You would love a visit to Port Gibson

We still have new friends to make and new fun adventures, but now we are doing those things in Mississippi. You would love a visit to Port Gibson. We discovered that this area is a history buff’s paradise.

Our first overnight stay in Mississippi was at the very nice Ameristar RV Park in Vicksburg, Mississippi. We met Steve’s cousin, Eddie, and his wife Dianne, our favorite RV travel companions in Vicksburg. Who knew the perks of my casino slot machine play would translate into a free RV park stay?

This tiny town in Mississippi was founded in 1729. Port Gibson was chartered as a town in 1803 and today has a population of just over 1,200. While not often on the list of top Mississippi destinations, it is chock full of history and interesting sights to see.

You would love a visit to Port Gibson, Mississippi

Main Street Park

The Natchez Trace Parkway at Port Gibson, of course, draws many tourists. However, most historic buildings are still standing today because General Ulysses S. Grant believed the town to be “too beautiful to burn.”

For this reason, Port Gibson, located between Natchez and Vicksburg, is today still home to many majestic old churches and wonderful historic buildings throughout the downtown area.

You would love a visit to Port Gibson

The Port Gibson Community Bottle Tree

You would love a visit to Port Gibson

A Confederate statue in front of the Claiborne County courthouse in Port Gibson

The hand pointing to Heaven in Port Gibson

You would love a visit to Port Gibson

The First Presbyterian Church in Port Gibson has a gold leaf hand pointing to Heaven at the top of its steeple. Daniel Foley first carved it in the mid-1800s.

You would love a visit to Port Gibson

The ten-foot-tall hand with its four-foot index finger, repaired and replated in 1990, is the most unusual church adornment I’ve ever seen and undoubtedly the most famous building in Port Gibson.

The Blues Highway runs through Port Gibson

The Blues Highway, U.S. Highway 61, runs right through Port Gibson. This highway is the delta blues music equivalent to Route 66 and has a long history in blues music. Highway 61 follows along the Mississippi River from Tennessee all the way to the Gulf of Mexico.

There are two Blues Highway markers in Port Gibson, Mississippi

You would love a visit to Port Gibson

Blues Highway marker for Lil Green. Lil Green was, in the early 40s, often referred to as the Queen of the Blues

The second marker is dedicated to Rabbit Foot Minstrels headquartered in Port Gibson but toured throughout the South singing the blues.

Windsor Ruins

You would love a visit to Port Gibson

These magnificent ruins of the grand Windsor mansion were part of a 2,600-acre plantation making it one of the largest private residences in Mississippi before the Civil War. Smith Coffee Daniell II built this mansion between 1859 and 1861. Unfortunately, he died a few weeks after its completion.

You would love a visit to Port Gibson

The home was used as an observation post and hospital for the Union army during the Civil War. Tragically, a fire destroyed the home in 1890 when a lighted cigar was left burning on an upper balcony during a party at the house. The house was left in ruins, but those ruins are pretty amazing to see.

Bethel Church

This unique-looking church, built in the 1840s, is a few miles from the Windsor Ruins. It also is a mere eight miles from where the Battle of Port Gibson was fought in 1863. A tornado heavily damaged the church in 1943.

You would love a visit to Port Gibson

After the tornado, the building was reconstructed between 1944 and 1945. At that time, the church was changed to remove the steeple and slave gallery.

Port Gibson Battlefield

You would love a visit to Port Gibson

The Battle of Port Gibson, fought in May 1863, was a turning point in the Civil War and led to the Union capture of Vicksburg. During this battle, Grant’s beachhead east of the Mississippi River was secured. This defeat of the Confederates led to the capture of Vicksburg.

The Country Store

18801 US-61, Lorman, MS 39096
Open 10-6 pm

You would love a visit to Port Gibson

What a pleasure and a treat this place was! I had read about this intriguing all-you-can-eat buffet restaurant and its boast that it serves the very best fried chicken ever. Yes, the chicken was absolutely delicious.

The Country Store is about ten minutes from Port Gibson and a stop well worth making – anytime. It is a store and a restaurant full of all kinds of things for sale; lamps, dishes, glasses, books, almost anything you could imagine.

You would love a visit to Port Gibson

Dianne, Eddie, Mr. D, Steve and me – what a great time!

This restaurant is owned by Arthur Davis, locally known as Mr. D, and fried chicken is THE menu item to get. A full buffet includes every vegetable imaginable, other meat if fried chicken is not your thing, and dessert. Do not miss an opportunity for a meal at The Country Store!

Mr. D was kind enough to entertain us with a song too!

Natchez Trace Parkway

You would love a visit to Port Gibson

I’ve always wanted to drive along the Natchez Trace Parkway. Finally, we managed to enjoy a short distance of its beautiful scenery. The Trace goes through three states and is a whopping 444 miles long.

You would love a visit to Port Gibson

It more or less follows along the travel road established by the Kaintuck Indians. Driving the Natchez Trace Parkway is a great way to slow down and enjoy the scenery. Some camping is available along the way, as well as hiking, biking, horseback riding.

Loess Bluff

You would love a visit to Port Gibson

The Loess Bluff along the Natchez Trace Parkway is a formation from the ice age created when dust storms continuously occurred that blew dust to depths of 30 to 90 feet. This was a fascinating formation to see. Loess, by the way, is pronounced LOW-ess.

You would love a visit to Port Gibson

During the Battle of Vicksburg, fort locations were decided based on the loess terrain in this area.

Emerald Mound

You would love a visit to Port Gibson

Emerald Mound is not in Port Gibson but is about a half-hour away, on the Natchez Trace Parkway. This National Historic Landmark, 770 by 435 feet at the bottom and 35 feet high, is the second-largest mound in North America.

The Mississippians built the mound and used it as a ceremonial center between 1250 and 1600 A.D and probably took over 300 years to build and was abandoned by the late 1600s. A new capital was created about 12 miles away.

You would love a visit to Port Gibson

Emerald Mound supported temples, ceremonial structures, and burials of a complex society’s civic and religious leaders. It was a center for social, political, spiritual events and being a center for trade. The large mound we saw at one time held eight smaller mounds.

These are just a few of the historically exciting sights we encountered meandering around Port Gibson, Mississippi. We drove down a few sketchy roads and wandered through a cemetery even as we explored this area. Port Gibson was a terrific adventure.

You would love a visit to Port Gibson

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