Mississippi July 05, 2017
7 Historic Plantations In Mississippi That Are Being Reclaimed By Nature…And It’s Heartbreaking
Just like any other state, Mississippi has a rich history. And one way that history lives on is through historic sites, such as battlefields, churches, and plantations. Luckily, the state is home to loads of perfectly preserved sites from yesteryear. However, there are some that haven’t been so well taken care of, and sadly, these 7 plantations are among them. Take a look:
1. Melmont (Natchez)
Construction on Melmont began in 1850 and was completed in 1854. It was built for a lawyer named Henry Basil Shaw and his wife Mary Elizabeth. The Shaw’s descendants lived in the home until 1912, at which time it was sold. Eventually, it seemed as if Melmont was forgotten about; left to slowly deteriorate. The state of Melmont hasn’t gone unnoticed, and it’s listed as one of the "10 Most Endangered Historic Places in Mississippi."
2. Mount Holly (Lake Washington)
Completed in 1856, Mount Holly was built for Margaret Johnson. The Italianate antebellum mansion included 30 rooms, 14' ceilings, and 2' thick walls. In 1973, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places and has sadly been deserted for almost just as long. Only adding to its demise, Mount Holly caught fire in 2015, leaving behind a skeleton of the beautiful home that once was.
3. Arlington (Natchez)
Arlington has fallen into disrepair due to years of neglect, exposure to the elements, and vandals. Though you can't tell from it's current state, it was once considered one of the most architecturally significant homes in Mississippi. According to the National Park Service, Arlington is "one of four important Federal Style villas, which established the basic form for the later antebellum houses of Natchez."
4. Prospect Hill (near Lorman)
The Prospect Hill plantation is without a doubt one of the most historically significant sites in the state. It once belonged to Captain Isaac Ross, who freed his slaves at the time of his death. After years of trials and tribulations, a group of 300 of Ross’ slaves were transported to Africa, where they founded Liberia. Eventually, Prospect Hill was abandoned and considered one of the most endangered properties in Mississippi. Luckily, the Archaeological Conservancy purchased the property a few years ago and is now in the process of restoring it.
5. Saragossa (Natchez)
The Saragossa Plantation is located just a few miles outside of Natchez. It was built in 1823 for Stephen Duncan, the wealthiest cotton planter in the antebellum south. According to records, it was just one of several plantations Duncan owned. In the 1850s, the property was sold to the Smith family, who occupied Saragossa until the 1980s. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Saragossa has been abandoned for decades and will soon be lost to time if nothing is done.
6. Georgiana (Cary)
Located on the banks of Deer Creek, the Georgiana Plantation was constructed circa 1840. Though the Delta is often associated with antebellum homes, it actually doesn’t have that many, so Georgiana is especially important. Considered "Mississippi’s most ignored historic house," the home has long been abandoned, falling victim to weather and neglect. Luckily, efforts are currently underway to find an owner who is willing to restore the home.
For more information on Georgiana, click
7. Susie B. Law House (Lake Washington)
Overlooking Lake Washington, the Susie B. Law House is believed to have been built from a Sears home kit. Covered in vines and overgrowth, the deteriorating home is rapidly returning to nature. Though the state of the home is heartbreaking, it’s actually drawn some attention. Two movies, "Haunted" and "Dark House," have been filmed at the Susie B. Law House.
So, did you know about these historic homes? Or maybe you have another to add to this list? Tell us in the comments section.
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