Saturday, 4 January 2014


We continued onto the town of Natchez, the oldest permanent settlement on the Mississippi River. As out drive today was relatively short, we had time to meander through the Natchez Trace Pathway, a historic route from Natchez to Nashville used for mail and also a way back up to Nashville after floating goods down the Mississippi River. With the introduction of steamboats the path stopped being used. This drive would have been spectacular in the fall I imagine with leaves changing colour. In all honesty, in winter, there is nothing spectacularly special about it.

A proper road has been built since the humble beginnings as a dirt path

The Mississippi River, the width still astounds me every time I see it. It is 1 mile at its widest

Following one of the "trails", a self guided walk around the town

Just follow the sign!

Up for sale...Malcolm fancy buying your wide a new house?!?! This is Chactow, a mansion built in 1836 for yet another cotton planter

Natchez is known for the preservation of many antebellum (pre civil war) homes. The first home we visited was Stanton Hall, the mansion of cotton plantation owner and broker. The interior was amazing. No expense was spared in building the house. The fireplace mantel were Italian carrera marble and the candeliers individually moulded in France. The poor man unfortunately only lived for a month after his dream home was finished. Even more unfortunate was that we were not allowed to take photos inside. We were asked to be careful and not touch the furniture as much of it was the original furniture of the family. Interestingly, Elliot was allowed to play on the piano from the 1800s currently on loan to the house! One more interesting fact (if you believe wikipedia), the mansion served as a design for Disneyland's Haunted Mansion. I guess I'll be looking for similarities when we go later in the month.

Stanton Hall, taking up an entire block

Our second antebellum home, Longwood, was the never finished mansion that belonged to another cotton baron by the name of Haller Nutt. Work on the mansion halted in 1861with the civil war. Only the exterior was completed. Nutt used local workers to finish the basement level where his family lived. Nutt himself died in 1864. Unfortunately once again we were not allowed to take photos of the furnised basement level to appreciate the contrast with the unfinished upper levels. The home itself though, despite its unfinished state, was still breath taking. It would have been absolutely stunning if it were indeed completed. The octagonal design really was unusual and very nice!


The back of the home. Mrs Nutt had planted the trees in a circle. There was a gazebo that was planned to go in the middle of it. It was never built.

The windows of the upper floors never got glazed and so the family boarded it up and it has remained that way since

The spectacular rotunda could be viewed from all levels other than the basement

The unfinished interior of the upper floors. The door with the light to the left of the stairs led down to the basement level where the family thought they could wait out the war.

Plan of the floor above. The middle design would be in marble and would be directly under the rotunda

We stayed the Twin Oaks Bed and Breakfast at the recomendation of fellow Aussie Disboarder. It is a home of Southern chef and cookbook author Regina Charboneau. Our family occupied the Amaryliss Suite and the Rose Room, 2 out of the six rooms available at the property. Regina was lovely! She happily showed us around her beautifully restored home. I was almost certain that Jonah was going to break something...but she was great with the children, letting them ring the doorbell, pull on the shoo-fly cord, and feeding them chocolates and caramel.

In the dining room pulling the shoo-fly.

Feeding the children treats from her kitchen

Our room in the building next to the main house

The spacious and cozy interior

We later dined at her new restaurant, the King's Tavern (corner of Jefferson and Rankin). It is the oldest building in the Mississippi Territory, dating back to the late 1700s. The food was amazing. The woodfired flatbreads were absolutely delicious and would easily rival the gourmet pizzas of Sydney. It was also nice to eat well made tasty salads. Orange, pomegranate, almonds and basil vinaigrette...awesome!. Seeing as we had such a healthy dinner, we decided to treat ourselves to milkshakes at a classic malt shop. A combination of grape, peanut butter and lime shakes ensured that our calory intake was well balanced for the day...

The Kings Tavern, rumoured to be haunted!

Home made Italian sausage 

Brisket with caramelised onions and horseradish cream. Again yum!

It is a little too dark to see it, but in the black pot is a wonderfully prepared piece of fish

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