Natchez National Historical Park. Basic information for visitors to the Natchez National Historical Park
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Natchez National Historical Park
In southwestern Mississippi, in Natchez
One of the greatest collections of significant antebellum properties in the United States is found in Natchez, Mississippi. This park celebrates the history of the city, as well as its historic roles in the settlement of the old Southwest, the Cotton Kingdom, and the Antebellum South. Here, the 18th-century Fort Rosalie was built by the French and occupied by the British, Spanish, and Americans. The William Johnson House was a house owned by William Johnson, a free black man, whose diary tells the story of everyday life in antebellum Natchez. The Melrose estate once belonged to John T. McMurran, who rose from being a middle-class lawyer to a position of wealth and power in antebellum Natchez. Although Fort Rosalie is closed to the public, Melrose and the William Johnson House are open for touring. A slavery exhibit is also on site. The park was authorized on October 7, 1988.
WHAT TO SEE & DO
Touring historic buildings. Facilities: Visitor information center (Melrose), Natchez Visitor Reception Center, hiking trails. Bookstore. Programs & Events: Guided tours of Melrose (hourly 9-4). Walking tours of historic district (Memorial Day-Labor Day, Sat. am). Spring and Fall Pilgrimages (Mar. and Oct.), Natchez Literary Celebration (1st week, June). Tips & Hints: Plan to spend about two hours touring the historic homes, grounds, and outbuildings. Pick up a Discovery Kit at Melrose for in-depth self-guided touring. Busiest Apr.-Oct., least crowded Jan. and Feb.
FOOD, LODGING & SUPPLIES
Camping: None at site. Near Stanton: Nachez State Park (40 Wick-liff Rd., off U.S. 61, tel. 601/442-2658; 50 sites; $13-$14; flush toilets, showers, hook-ups). Hotels: None in park. In Natchez: Monmouth Plantation (36 Melrose Ave., tel. 601/442-5852 or 800/828-4531; 15 rooms, 15 suites; $195-$215), Natchez Eola Hotel (110 N. Pearl St., tel. 601/445-6000 or 866/445-3652; 132 rooms; $108), Ramada Inn Hilltop (130 John R. Junkin Dr., tel. 601/446-6311 or 800/256-6311; 160 rooms, 6 suites; $86). X Restaurants: None in park. In Natchez: Biscuits & Blues (315 Main St., tel. 601/446-9922; $6-$9; closed Mon.), Magnolia Grill (49 Silver St., tel. 601/446-7670; $10-$15). & Groceries & Gear: None in park. In Natchez: Natchez Market (280 John R. Junkin Dr., tel. 601/442-9156), Sports Center (305 Sgt. S. Prentiss Dr., tel. 601/442-4827).
FEES, HOURS & REGULATIONS
Outbuildings and grounds free. Melrose tour: $6 adults, $3 ages 63 and over, $3 ages 6-17, free ages 5 and under. No flash photography in mansion. Natchez Visitor Reception Center open Mon.-Sat. 8:30-5, Sun. 9-4. Melrose open daily 8:30-5. The William Johnson House is expected to open in spring 2004.
HOW TO GET THERE
80 mi north of Baton Rouge, LA, via U.S. 61 north; 70 mi south of Vicksburg via U.S. 61 south; and 100 mi southeast of Jackson via 1-20, the Natchez Trace Pkwy., and U.S. 61 to Melrose Montebello Pkwy. Closest airport: Baton Rouge (70 mi).
Natchez National Historical Park (640 S. Canal St., Box E, Natchez, MS 39120, tel. 601/442-7047 headquarters; 601/446-5790 Melrose, fax 601/442-8845, www.nps.gov/natc). Natchez Convention & Visitors Bureau (640 S. Canal St., Natchez, MS 39120, tel. 601/446-6345).
Natchez National Historical Park. Basic information for visitors to the Natchez National Historical Park In southwestern Mississippi, in Natchez