers, and gigantic inset mirrors were imported from Europe on a chartered ship...the frieze in the music hall bears names of old masters.

The restaurant here, 'The Carriage House', is where we had lunch a couple of weeks ago.

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The Towers (803 Myrtle Ave)...an old home pictured in Stark Young's So Red the Rose. The house, built about 1818 by Wm. C. Chamberlain, was first called Gardenia. The Towers is a two-story frame dwelling built on a brick foundation. It has recessed upper and lower galleries in the center, and a square tower on each side. At the time of Federal occupancy of Natchez during the War between the States the house was used as headquarters by Colonel Peter B. Hays, Union engineer in charge of fortifications.

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Cottage Garden (816 Myrtle Ave)...erected in 1793 by Don Jose Vidal. It stands on lands first granted him when he was acting Spanish Governor of Natchez in 1798....a large, underground reservoir or cistern, used to furnish water and to cool wine and milk, is under the main part of the building.

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King's Tavern (Jefferson St. between N. Rankin and N. Union Sts)...conceded to be the oldest house in Natchez. It abuts the sidewalk and is thought to have been a blockhouse on the old Natchez Trace. Built of ship's timbers, its huge sleepers and beams filled with holds and rounded pegs indicate they were part of a flatboat. For many years the inn was the mail and stage coach station on the Trace.

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