Sunday, October 29, 2017

Windsor Ruins, MS

From Rodney, I made the short drive over to the Windsor Ruins. Since Rodney is a ghost town in the middle of nowhere, this meant driving through a few miles of bumpy and dusty dirt roads.


At one point, the rising sun burst though the trees covering the road. The light was shining through the dust that had been kicked up by passing cars.


The road then ran right into the middle of Alcorn State University, which I though was oddly busy for an early Saturday morning (when I was in college, I definitely would not be up and awake at 8:00 AM). There were already tons of students out walking around, and then lots of people strolling through campus. It would turn out that it was Homecoming Weekend, and there was a football game and parade that day. Streets through campus were beginning to be shut down for the parade, and I managed to sneak through without getting in the way of the game.

I drove a few miles down the road to the Windsor Ruins, which are 23 columns that are the only remnants of a massive mansion that stood here from 1861 to 1890.


Windsor Mansion was built on a plantation that is just four miles from the Mississippi River. The mansion was huge, and contained 25 rooms and also 25 fireplaces. The roof had an observatory, which was used by both sides during the Civil War. The house probably only survived the war because it was used to watch the river and because of its use as an hospital. After the war, Mark Twain used the observatory to watch the river, and mentioned the elegance of the home in his book Life On The Mississippi.


After surviving the Civil War, the mansion would end up being destroyed by a fire caused by a cigarette dropped by a houseguest in 1890. The home burned, leaving behind only the columns and the iron steps (which are now part of a building at Alcorn State). The columns have stood for over a century since, but they are weakening and in danger of collapse. A fence was recently installed around the columns, which prevents people from getting too close to the ruins (and also makes getting pictures a little difficult).


I tried to get a few pictures and then made the drive back to our hotel in Natchez. Along the way I got a picture of this old church, which was built in 1824. After that we then headed further south, towards New Orleans.


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