Weekend Road Trip Recap

20 Oct

On our weekend road trip, we drove across Mississippi and spent the weekend in Vicksburg and Natchez, two beautiful small towns along the Mississippi River. We had gorgeous cool weather (cool to us—we met some Canadians from Vancouver who were loving how “warm” it was) and clear skys. One of the highlights, aside from the wedding, was our day trip to Natchez to visit a wonderful cousin of mine who took us on a tour of the town, including Longwood, a beautiful partially finished octagonal pre-Civil War home.

The history of the home in a nutshell (no pun intended): Dr. Haller Nutt, a wealthy cotton planter, hired a Philadelphia-based architect and crew to design and build his home; they began work on it in 1860. When the Civil War broke out, the northern workers dropped their tools and headed home, finishing the exterior but leaving before the interior of the home was complete. Nutt hired local workers to finish the first floor (located in the basement) where Nutt, his wife, Julia, and their eight children lived. However, Nutt died in 1864, and the war left the family broke. As a result, only nine of the 32 rooms were ever finished. Despite this, Julia and her children lived on in the unfinished home until her death in 1897.

These unfinished rooms are really what makes Longwood memorable among the many other finished antebellum homes filled with period furniture that you can tour in Natchez. It’s really interesting to see the bones of the home and imagine what it might have been. If you’re ever in that area of the country, I’d definitely recommend a visit. You’ll learn all about hoop skirts and corsets, outhouses, and fainting couches, too!

Image of the exterior courtesy of this site. Image of the unfinished interior courtesy of this site.

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