Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A Place Called Raymond ...

One of the oldest towns in Mississippi (having been chartered in 1830), Raymond is the epitome of southern grace and elegance. I visited Raymond a couple of days ago and fell in love with its history, its gorgeous old homes, and its "Small Town, Mississippi" charm.

One of the first things visitors see upon arriving in Raymond, is this pretty water tower located in the center of the town square. The tower was built in 1903, and is a welcoming sight with its flags, banners, and cannon.

{You can click on the pictures to enlarge them, if you'd like}

Another eye-catcher on the square is the old Raymond Depot building (circa 1889).

For more than half a century this depot served the Little J Railroad that extended from Natchez to Jackson. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the building is now a private residence and music memorabilia shop.

I'm not sure when these stained glass windows were added, but aren't they neat!

This is a view of the above window taken from inside the building ...

I love old cabooses, and this one, along with some other railroad memorabilia, is on display behind the depot.

In most small towns, the courthouse is usually one of the most visible structures, and Raymond is no exception. It is the site of the Second Judicial District of Hinds County, Mississippi, and is home to one of the most magnificent courthouses in America.

Built from 1857-1859, it is recognized by the Smithsonian as one of the ten most perfect examples of Southern architecture.

One of the reasons I love small towns is because everywhere you look, there's lagniappe ... like this beautiful verbena plant I spotted, in all its glory, just sitting on the side of a hill downtown ...

A photo tour of Raymond would not be complete without including some of its historical churches and old homes. Across the street from the courthouse is the quaint St. Marks Episcopal Church, the oldest church structure in Raymond (circa 1854).

It was used as a hospital during the Civil War and I understand that bloodstains are still visible today on the old pine floors.

I love its red doors and the narrow cathedral-style windows ...

My favorite architectural feature of the church, however, is its unique old steeple. To me, its simplicity and grace are truly awe-inspiring ...

As you can tell from my new header photo, I loved the old bell in the churchyard, too ...

Although, from a photographer's point of view, its chipped and peeling paint add character ... for the sake of its preservation, the church is getting a face lift. I don't envy this guy's job ...

Just up the street from St. Marks is The Immaculate Conception Catholic Church. Built in 1885, the church is well known for its architectural beauty and is mentioned in the National Register of Historic Places.

I love these old cedar trees growing alongside the church. It's no telling how old they are, and... oh, the stories they could probably tell! Do you ever wish that old trees could talk?

And with that thought, I'm going to end the first chapter of my story of "a town called Raymond." I hope you will return for Part II, which will feature some of the beautiful old homes, more "lagniappe" photos, and a somber visit to the old "Confederate Dead" Cemetery on the outskirts of Raymond. I'll also share a brief stop I made on the way home at a tiny little town called Utica.



Loretta said...

Janie that tour was beautiful! I am looking forward to part II. I saw the old church in your header photo. What a shame they have to repaint. I wish they could just preserve that old peeling paint. The story about blood stains on the pine floors gave me a chill. What history!!!!! Thank you for sharing.

Tanna said...

Janie, I can tell you love your South like I do (though some consider Texas the West). I am ready to load up and head to Raymond after this post! Great photos! Thank you so much for sharing. I might not ever have known about Raymond. =)

Anonymous said...

Wonder how far this is from Hattiesburg. I think I need to make a day trip.
Great photos.

Stacey said...

Raymond is beautiful. Thank you for sharing it. The churches are so sweet and simple.

Your new banner is great too!

racheld said...


I love your wanderings---you've shown me things and places I've missed, and things I've never seen, though my home was within easy distance.

Thank you.


Deb said...

blogland is so great we get to go on tours all over the world from our home, your tour was wonderful, I love stained glass windows and photos of churchs, you did a great job, cant wait for part 2


Sue said...

Hello Janie,
I always enjoy your tours, you know just what we want to see. I especially like the old churches and am looking forward to seeing the homes.
I do like your new header that was the first thing I noticed when I came by this morning. Your new lens Janie Is doing a superb job. I bought one for my sony but I just don't get the quality that you do, so please enjoy and keep the pictures coming.

Willow said...

Stained glass windows always fascinate me, too! What a lovely old church.

Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving such a sweet comment.

Bo said...

Hi have an artist's eye when it comes to photography! The pictures you take tell a story all on their own...I love these old historical little towns...I'll be back for part 2! ;- Bo

Unknown said...

What a cool little road trip! Thanks for taking us along. :)

Sniffles and Smiles said...

These are so beautiful!!! Thank you for so kindly returning my visit!!! You are truly an artist! Blessings to you! Janine

Beth at Aunties said...


I feel blessed to be able to visit your blog and see these wonderful places of history I know I will probably never visit.
Your posts are so humbling and I am so grateful for the rich history of our great land and the immense sacrifice of so many.

I loved the old bell, courthouse, the simple beauty of the verbena and the humbling history of the church with the lovely stained windows.
Anything railroad is special because my dad was an engineer on the railroad. We use to travel the rails quite a bit while growing up. There is just so much to see!
Now thanks to you I am seeing the state where my parents were married, in Hattiesburg, before my dad shipped out for Europe during world war 2.

I was visiting with my mom this morning about our own family history of the south. I am hoping in May to visit the area of N Carolina and see where my ancestors had a plantation before moving to Kentucky in the 1700's to start another one. They had one in each state.
Thank you Janie, for capturing these gorgeous pictures and sharing them in such a beautiful way.

With gratitude,

midnight macaroons said...

Beautiful pictures. We are planning a trip to Vicksburg in a couple of weeks. These pictures are getting me excited about our trip over. We relocated after Katrina (lived in NOLA) but my husband's family is all over Mississippi. It's such a wonderful state. You have a great eye for photography. I absolutely love the picture of the church & churchyard bell. Wow!

Unknown said...

Hi Janie,
Your pictures are enticing me to visit Raymond. Love the courthouse the most!
Thanks for the tour.