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.