Joe and Nancy

Joe and Nancy
Our Home on Wheels (Click on image above for our web albums.)

Friday, June 5, 2015

Natchez Trace Parkway & Natchez NHS

After leaving my Sister's home in Oregonia, OH on Friday, May 8, we drove straight to my Sister's home in Ashland City, TN.  We had us a nice Mexican dinner with her and Joe, her hubby.  Afterwards we went to her house and caught up on all the events in recent memory (that's about all I got these days) till late in the evening.  What a nice time with her & Joe.  Saturday morning had us driving to a Civil War site:  Shiloh National Military Park.  After spending several hours walking and driving our motorhome through the park with Jeep attached.  We left here and drove on into Collierville, TN.  We parked the big rig in the local Walmart and rested.  Next morning, Mother's Day, May 10, we attended Church services at East Shelby Church of Christ with our friends and former preacher at our church in Dade City, where we have worshipped for the past three winters.  Above pic is the entrance (one of several) into the 440 mile pioneer trail.  But I'll get to that in a moment.  After dinner with the Shanks, Adam & Tiffany, at their beautiful home in Olive Branch, MS, we drove to Jackson, MS and got on the Natchez Trace.  Quite honestly, I don't think I ever heard of this neat piece of Americana History.  We drove for about an hour on this "Blue Ridge Parkway look-alike" then scampered over to the Walmart in Vicksburg.   
I really can't add much more than the tablet offers above, other than to say that I'm surprised that so many sections of the Trace are still around to witness.
The photo below shows some visitors "down" in the Sunken Trace.
Along the Trace are many interesting story boards that describe the events and locations of places of significance that are being kept alive for others to learn and read about this old "highway".
Here are a few more of the story boards for your reading pleasure.
All of the storyboards I show here in this blog are from the section of the Trace from Jackson, MS to Natchez.
Rocky Springs is a small settlement that flourished during the hey days of the Trace, but today only the church building is left.
Here are a few remnant-artifacts and story tablets regarding the old settlement.
Above, remnant street of Rocky Springs and below another old safe and the cistern.
It appears that services are still held in the building, but not sure how often.  Below, an old tree with the roots exposed due to the erosion problem of the area.
This was fairly large crossroads, considering the location, i.e., out in the boonies.  So, one can conjure up a vision of what it must have been like when Grant's army marched right through here on their way to Vicksburg.
These buildings now vacant, were at the crossroads, and I imagine there were buildings here when Grant made his way along with 50,000 or so soldiers and wagons and supplies and calvary.  Can you imagine the dust storm with that much commotion on dry, dusty roads?
Mount Locust was down near the end, about 30 miles or so from Natchez.  This is actually the structure, maintained extensively of course, that was used as the inn along the Trace.
This was an interesting place of Native American history.  The story plaque above will describe is generally, and the story boards below provide some details as to what went on there.
This "plateau" was large.  I would estimate 150 yards wide by 300 yards long.  I can vizualize the many picnics, games and screaming/laughing kids and dogs running, playing and competing against each other here.   
We drove on into Natchez which is the southern terminus of the Trace, and went to the visitor's center so Nancy could get her stamp for the Passport America NPS book, and walked around the grounds for about 15 minutes.  They were offering tours of the mansion, but we declined as there was a fee of $8 per person.  And it was late in the afternoon, and we an hour or so drive back to the coach in Vicksburg.

So, that about wraps up our blog about the Natchez Trace.  While we did not travel the whole 444 miles, we did do about half of it, and learned enough to gain an appreciation of the effort many of the early pioneers of mid-America went through to sell their produce and farm products in the Natchez-New Orleans area.
Until our next blog, Joe & Nancy, the RVing Beach Bums signing off.  This blog written at the Monaco maintenance facility in Coburg, OR on Friday, June 5, 2015.