Needing a break from work, I scooped up my mom for a girl's weekend in Natchez, MS.
With visions of Southern gentlemen and beautiful antebellum homes, this town had intrigued me for years. Before the Civil War, Natchez had more millionaires per capita than any other city in the country. Many of the homes were preserved and even passed down through generations to experience today.
After a few hours on the road, we arrived at our home for the next few nights, The Burn bed & breakfast.
That afternoon, the wine reception at The Burn also included an interesting tour. The home was originally built for John Walworth and his family who occupied it for more than 100 years. During the Civil War, they were evicted by Union soldiers who used the home as a hospital. The bottom level was used as a stable for the soldiers' horses and you can still see evidence on the window sills which are scarred from the horses leaning over the open windows to eat. The original property was quite large but over the years and, after the war, family members sold off small parcels at a time to survive. Now it sits on about 2-3 acres.
The sitting room which hosted a wine reception each afternoon.
The dining area where guests ate breakfast "family style".
A corner of the home with a map of the original property as well as some family photographs of the Walworths.
Fountain in the courtyard.
View of the back of the house. It is much larger than it looks from the street.
My favorite part...a gorgeous, secluded pool. It was so serene to sip wine, soak in the pool, and relax.
This morning, we attended Mass at St. Mary Basilica and the church was one of the most beautiful that I've seen. I wish all Catholic churches still looked like this. There were intricate hand-carvings and detailed woodwork throughout, towering religious statues, inspirational stained glass windows, and stunning architecture. Because we were there for a service, I didn't get any pictures of the interior. I wish we had a chance to go back afterwards so that I could linger and admire it a little more. There was also a courtyard behind the church with a lovely fountain and live oaks that looked 100 years old.
After lunch, we took a carriage ride in the historic district to soak in some of the history and sights of this quaint little town.
That evening, we enjoyed dinner on the Mississippi River at the Magnolia Grill. The views of the river were wonderful. So different from Memphis, which is more industrial.
Our package at The Burn also included tours of several other homes including The Elms, Longwood, and Rosalie.
The Elms - This tour included mint juleps. Quite nice!
Longview - I found this home to be fascinating as it showed the dramatic lifestyle change that occurred before and after the Civil War. Construction started before the war and it was supposed to be 30,000 square feet with 32 rooms. The basement of the home was finished and the family moved in while the rest of the home was being built. At the start of the war, the workers all left since most were from the North, and construction completely stopped. There are still buckets with brushes in them and various other tools laying around as they were left. After the war, there was no money to complete the home and it was never finished. The family continued to live in the home for another 30 years. It was really interesting to see the opulence on the first floor and then walk up a flight of stairs to the second floor to see an unfinished home.
Rosalie - This home was my favorite. The last descendent from the original family lived here until about the mid 1950s so the furnishings, including dolls and a child's tea set are original pieces from the family. The home was beautiful and the grounds were very peaceful.
Overall, we enjoyed our trip. Natchez provided a great getaway with interesting history and sights to take in. Many of the people we met were from families that had lived here for generations. This was their family history which made the stories come alive.