This 1800s Greek revival-style mansion represents the hieght of Southern prosperity and the "Cotton Kingdom." Built by the John T. McMurran family beginning in 1841, Melrose was, according to McMurran daughter-in-law Alice Austen, "very elegant; one of the handsomest places I have seen North or South." Guided tours of the home give visitors a glimpse into the lifestyle of the pre-Civil War American South and help them understand the roles that slaves played in an estate setting. Sitting today on 80 lush acres maintained by the National Park Service, the home stands as a well-preserved piece of America's history.
William Johnson House
Located in downtown Natchez, the William Johnson House complex consists of the actual Johnson home and the adjoining McCallum House. William Johnson, a free black barber in Natchez, used bricks from buildings destroyed in the infamous tornado of 1840 to construct the State Street estate and commercial business area. The familly lived in the upper stories of the house, while the first floor was rented out to merchants. The William Johnson House, renovated by the National Park Service, allows visitors to learn more about the life of free African Americans in the pre-Civil War South. Visitors to the home will also learn about the extensive diary kept by William Johnson from 1835-1851 which detailed everyday life in Natchez.
Did You Know?
An 1840 tornado destroyed John McMurran's law office. Ironically, William Johnson used some of the bricks from McMurran's law office to build his new home on State Street. Today, McMurran's estate Melrose and William Johnson's house are part of Natchez National Historical Park.