Bottle Tree To Bank Vault

There was a musical event in Natchez that we attended at Temple B’nai Israel. BI is one of my favorite buildings — the synagogue was dedicated in 1872, and while I’ve been there for daytime HH services, this was our first visit at night in a long time.

The ark:

Always love coming here, and it feels so good to see these pews so full from people all over the community.
Temple B'nai Israel, Natchez MS//

Temple B'nai Israel, Natchez MS//

Afterwards, we stayed at the Natchez Hampton Inn (just like every other Hampton Inn ever).
Hampton Inn, Natchez MS//

The next day, we did some things in nearby Port Gibson, and were so happy to see this bottle tree by our friend Stephanie Dwyer:

Stephanie Dwyer Bottle Tree in Port Gibson, MS//

We checked on the former Gemiluth Chessed in Port Gibson, built in 1892. It hasn’t been a synagogue for many years now. We’ll be going back inside it in October;
Gemiluth Chessed, Port Gibson MS//

Lunch was at the Old Country Store

We’ve been coming here every couple of years since before Mr D owned it — it’s always been littered in the back with business cards and even more so now
Old Country Store, Lorman MS//

It’s an interesting mix, from Sabrett New York hotdogs

to religious tracts
Old Country Store, Lorman MS//

Old Country Store, Lorman MS//

for whatever reason, I think this once we were here on an off day (and Mr D has this restaurant open seven days a week, it’s bound to happen, I guess)
My lunch at Old Country Store, Lorman MS//

my watermelon eater was happy, though
Old Country Store, Lorman MS//

Our last visit in 2013 gives a better look at how the space is arranged
Old Country Store, Lorman MS//

That afternoon, we went antiquing in Woodville and I got a small Good Earth pottery platter at Main Street Market, and found this at another antique shop in town. Jitney Jungle
Jitney Jungle Wrapping Paper, Woodville MS//

Later on, we visited Temple Sinai in St Francisville
Temple Sinai, St Francisville LA//

and went shopping down the block at Grandmother’s Buttons (they have a newer location on Magazine St in NOLA) jewelry shop, which is housed in a former bank
Grandmother's Buttons, St Francisville LA//

the shop has its own button museum in the bank vault

the vault mechanism

…and this curious label on the vault door

Natchez City Cemetery, Natchez MS and Trying to Find Miss Sophronia

We’ve been to the Natchez city cemetery several, several times – but I noticed when I went to their website that the site has a section for particularly interesting monuments. I couldn’t right-off find the book that we’d bought earlier about the cemetery, but I made some quick notes about some of the monuments I wanted to take pics of. Here are just a few:

Louise the Unfortunate, Natchez City Cemetery, Natchez MS
This monument above is for Louise. The Unfortunate.

How sad!
Apparently she came to Natchez to meet and marry her fiance. He either died or just didn’t show up, and she didn’t want to return home. She supposedly went from respectable career choices like seamstress and housekeeper to – over the years – careers that were, ahem, less respectable in society. There are three ideas as to how she came to be buried in this plot, with a headstone (even though no dates are on it), and this is from the cemetery’s website:

…some say Louise became friends with a doctor who treated her during her hard life Under-the-Hill, and upon her death he paid for her funeral. Some say a wealthy plantation owner who frequented her room on lonely nights paid her funeral expenses. Others say a preacher paid for her funeral from his pauper funds, but she wasn’t buried in a pauper’s grave.


Natchez Drug Company / Turning Angel, Natchez City Cemetery, Natchez MS

This pic above is of a monument that was erected by the owner of the Natchez Drug Company. There was an explosion at the building that leveled the five-story structure and among others killed five of his employees, the youngest being twelve years old.

The monument reads:

Erected by the Natchez Drug Company to the memory of the unfortunate employees who lost their lives in the great disaster that destroyed its building on March 14, 1908.

Carrie O. Murray
Inez Netterville
Luella D. Booth
Mary E. Worthy
Ada White

In front of this angel monument are headstones for each of the employees. The angel on the monument is referred to as the ‘turning angel’ because it appears to turn at night as cars’ headlights shine on it from the main road.

Schwartz monument – Christian Schwartz had ‘White House’, the home now known as ‘Glen Auburn’ built.

….so we left the cemetery and went to some little just-for-tourists shop right downtown to ask them if they knew where we could find Miss Sophronia that day. Miss Sophronia sells pralines outside Rosalie and also where the Delta Queen and Mississippi Queen steamboats dock, some other places too. When we walked in to this little touristy shop (which I could not believe we were going to, but okay, we wanted to find her), we were asked by this man who didn’t sound at all like he was from anywhere south of Pittsburgh if we wanted to try *their* PRAY-LEENS. (no.)

“Prah-leens” please.

He didn’t know who Miss Sophronia was.

Update 2015: Miss Sophronia passed away July 21, 2015.

She touched the lives of a number of people with her quick style and jovial nature. She enjoyed making praline candy and delighted in meeting people from all over the United States and other countries while selling her pralines during the fall and spring tourist seasons and throughout the year at the various antebellum homes in Natchez and under-the-hill. Nobody was a stranger to her.

Grand Village of the Natchez Indians in Natchez, MS

The first time I’d ever seen mounds like these was earlier this summer when Av and I visited Moundville (that visit here). Since we were going through Natchez on our way to Baton Rouge, we stopped at the Grand Village of the Natchez Indians park for just a few minutes.

One site noted that although people have been in Mississippi for 12,000 years, mounds have only been developed since about 2100 years ago, and their construction continued until about 300 years ago. The mounds here in Natchez aren’t built as high as the ones in Moundville. The ones in Natchez are about 8′ high.

Mound, Grand Village of the Natchez Indians, Natchez MS

From one of the markers:

Reconstructed Natchez House and Granary
The Natchez Indians lived in permanent houses of mud and pole construction with thatched grass roofs. The granary held surplus corn. The structure to the left of the granary provided shade and served as a drying platform.

Grand Village of the Natchez Indians, Natchez MS

Grand Village of the Natchez Indians, Home, Natchez MS

Grand Village of the Natchez Indians, Natchez MS
above, inside of the house.

There are many other American Indian mounds in Mississippi – several in the Delta, some around Tupelo, and others close to Jackson. I’d love to see all of them! Some of them are flat on top, some of them are domed, and some of them have a pyramid shape. The Emerald mound, which we haven’t visited yet, is the second-largest mound in the US – it’s eight acres, and on top of it are two other mounds!