Wednesday, February 18, 2015
Welcome to Mississippi!
The signs say, "Welcome to Mississippi," and there are thirteen Welcome Centers in Mississippi, each built to resemble the grand antebellum structures for which our state is famous. Each center is decorated with fine antique furnishings from the antebellum period, and is the epitome of what southern hospitality is all about ... its friendly staff ready and able to greet guests and answer any questions they may have.
The beautiful Welcome Center here in Vicksburg stands high on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River on one of the state's most significant historic sites. Native Indians, explorers, and early settlers all traveled this bluff, and flatboats, keel boats, and elegant steamboats all stopped here during the Civil War.
The center is very popular with photographers, who have captured thousands of glorious sunsets from its veranda overlooking the river. I recently visited the welcome center, not to photograph the river, but to capture the center itself.
Back View, overlooking the Mississippi River
This is the view that is one of the most, if not THE most,
photographed scenes in Vicksburg ... the twin bridges.
The interior of the Welcome Center is elegantly decorated,
featuring antique furniture, fine oil paintings, and beautiful architectural details.
I was very impressed with the building and furnishings, the friendliness of the staff (one of the ladies has been with the center for 27 years!), and the gracious welcome I received. If you ever pass this way, I hope you will take the time to stop and visit our beautiful Welcome Center, have a cup of coffee, and experience true southern hospitality for yourself. I think you will come away with a new impression of this wonderful state we call home … Mississippi.
And, if you have the time, I encourage you to tour our beautiful city of Vicksburg. It is truly a treasure trove of architectural works of art, history, and southern culture at its finest.