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A Parkway And More

Posted by on March 16, 2017

Hey Guys! 

We made it to Mississippi! We spent two very busy weeks in Vicksburg, MS! I’m going to be breaking our time here up into two separate posts.

The Natchez Trace Parkway is 444 miles long and snakes it’s way through three states. We didn’t get to explore all of it, but we got in around 122 miles of it!

 I know, I know…how interesting could a parkway be? Well…pretty darn interesting when it’s sprinkled with historical stops! This natural travel corridor was used for centuries first by animals, then by Native Americans and then when people would catch rides on boats down the Mississippi River to sell their wares. They would then walk the travel corridor back home.

The natural travel corridor that would become the Natchez Trace Parkway goes through the traditional homelands of the Natchez, Chickasaw, and Choctaw nations. One of the stops on the NTP is called Emerald Mound.

Emerald Mound is one of the largest mounds in our country. It stands 35 feet tall and is 770 feet by 435 feet at the base and covers 8 acres. There are two secondary mounds that sit on top of the primary mound making the total height come to 60 feet. Emerald Mound was used as a ceremonial center for the local people who lived in nearby villages, but abandoned the mound in the late 1600s.

Mount Locust Inn and Plantation is one of the oldest structures still standing in the area. The Mount Locust story starts in 1780 and stretches all the way to 1944. The National Park Service started restoring it to it’s 1820 appearance in 1954.

 In the late 1700s boatmen (also known as Kaintucks) were taking their wares down the Mississippi River in their flatboats. At that point the best way to get home was to sell all their wares and the boat then walk back up the natural corridor that we know now as the Natchez Trace Parkway. Mount Locust is right about a day’s walk from Natchez. The travelers would ask the owners of Mount Locust for food and a place to stay for the night. Eventually, the family added on a separate, four room, two story building behind the main house.

We didn’t get to explore the all of Mount Locust due to some bad weather. We would like to eventually go back and see it all.

In the late 1700s and early 1800s the growing number of travelers on the corridor tramped down the rough trail into a clearly marked pathway. On some parts of the pathway where the ground was soft, the travelers wore down the trail and made the “sunken” sections you can see in the pic above.

We made it all the way to mile 122 and the Cypress Swamp!

There’s a nice little boardwalk where you can walk right out over the swamp.

Not far from where we stayed sat the remains of Windsor Plantation. Windsor was built between 1859 and 1861 and was the largest antebellu house in Mississippi at the time.

The plantation once covered over 2,600 acres. It had wrought iron staircases and was four stories that housed 25 rooms, each with it’s own fireplace. The plantation was an important landmark along the Mississippi River. Mark Twain wrote about it in his book “Life on the Mississippi”. The Windsor Plantation survived the Civil War only to be burned to the ground by a party guest who was smoking in 1890.

We also made it to the Mississippi SCB!

Check out the gold coated copper eagle on the dome! It is 8 feet tall and 15 feet across!

Check out the inside of that dome! *cue wondrous music* This is one of the best domes we’ve seen in a while!

And…if that dome isn’t enough to wow you…check out the stained glass in the Senate Chamber. The pics not the best. We weren’t allowed down on the floor so I had to lean out and get the shot from the public gallery.

Not to be out done by the Senate Chamber, the House Chamber has it’s own stained glass dome. We weren’t allowed on the floor again…so the pic is kind of weird, but you get the idea of how awesome the domes are.

The Mississippi SCB has some very nice details. I love these light fixtures.

Y’all know I have a thing for staircases…check out the wavy balustrade! You can also see some more stained glass at the top.

We really enjoyed the Mississippi SCB!

We had some spectacular sunsets while we were in MS!

Stay tuned for part two!

See y’all down the road

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