Monday, April 14, 2014

A Place called Woodville

My husband and I recently traveled to South Louisiana, and stopped a couple of places along the way. Woodville, Mississippi was one of those places.
Woodville is the county seat of Wilkinson County, Mississippi, and is one of the oldest towns in the state. It was incorporated in 1811, after the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, and not long before Mississippi's admission to the United States in 1817.   

Woodville lies just to the north of the Mississippi-Louisiana border in the southwest corner of the state, along the historic corridor between Natchez, Mississippi, 34 miles to the north, and St. Francisville, Louisiana, 24 miles to the south.
As the sign indicates, Woodville's "claim to fame" is that it was Jefferson Davis' boyhood home. I would have liked to have visited the Davis plantation, Rosemont, but we had other places to go and time was short.

Woodville was also home to the first railroad in Mississippi, begun by Edward McGehee in 1831.  I will be posting more about Mr. McGehee soon, whose story I found very interesting.

I did a little research about Woodville before we left home, and there were a few landmarks in town that I wanted to see.  Our first stop was downtown where I captured some pictures of the Wilkinson County Courthouse.

Surrounded by huge old live oak trees, the picturesque courthouse is the focal point of the downtown historic district.  It is the third courthouse located on the site, and was built in 1903.

The magnificent oak shown in the picture below is called "the Jefferson Davis Oak," and was there when the courthouse square was laid out 200 years ago [circa 1775-1780]. 
Another landmark building in the downtown area is the classic federal-style former Branch Banking House of the State of Mississippi (ca. 1819).  The state's oldest existing bank building, it has been adapted as the African American Museum.
The Woodville water tower is a very prominent landmark located in the center of the downtown area.
We came across the old tower while wandering around some of the neighborhoods in Woodville ...
  (I prefer the old one, don't you!  It has so much "character.")

And speaking of "character," Woodville is home to some very pretty churches, which I enjoyed seeing and photographing.  I love the classic beauty of their simple clapboard exteriors.

 St. Joseph's Catholic Church 
This lovely house was across the street from St. Joseph's ... 
 I loved the sweet little swing hanging from the limb of the old oak tree. 

I enjoyed our brief visit in Woodville, and would like to come back someday to spend more time capturing its "Small Town, America" ambience. 

I hope you will join me next time as I take you down this pretty little dirt road on the outskirts of Woodville to visit a beautiful old family cemetery.


Judy said...

janie, you always have the most interesting and informative posts...i'm looking forward to returning to St. Francisville one day and will add this little town to our meanderings. I can't wait to see your cemetery mom and I used to visit old cemeteries all the time.

Dorothy said...

Wonderful pictures, Janie! I love the pictures of the churches!