Name This Place 4.4

We’re down to the nitty gritty on this our fourth day of Name This Place, an exciting contest of skill, knowledge, and ability to google. I’m not even going to attempt to recount yesterday’s events–you can read the plethora of comments and try to follow what happened. Suffice it to say, we have a tie between early leader W. White and tsj1957, the winner of our inaugural Name This Place.

One thing I will remind everyone is it’s best to sign in when you leave your comment, using your e-mail address (no one will be able to see it, it’s just for authentication), especially if you use a networked computer, which normally changes your IP address every time you log on. WordPress uses your IP to remember that you’ve been here before and thus are a trusted commenter, but if it doesn’t recognize you, it will send your comment to the moderation pool, and you don’t want to be there if you’re trying to score the first point.

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Here’s our standings–we’ve got a real nail-biter going:

Here’s how it stacks up after two rounds:

W. White: 4 points
tsj1957: 4 points
Carunzel: 3 points
JRGordon: 2 point
doakley: 1 point
Belinda: 1 point

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A hint for today: this building has been pictured on MissPres before. So, without further ado (and sorry for the not-great picture) . . .



Categories: Contest

21 replies

  1. Is it, as you admitted, a bad photo of Brandon Hall in Adams County, now owned and for sale by Historic Natchez?

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  2. Sorry I didn’t follow directions,

    Is it, as you admitted, a bad photo of Brandon Hall in Adams County, now owned and for sale by Historic Natchez?

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  3. I happened to be there in November or it would have been nigh impossible to id. My information (it was for sale then)is from that time too. The rural estate is simply breathtaking…reminded me of Stourhead in England

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  4. MissPres News Roundup 7-31-09

    Brandon Hall in Adams County, near Washington, was constructed in 1856, the grandest antebellum plantation house in rural Adams County. As we all know, antebellum Natchezians liked their grand mansions in town, where everyone could see them. The Historic Natchez Foundation acquired Brandon Hall through a gift from the Brandon Hall Foundation, which was created by Stanley and Elke Diefenthal in 1986 to preserve the property. It is the largest donation for historic preservation in Mississippi’s history.

    Of course, as the Historic Natchez Foundation’s website is quite pitiful, there is no information about Brandon Hall on their site, except that the held a cocktail buffet at the house to close out their Historic Natchez Conference in October.

    Brandon Hall was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on 6-12-1980. The architect/builder is listed as being unknown.

    I have found no mention of the house being still for sale online.

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    • The above comment should read “…except that they held a cocktail buffet…”

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    • I am going to pull in an out-of-state reference to Brandon Hall. Canebrake, a plantation complex in Concordia Parish, Louisiana, was owned by Gerard Brandon around the same period that Brandon Hall was constructed. Canebrake still contains the interior woodwork that Brandon had installed for him. By 1860, 81% of Concordia Parish was owned by absentee landowners, nearly all of whom lived in Natchez. At the same time, 91% of the population of Concordia Parish was enslaved, working on the land for the absentee landowners of Natchez. A slap of cold reality when you realize how the opulence of Natchez was created.

      Another interesting bit of information, this one architectural and not historically sobering, is that some of the glass at Brandon Hall is “Restoration Glass” from the Bendheim Glass Company. This glass is handblown using historic methods and is, according to the company, virtually indistinguishable from historic, original glass.

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    • Interesting connection with Canebrake–never been there, do you know if it’s open to the public?

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      • According to what I have found out, Canebrake is a private home.

        The house is not ostentatious compared to Brandon Hall; its value lies in the fact that it is a complete antebellum plantation complex. The overseer’s house (there has never been a large plantation house on the property, the overseer’s house is the “big house”) dates from circa 1840; Gerard Brandon remodeled the house during the 1850s. The Meserve family did some alterations during the 1910s; yet, since the 1910s the house has had no remodels. The remainder of the plantation complex dates to the 1840s-1860 and contains six slave cabins, a barn, and a chicken house (there is also a twentieth century garage). Canebrake is the last surviving antebellum farm complex in Concordia Parish; the last link to how the wealth of Natchez was created.

        Another Natchez link is that Canebrake was originally owned by Tobias Gibson and William Harris. The firm of Neibert and Gemmell constructed Ravenna, another Natchez mansion, for William Harris in 1835. Ravenna and Brandon Hall are the only houses in the Natchez area with double-tiered galleries that have Doric and Ionic columns. The use of the two orders is different; Brandon Hall has Ionic on the first story, Doric on the second. Ravenna has Doric on the first story, Ionic on the second. However, this unique connection could mean that Neibert and Gemmell also constructed Brandon Hall.

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        • That’s a really interesting comparison–I hadn’t seen it and it gives me something to think about. Unfortunately, both Neibert and Gimmell died in the 1838 yellow fever epidemic. You’re on a roll with dead men walking! :-)

          And thanks for introducing me to Canebreak. Sounds like a wonderful historic place, and as you say, very evocative of “the other side of the story.”

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          • Canebrake was one of the sites visited (and somewhat documented) by the Vernacular Architecture Forum during the 1992 VAF Conference based out of Natchez. The VAF guidebook contains plans and other information about this amazing site.

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          • Phooey, I wish I had been around for that conference. I’ve seen the guide book, and it looks like it was something special. I’ll have to go back and look at the Canebreak entry.

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  5. From the NR Nomination:

    “Located in a parklike setting east of the Natchez Trace Parkway northeast of Washington, Mississippi, Brandon Hall is a large two-story Greek Revival residence. Constructed in 1856, the house is frame above a brick foundation, and is covered by a tall pyramidal roof. A U-shaped Ionic colonnade forms a lower gallery along front and side elevations and is superimposed on the facade by a Corinthian colonnade modeled on the Temple of the Winds.” The nomination goes on to say that the house’s “frame construction and vernacular use of Grecian motifs combine to make [it] more typical of the mansions of neighboring Jefferson and Claiborne counties than of the brick mansion of Adams County.”

    Also according to the NR Nomination – the Gerard Brandon who built and lived in the house with his wife Charlotte was the son of Gov. Gerard Chittoque Brandon – the state’s first native born MS Governor.

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  6. Good info, all! Points all round, and two for tsj for adding the bit about Historic Natchez. I had heard that it might have sold, but that was only a few weeks ago, so possibly it’s still in the works.

    Keep up the good work y’all and just remember, there’s still a bonus round out there–you never know when it will pop up, so be prepared to jump on it when it does. Bonus rounds only have one point–to the person who identifies the photo.

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  7. All I saw was “cocktail buffet”

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