Last Thursday, Zach, Bear, and I spent the day exploring the beautiful town of Natchez, Mississippi. Nestled along the Mississippi River and rich in history, especially that which centered around the Civil War, there is no shortage of things to see and do. Read more about Natchez here.
We started our day with a tour of Stanton Hall and lunch at it's delicious Carriage House Restaurant. If you've been to Disneyland, you may recognize Stanton Hall as the design for the Haunted Mansion. Scenes from abc's TV series North and South were also filmed here. I wish I had pictures of the inside; it's truly like stepping back in time. The ceilings on the first floor are 17 feet high, and the house is still home to several original furniture pieces. Our tour guide was so friendly and sweet, and Bear was a dream inside this mansion. Now the next one...well, we'll get to that in a minute. :)
The homemade biscuits and jelly at the Carriage House were so yummy! We loved this restaurant because of the unique dishes and down-home hospitality.
Next we toured Longwood Plantation, which is truly spectacular. This six-story 30,000 square foot mansion was designed by Samuel Sloan of Philadelphia for wealthy planter Haller Nutt and his wife, Julia Williams Nutt, and epitomizes the rise and fall of the South. As it was nearing completion, the Civil War began and the workmen (who were also from Philadelphia) dropped their tools and went home. Haller died in 1864 and his wife Julia continued to live in the finished first floor that today contains many original family furnishings. The upper five stories are an architectural wonder- a magnificent work in progress where time just stopped and stayed.
Bear was a little more rowdy on this tour, but we still managed to see the entire inside thanks to M&M's and a patient tour guide.
We had plans of touring several other plantations, but decided to check into our hotel and rest a bit before heading out for dinner. I begged Zach to find the Arlington Plantation, which I had read about online and was completely fascinated with. Built in 1819 and one of Natchez's oldest plantation homes, it's now abandoned and crumbling after a disastrous fire in 2002 (read more about Arlington here). Zach agreed to drop me off while he and Bear drove around and waited for my SOS call. The pictures below recount my experience from stepping onto the property and wandering around the mansion; yes, I was trespassing. It was a little spooky but totally worth it!
Looking at those photos, it's hard to imagine the house in anything but a state of despair. When inside though, I could picture Arlington in it's original splendor, as most of the intricate structural details are still visible (though very damaged). It's a tragedy that such a historical place is suffering as it is, and we can only hope the current owner will save Arlington and restore it to the beautiful home it once was.
Bet you guys didn't think I was gonna get all historical on you, huh? I really love this kind of stuff! I get such a rush from learning about and seeing new places like Natchez, and I learned a great deal of American history on this trip. If you're ever in Mississippi, plan to stay a day or two in Natchez. Oh, and eat at the Pig Out Inn BBQ. And order the mac 'n cheese. And then take a walk along the Mississippi River at sunset. Okay okay, I'm done with the recommendations. Stay tuned for more outfit posts from our trip!