Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Town "Too Beautiful to Burn"

Located almost halfway between Natchez and Vicksburg, Port Gibson is the third oldest incorporated town in Mississippi. It is best remembered from the legendary Civil War story in which General Grant reportedly declared the town "too beautiful to burn."

Traces of that beauty still linger in the old houses lining Church Street.

Some of the houses have been restored and are well maintained, while others have fallen into disrepair. It always saddens me to see the toll time takes on these old houses, constructed mostly of wood, but I can certainly understand how costly it must be to maintain them.

My first stop on my photo tour was the Drake House, ca 1900, a lovely example of the Queen Anne style of architecture prevalent around the turn of the century.

Here is a close up view of the beautiful old stained glass window transom which is characteristic of Queen Anne architecture. I love those lace curtains, too!

My next stop was at the Disharoon Home, ca. 1830s, one of the finest Federal-style houses in Claiborne County.

This Greek Revival house is the Presbyterian Manse, ca. 1830-31, the first building to house the First Presbyterian Church.

And speaking of the Presbyterian church, its steeple is probably the most photographed landmark in Port Gibson. Built in 1859, the church's steeple features a gilt hand pointing to Heaven.

Another fine example of Queen Anne architecture is the Schillig House, ca 1896 ...

Gage House, ca 1830

One of the things I love most about old houses is the lagniappe you find in unexpected places. Like this pretty design tucked away under the eave of the house.

Here are a few more houses that caught my eye. The first one is McDougall House, ca 1820 (think about that for a second -- that's 41 years before the Civil War began!).

I love the flag hanging on this house, and just look at those magnificent swan planters waiting to welcome guests.

Spencer House, ca 1840. The rocking chairs on the porch caught my eye.

Be sure and click on this picture to see the details on the rocker, plus the beautiful stained glass hanging in the window.

I love the wide brick sidewalk leading to the Tuscan Columns Bed and Breakfast, ca 1904.

I hated to see the remains of this old home place on Church Street. What a waste ...

But next door, this cute little cow mailbox made me smile. Don't you know the postman loves to put mail in that.I wonder if it moos when you open it!

Traffic was heavy in the downtown historic district at the time I was there, but I did manage to get a shot of the old Trace movie theater ...

And this old Red Goose Shoes sign brought back some memories ...

If you're ever in the Natchez or Vicksburg area, I hope you will take the time to visit Port Gibson. And while you're there, I highly recommend you take a side trip to see the Windsor Ruins.

You can find out more about Windsor here: The Story of the Ruins of Windsor).


nancygrayce said...

This would be a great place to take an RV trip! I love the houses and have always wanted to live in one. BUT, my husband once bought a gorgeous old house and fixed it up and he said "an old house is always an old house" as in hard to heat and cool and expensive because there is usually no insulation! I love those rockers and all the detail people put into the houses at that time!

You take wonderful photos!

Judy said...

i'm so glad you recommended we visit port gibson when we made our tours of natchez and vicksburg a few years truly is a magical place and i loved, loved, loved seeing the windsor ruins. looking forward to another trip one day.

The Quintessential Magpie said...

The "Town Too Beautifull to Burn"... and it was and is.

Loved this. Truly.

The Disaharoom Home is my favorite for many reaons.

Love you, Janie...



The Quintessential Magpie said...

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Love you...