Monday, April 8, 2013

Natchez Trails

Natchez has a system of 5 trails, three of which wind through the downtown area.  There is also a nature trail and a bluff trail along the Mississippi River.  John and I felt that we did not have time to take any one particular trail, but instead we wandered around several of the historical streets using as our guide street-side interpretive panels.  This "museum of streets" gave us a good feel for the culture and character of the people of Natchez over the years.  The architectural treasures in this town are amazing, Glen Auburn is one example.  According to the interpretive sign it is "Mississippi's grandest example of French Second Empire style know for its distinctive Mansard roof".  Built in the 1870s, it was owned by one of the town's merchants.
Even more impressive is Stanton Hall, built in 1857.  It is a magnificent Greek Revival mansion with five levels which include a nearly seventeen feet tall first-floor hallway. It was difficult to get an adequate picture showing its immensity because of the trees in front of the house.  Unfortunately we did not tour this one.
We also enjoyed the beautiful gardens surrounding the homes.  The front yard of the home of the Peter Isler house, built in 1818, showcases this quite well.
We took a break from wandering the streets of Natchez to step inside the First Presbyterian Church, built in 1829.  Here we happened to cross the paths of two sweet southern belles, decked out in period garb. They informed us that they just wanted to get into the spirit of the Natchez Spring Pilgrimage.
The rear of the church has an addition, built in1901, which houses an extensive exhibit of historic Natchez photographs from the Civil War era to World War ll.  The portraits show people of all ages and backgrounds,  and their lives while both at work and play.  There are also pictures of the riverboats and river life.  It is the work of three of the town's photographers and certainly added an important dimension to our tour of Natchez.  After seeing the town we drove to its cemetery, which will be in the next posting.

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