8. August 2013 11:01
Stunning architecture and acclaimed landmarks have long been a part of Mississippi’s rich heritage. From antebellum mansions to historical monuments, our state is known for a wide array of interesting structures. The City of Natchez is home to an impressive collection of historic homes and other buildings. In fact, over 1,000 of those are listed on the National Register of Historic Places and about a dozen have been designated as National Historic Landmarks. Among those sites are a number of churches that offer a glimpse into the history of Natchez. Many are home to active congregations today who are working to preserve the legacy that lives within those walls.
One in particular is First Presbyterian Church located at the corner of South Pearl and State Streets n Natchez. The church is one of the finest examples of a Federal-style church in Mississippi. Constructed in 1828-1829 on the site of an earlier church, First Presbyterian is home to a congregation organized early in the 19th century as Presbyterians arrived in the area as missionaries.
Stratton Chapel, added to the rear of the church around 1900, is named for Joseph B. Stratton, pastor of the church from 1843-1894 and later as pastor emeritus. The space now houses “Natchez in Historic Photographs,” a large exhibition from the Gandy Collection. These photos were taken from as early as 1840 and offer a grand depiction of life in Natchez in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. It includes over 500 photographs of steamboat activities along the river, the families and homes of Natchez, and downtown Natchez as it looked in the days of old. The gallery is open from 10 am to 4 pm, Monday through Saturday. A $5 donation is requested.
(Photo courtesy of Sally Durkin, Natchez Convention & Visitors Bureau)