Port Gibson Holiday Home Tour

Last Saturday I got out of Jackson, avoiding the maddening Christmas shopping traffic, and headed down southwest to Port Gibson. I usually take Highway 18 through Raymond, Utica, and Carpenter and through the steel truss bridge that spans Bayou Pierre. But Saturday I took a different route, possibly for the first time, heading west on I-20 to Vicksburg and then south on Highway 61. I made it in an hour and fifteen minutes and avoided the traffic on Raymond Road, so this may be my new favorite route for a while.

I was able to dawdle a bit on my trip down since the Port Gibson Holiday Tour didn’t start until 2 PM. Knowing that I only had limited sunlight in the afternoon though, I go there by noon so I could take pictures while the light was relatively good. I had a great blue sky for most of my pictures, which makes the architectural details really pop. My one wish was that the tour would have started earlier so that I didn’t feel like I was rushing from place to place.

While I was excited to see the houses, the thing that really made me happy was getting inside all but one of the houses of worship on Church Street (we have to say “houses of worship” instead of the more concise “churches” because of the exotically beautiful Jewish synagogue on the street). Church Street, as you recall, has been the subject of much debate and angst in the last decade or more, as local residents have fought off attempts to finish off the widening of Highway 61, which runs through Port Gibson along the oak-lined Church Street. Earlier this year, MDOT announced that it would be abandoning that plan and would instead bypass Port Gibson.

The pictures I took Saturday will spawn more than one “Going Inside” post in the future, but for today, here are a few of the sights from my wanderings through Port Gibson on a chilly early winter day.

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Categories: Architectural Research, Churches, Cool Old Places, Port Gibson, Preservation People/Events

8 replies

  1. Great images!

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  2. Thank you so much for your time, gas $, love, devotion and letting us see. When I saw the icycle lights on McDougall House, immediately, Mammy popped into my head, “It ain’t fittin’. It jess ain’t fittin. It ain’t fittin’.” Have looked at these over and over again because all are so beautiful. The great blue sky does make everything lovely. Excellent study of Isabella home’s Corinthian column and 3 cornice bracket accents.

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  3. Really nice pictures. The two bricked-over churches caught my eye– are both on Church Street? When one was being covered, my grandfather (a retired civil engineer who lived in Port Gibson) was bothered by it and said that the brick was going to ultimately create problems with the building because there was nothing done between the brick and the original wood to deal with moisture. I thought it was the one you note was bricked in the 50s, but it could be the other.

    There was a rural Lafayette County church that had painted over the door for years the words: “Bilt 19___. Bricted 19___.” Sometime in the last 10 years this got fixed, and I regret not having a picture of the doorway.

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    • Wow, that would have been a great picture! Oh well, “regrets, I have a few . . .”

      You’ll see more of the two bricked churches in tomorrow’s post. St. Peters is on Church, while First Baptist (originally First Baptist Church, Colored, according to its cornerstone) is on the street parallel to Church, Farmer Street. I’ve heard that same issue about bricked buildings, but actually haven’t seen all that many problems. I was guessing about the 1950s by the type of brick, not completely sure of that date.

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  4. I love this as I was born in Port Gibson in 1937 in the oil works home of Luther Slayton who served as suprentendant of Port Gibson Oil works for 50 years there. I spent many summers playing on the beautiful properties of the Church Street Homes and churches. Thank you for this beautiful history, yes it needs to be preserved. Losing our history and heritage is so sad. Our children and grands will never know the joys of the true south.

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Trackbacks

  1. The Cornerstones of Port Gibson « Preservation in Mississippi
  2. Abandoned Mississippi: Port Gibson Oil Works « Preservation in Mississippi
  3. Christmas, historic places, caroling, what more can you ask for? « Preservation in Mississippi

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