Wednesday, March 18, 2009

" Natchez On The Mississippi --Part One "

Next week I will be traveling 150 miles to one of my very favorite tourist destinations Natchez , Mississippi to spend a couple of days during the Spring Pilgrimage Tour. Twice a year, Spring and Fall, thousands travel to Natchez to view the Antebellum Mansions that open to the public for tours. This tour will have 25 homes on it, some which are private residences. Natchez has more Antebellum structures than any city its size in the United States, 13 National Landmarks and 1,000 buildings on the National Historic Register. I like to go in the Spring as the Azaleas are magnificent!



Natchez was founded in 1716. It is built on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River .
Located on the river between Memphis and New Orleans, across the river from Vidalia, LA.
It was occupied by the Natchez Indians until the French built a Fort and settled it in 1716.


Looking from the Natchez Bluff toward Vidaila at sunset.
The Natchez Belle River Boat awaits passengers for its
Sunset Dinner Cruise down The Mississippi River.






Downtown Natchez in 1900. Natchez was a thriving river port.



Natchez seen from the air.

I will be staying at "The Burn" B&B. It is also on the tour. It was built in 1832 by John P. Walworth. Next door to The Burn is the home of Alice Walworth Graham (1905-1994).
Alice was the author of quite a few romance novels set both in the old south and England.
I have 5 of her southern set novels. The Burn was the home of Alice's grandparents. She was also the great- grand niece of John James Audubon. The Walworth family has been immortalized in the fiction novel pictured below written by a Walworth descendant, Louise Collier.
( 1982)

I chose to go back for the Pilgrimage this year because " Glenburnie" the house where the infamous "Goat Castle Murder" took place is on the tour. It is a private residence and can only be toured when it is on the tour. I have never seen it on the schedule before and so this was a must see for me since I am hoping to someday pen a book based on the four friends who made world news after Jennie Merrill's murder here.

Across the road from "Glenburnie" is "Elms Court", the home of Jennie Merrrill's parents,
where Jennie was raised and where the famous " Ball of a Thousand Candles " took place when she was young. It is also a private home on the tour with "Glenburnie".

Along with these two previous homes will be "Auburn". I have toured "Auburn" before as it is located in Duncan Park and open to the public year round. Each tour has a name and includes three houses. This is the "Purple Tour ".
After the " Purple Tour" I will be having a wonderful meal
at this famous Natchez Landmark, "Mammy's".



My next tour is the "Peach Tour" and includes another home tied to the Goat Castle Murder.
" Oakland", the family home of Duncan Minor. It was from this home that Duncan rode horseback every day for twenty years to" Glenburnie " to spend the night with Jennie, leaving
at dawn. As far as I know, this is the first time "Oakland" has been on the tour as it also a private residence .


Also on the " Peach Tour" is Elgin, I have also toured this house before but look forward to viewing it once again. " Elgin" was built in 1780 on property from a Spanish land grant to Sir William Dunbar. In 1840 rooms were added by Dr. John Jenkins who had married Sir William's
granddaughter Annis Dunbar and it was Annis who named it " Elgin" after Sir William Dunbar's home in Scotland.

The last home on the "Peach Tour" is "Montaigene" (1855)
The home was built by William T. Martin who became a
Confederate Civil War Major General serving along side
Jeb Stuart in Tennessee. For his service, Montaigine
suffered as Union soldiers rode horses all through the rooms.

TO BE CONTINUED...................
















17 comments:

Poetikat said...

It all sounds most exciting, Carol. I do hope they let you take pictures!

Kat

Vicki Lane said...

Wow - what a tour! It all looks beautiful!

A Thousand Clapping Hands said...

I hear Natchez is beautiful. I hope all the azaleas are in bloom for your visit.
Let me know how you're liking your new widget that leads to other posts. I've been thinking about adding one. Is it any trouble to install? Talk to ya later,
Catherine

Elenka said...

Wow, I'll be anxious to hear about this.

TheWritersPorch said...

Kat...you can take pictures, and I intend to take plenty!

Vicki...I am very excited about these particular tours as I have longed to see several of these houses.

Catherine...it is one of the prettiest places I've been! I'm told the Azaleas will be at their prime next week!

Elenka...you will probably hear too much before it's over!

NCmountainwoman said...

I'm so happy for your trip. Especially because I know you will share the photos and stories with us!

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Wow--I'm jealous, Carol. I lived in Texas and Louisiana ---and never made it to Natchez, Mississippi. I would LOVE to go there. I know you will have an incredible time. Take lots of pictures!!!

Hugs,
Betsy

Renie Burghardt said...

Oh, Carol, what a visit to look forward to. Touring those beautiful homes will be fantastic. I look forward to more beautiful pictures. Enjoy!

Hugs,

Renie

PS.How far is Natchez to Memphis?

willow said...

Delightful tour, Carol! Thank you.

Did you enjoy some heavenly toasted bread this morning?

Kaye Barley said...

oh oh oh - lovely!!! Can't wait to hear all about it and see tons of pictures!

A Brit in Tennessee said...

You are one lucky lady !
I can't think of anything that would thrill me more, than to go to Natchez, and view all those old homes.
I've heard that it is indeed a beautiful old city, with lots of old Southern architecture, and hospitality.
Take pictures please !!

Paul said...

Natchez is a great city-way ahead of New Orleans I think. :-)

Libby Murphy said...

Your site is so inspiring as I had been thinking about a Natchez visit. You sure are on the money about Greg Iles - what a great writer and I think The Quiet Game is still my favorite.

Great photography
Happy Twirls

Dave at Read Street said...

Sounds like a great tour. I've never been to Natchez, but I'm becoming very familiar with the river while reading The Missing by Tim Gautreaux. Much of the action takes place aboard a riverboat running between New Orleans and Kentucky.

p.s. Welcome to Book Blogs.

Isabel said...

Wow...this sounds like great fun. I would love to tour all these houses and soak in all their history. Truly enjoyed all the information and am curious to see the photos you will take.

Terri said...

OH, I really enjoyed reading all of this and seeing the photos of the gorgeous homes. I envy you! This will be SO much fun.
I'm not familiar with this Goat Castle Murder at all....when time permits, do a blog entry and tell us about it and a bit about the story you're writing. It sounds fascinating and it seems you'll be able to do some research while there for your own story.

Efri Yaldi said...

Interesting stories for beautiful city