Concord Quarters was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in January, and I believe this is the first individually listed slave quarters building (apart from a main house) in Mississippi. That’s fitting, since Concord, the c.1790 home of Spanish governor Don Manuel Gayoso de Lemos, was a celebrated historic landmark even in the nineteenth century, and the ruinous fire that destroyed the main house in 1901 was covered in most newspapers in the state and region. The two-story brick quarters was built behind the main house c.1819 and contains six rooms. According to MDAH, it “is one of the oldest extant residences of enslaved persons in the region.”
Rehabilitated by owners Gregory and Deborah Cosey, the quarters is now a bed-and-breakfast and is part of the Natchez Pilgrimage. Read more about it here: http://www.concordquarters.com/aboutus.html.
Interestingly, it took HABS two visits to the Concord site to get pictures of the quarters building. In 1934, HABS photographer Ralph Clynne shot one picture of the “welcoming arms” stairs, with a glimpse of the quarters behind, but clearly the ruins of the main house were what drew him. Lucky for us, James Butters came back in 1936 and took two pictures of the quarters building. Thank you, James Butters (even if you didn’t take any interiors). Incidentally, I’m not sure when the staircase disappeared (obviously after 1934), but according to local lore, a few of the modest ranch homes nearby sport fancy marble stair pieces in their yards.
MDAH Historic Resources Database:
- Concord Quarters–http://www.apps.mdah.ms.gov/Public/prop.aspx?id=2098&view=facts&y=728
HABS documentation: http://www.loc.gov/pictures/collection/hh/item/ms0126/
Concord Quarters website: http://www.concordquarters.com/index.html
Even more about Concord . . .
Categories: African American History, Antebellum, Architectural Research, Cool Old Places, Historic American Building Survey (HABS), Natchez, National Register
thanks for this. there must be someone ‘out there’ who knows when the staircase ‘disappeared’—could i have seen it ‘standing’ when i was a child in the 1950s, or am i thinking of all the photos i have seen? and, i haven’t gone back to look at other notes, but is the ca 1819 kitchen/servants’ bldg contemporary with the remodeling of the porches and the construction of the staircase on the big house? just thinking out loud.
just went back and looked at the post on the newest nr properties, including the concord service bldg–in the text, noted a misprint—‘1902′ for the date that concord burned–isn’ t the correct date ‘1901’?
I noticed that too–it’s the news release from MDAH, so I wash my hands of it :-)
The stairs were demolished in the 1950s or 60s due, I believe, to the “danger” of children playing on it and possibly getting injured, something that had become more likely as the neighborhood became more developed in that era. I cannot remember which book I read that in, possibly Mary Wallace Crocker’s Historic Architecture in Mississippi, though maybe Mary Carroll Miller included that fact in Lost Mansions of Mississippi.
mr white, i presume you mean the staircase rather than the portico, since the latter was destroyed in the 1901 fire. so, if the former was there in the 50s or 60s, yes, i suppose i did see the it as a child. and, while i might have wanted to play on it, my mother and my natchez hosts would have stopped me!
there is a nice photo of ‘concord’ made ca 1900, on p.33, of the recently digitized ‘art work of mississippi”. it is slightly different from the well-known postcard(and it is in the sepia/ black-and-white format used in that volume), and the edge of the surviving service bldg–the one now on the national register- can be seen at the very far right.
there is an aerial view of the ‘concord’ site included in the national register materials–described as ‘historic’ but i couldn’t find a date. it is rather wonderful, too, and shows the staircase, some column fragments in a rectangle, and the relationship to the surviving dependency, which, apparently, was one of two which faced each other across a back ‘court’—similar to the survivals at ‘melrose’.
Yes, I meant stairs and have corrected my comment.