This is a follow up story to a post I wrote last month featuring an "off the beaten path" photo tour of Natchez. You can click on the link to read that post if you missed it.
Included in the story were pictures of an old house, about which I wrote:
"I would love to know its history, and how and why it has fallen into such a sad state of disrepair and neglect. The expression, "gone with the wind" comes to mind, and I'm sure it would take a small fortune to restore it to its former glory. Perhaps, therein lies the tale of its demise."
This past week, I received a comment on that post from Luke, who cleared up some of the mystery about the house. Here is Luke's note:
I'm from Natchez, and the abandoned dilapidated house you photographed is named Melmont.
Construction began in 1850, and was completed in 1854, it's Greek revival, with Italianate influence. It was built by Henry Basil Shaw (I think he was a doctor, but I'm not sure). His wife's name was Mary Elizabeth, maiden name Latimore. She named the home Melmont, "Mel" coming from her maiden initials, and "Mont," French for being mounted in the center of its average.
Their descendants lived there until 1912, when it was sold to the Henderson family (they had lived at Magnolia Hall), and they remodeled the interior to colonial revival.
The home was then sold again in 1957, to a family (name withheld for privacy's sake) whose three children still have possession of the home, and live out of town. Hopefully it will be restored one day!
I appreciate Luke taking the time to write and fill me in on the history of Melmont. I hope its history doesn't end there. Perhaps someone will come to its rescue before it's too late.