“Melrose,” Natchez

Melrose, Natchez – (1847) (National Historic Landmark). Probably the most intact antebellum plantation/housing complex remaining in Mississippi. The eighty-acre Melrose estate contains the main house (Melrose), kitchen, dairy, octagonal cistern houses, smoke house, privy, carriage house, barn, and the last remaining slave quarters in Natchez. Maryland-born builder/architect Jacob Byers designed and constructed Melrose, the only building that can be definitively attributed to Byers. Mills Lane gives a good description of Melrose in Architecture of the Old South: Mississippi-Alabama, “Melrose’s unusual plan is arranged around an interior central hall, which still retains its original painted floorcloth. The stair is set in a lateral passage, a practice often favored in the large mansions of Natchez. [Interior] Doorways are framed by engaged Ionic columns.” Also, Melrose possesses an unusually large widow’s walk, as well as beautiful plaster ceiling medallions, solid pocket doors, and sunburst-type woodwork above many interior doorways.

Melrose, front parlor

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