Friday, May 4, 2012

Court House Tour - Up on the Roof!

If you have been following my series of posts featuring my recent visit to the Old Court House Museum in Vicksburg, you've probably been wondering if I am writing a book, instead of just a few blog posts. I promise, there is an end in sight, but I have a few more things to share first.

Today, I'm featuring the pictures I captured of the City of Vicksburg, which were taken from the roof of the courthouse. If you missed how and why I happened to be up on the roof, you can click here to read about that adventure — Court House Tour - The Attic!

I'm going to begin with a picture of the street view of the courthouse to try to put things into perspective.

This is a closer view of the clock tower. Notice the iron railing surrounding it.

I was standing behind the iron railing on the balcony surrounding the clock tower when I took these pictures. You can see the roof and railing in this next picture, which shows downtown Vicksburg, and the Hotel Vicksburg in the center.

The balcony isn't very wide — if I had to guess, I'd say approximately 10 feet, or so ... and, at first, I was a little apprehensive about getting too close to that railing. After we were up there for a while, I felt more comfortable, and, at one point, I even leaned against the railing to capture some pictures of the clock!

In case you're wondering, I've always had a fear of heights (especially high bridges and the lookouts at the Grand Canyon and on mountaintops) ... and a couple of weeks ago, if someone had told me I would do something like walking around the balcony of the clock tower, I'd have thought they had lost their mind. But I guess my adrenaline was running high that day, and I was caught up in the excitement of the moment, because I didn't really think about the height. I was just spellbound by the view.

I guess my favorite view was of the steeples of Vicksburg. The next picture shows (from left to right) the steeples of the Baptist, Presbyterian, Methodist, and Episcopal churches (you can click on all of these pictures if you would like to get a closer look).

Closeup of the awe-inspiring steeple of The Church of the Holy Trinity ...

If you would like to see the rest of Holy Trinity, you can click on this link to read a post in which I featured several pictures of it — it is truly An Architectural Work of Art.

This next photo features the view to the southwest of the courthouse, and includes the dome of the Mississippi River Commission building in the foreground and the twin bridges in the background, which are several miles away from downtown. The Entergy plant is also shown in the background. Although the plant appears to be located across the river from Vicksburg, it is actually on the same side, a couple of miles downriver and around a bend.

Yazoo River Diversion Canal, with the Mississippi River in the far background.

The following picture shows where the Yazoo Diversion Canal joins the Mississippi River. I took this picture with my zoom lens and it looks as if there is a line drawn where the rivers join, separating the muddy water of the canal from the waters of the Mighty Mississippi.

You can see it a little better in this closeup ...

Barge and tugboat on the Diversion Canal ...

Hotel Vicksburg

Warren County Jail

I have always thought that the Warren County Jail has to be one of the most elegant jailhouses in the state of Mississippi, and quite possibly the South. Located across from the courthouse, it was constructed in1906, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

This is the balcony view of the flag shown in the first pictures of this post, which show how it looks from the street.

I also got to see the tops of these "chimneys" up close ...

A panoramic view of the City, looking southwest ...

It was truly breathtaking to see the City spread out before me, and I couldn't believe I was actually standing beside the beautiful old clock tower that I have photographed from the ground hundreds of times.

This is one of my favorites ...

There are a few things I have photographed through the years about which I tend to get emotional, and the clock tower is one of them. During the Siege of Vicksburg, Union troops could see the clock tower atop the courthouse, "yet despite its symbolic defiance to their efforts to conquer the city, the massive structure survived the numerous bombardments." It also survived a direct hit by the 1953 tornado that destroyed much of Vicksburg. Perhaps it is that "symbolic defiance" that draws me to it. Whatever it is, I love photographing it, and was thrilled to be so close.

I was surprised at the primitiveness of the face of the clock. It's made of wood, and its wooden hands and numerals show the toll time has taken on it.

I wonder how many coats of paint it has had through the years ...

Although I took hundreds of pictures during my tour, there were literally thousands of pictures I had to leave behind. This is especially true of the pictures I took from the roof. In retrospect, I wish I had tried to locate and focus on a few of the individual historical buildings and houses around the courthouse, but, overall, I am happy with the pictures I captured.

In my next — and final — post, I will conclude my tour of the museum with a visit to the Records Rooms, where Jordan, my guide, and I stopped on our way back downstairs.

While they were not as adventurous as my trek through the attic to the roof, the records rooms were truly fascinating. I hope you will join me next time.

If you missed any of the previous chapters of my tour, you can click on the following links to read them:

The Court House - Part 1
Court House Lagniappe - Part 2
Downstairs at the Court House - Part 3
Upstairs at the Court House - Part 4
Court House Tour - The Attic!


LindaG said...

Awesome! Fantastic pictures.

Have a blessed weekend! ♥

racheld said...

it's as if you were flying!! What a wonderful paean to your city and heritage!

I just want to link this to every organization, city committee, and chamber of commerce in your area (and all the travel bureaus as well---to COME SEE THIS!

You've got a definite LOOK WHAT WE'VE GOT! right on your doorstep, and everybody ought to SEE the wondrous way you've portrayed such a noble, beautiful place.

Sue said...

What a view you had, Janie, and thank you for capturing the photos of Vicksburg, a very beautiful city indeed. And a book would be a great idea, as your photos are always so beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

C. M. Designs said...

You've shown us more amazing pictures and shared such interesting information. I love the old clock tower.. It makes me think of the one in the *Back to the Future* movie..
I will probably never get to take a trip to Vicksburg, however, I have enjoyed your travels and feel like I've been there with you.
What a time you've been having. What stories you can tell your Grandchildren. Wonderful !
Where are we going next ?
Sincerely, Charlotte