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November 27th 2007
Published: November 28th 2007
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Mighty MississippiMighty MississippiMighty Mississippi

Barge on the river.
What a fun day in Natchez, MS. I learned Natchez is the oldest settlement on the Mississippi River. It was the first capital of the Mississippi Territory and also the first capital of the State of Mississippi.

I stayed in a very nice campground across the river in Vidalia, LA. My rig was 100 yards from the banks of the mighty Mississippi. I could hear the sounds of the ships’ horns from inside the rig! There is a nice walk along the bluff overlooking the river. I was ¾ of a mile from the bridge and could have walked or ridden a bicycle into Natchez (but I didn’t bring my bike this trip).

I parked at the Visitor’s Center and did a self guided walking tour. There are lots of antebellum homes, historic churches and great views of the river.

Trinity Episcopal Church has two Louis Comfort Tiffany stained glass windows. St. Mary Basilica is the oldest Catholic building still in use in Mississippi. Its Gothic spire can be seen throughout the city. First Presbyterian Church has a display of nearly 100 years of Natchez history captured in photos. Dr. Thomas Gandy, a Natchez physician and member of

Built in 1820-1823, Rosalie sits on a high bluff overlooking the Mississippi.
First Presbyterian, purchased original negatives from three photographers whose works began in the 1850s and ended in 1951. Dr. Gandy learned to work in the darkroom and printed the over 500 images that are displayed. It is a fascinating look at Natchez.

After completing my walking tour, I visited the only winery in Mississippi. Like North Carolina, muscadine grapes are grown in Mississippi.

I then drove the first 40 miles of the Natchez Trace Parkway which runs from Natchez, MS to Nashville, TN. The trace was initially a series of hunters’ paths that came to form a trail from the Mississippi into the valley of Tennessee. The trace became the most heavily traveled wilderness road in the Old Southwest.

I rolled into Vicksburg just before dark. The campground I planned to stay in was full (which really surprised me). But as it turns out, they suggested a place about a mile away that is really much nicer than the one I initially picked out.

While researching what I plan to see tomorrow - in addition to the Vicksburg National Military Park - I learned two churches here have another 8 of Tiffany’s stained glass windows. So
Glen AuburnGlen AuburnGlen Auburn

Another antebellum home, built in 1875.
I’ve added that to my “tour” along with a Coca-Cola museum. Coca-Cola was first bottled in Vicksburg. I’m looking forward to learning more about how a local soda fountain began bottling Coke in Vicksburg.

Time to wind down for the evening.


Additional photos below
Photos: 9, Displayed: 9



Stairs on the Griffith-McComas House built in 1793.

Tiffany stained glass in Trinity Episcopal Church.
Mount LocustMount Locust
Mount Locust

Circa 1780, Mount Locust was a working plantation and an Inn where travelers on the Natchez Trace could rest for the night. It is the only surviving Inn of more than 50 that existed on the Trace.
Sunken TraceSunken Trace
Sunken Trace

This is a part of the heavily eroded section of the Trace where people walked over 400 miles during the early 1800's.

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