Day 2: (continued)
Afternoon and hoping the rain was going to hold off for us, we visited The Windsor Ruins outside of Port Gibson. The Windsor plantation at one time covered 2,600 acres. Owner Smith Coffee Daniel II had the home built for his family and died only weeks after its completion in 1861 at the age of 34. The home contained over 25 rooms and stood 4 stories high (plus a roof-top observatory). The mansion survived the Civil War only to be burned down by a fire in 1890. The only remnants are 23 of the 29 original columns, and a set of wrought-iron stairs (currently being housed by a nearby college). Since all of the mansion plans and family pictures were also burned in the fire, the houses original appearance is mainly conjecture. In 1991 a drawing was found by a soldier who had stayed on the grounds during the war. The below drawing was made based on the soldier's drawing and known facts about the mansion. Descendants of the family donated the ruins to the state of Mississippi in the 1970s.
(can you see a small Skip in between the columns?)
The ruins were gorgeous and definitely a site to see!
Next, we went on a wild goose chase for a "ghost town" called Rodney, Mississippi. And when I say, "wild goose chase", I really mean it. It took us hours to find this town that once was. We had read about it on a few sites before we left for our trip and not one of the sites gave an actual address or said how to get there. They had one highway listed and that it was X miles from Port Gibson and Natchez. I guess because nobody gave directions we thought it would be obvious and easy to find. Very wrong, very, very wrong. The GPS system didn't recognize Rodney as a city. When we left the Windsor Ruins we headed on a road that we thought took us there. After traveling on that road, we found Rodney road and knew that had to take us to the town of Rodney. We kept driving, and driving, and there was nothing, anywhere. We were on weird back roads with no other cars, no other people, no buildings, they were narrow, they were a little creepy, and we became very, very lost. After an extremely strange encounter with a police officer we spotted on the road (a totally different long story for another day), he told us where Rodney was and we made our way back, back, back. Searched some more, no Rodney. Asked someone else, got new directions, no Rodney. We started to think people were messing with us and this place didn't even exist. Every time we asked someone for directions, we got a strange look, a raised eyebrow, and a different direction to head in. Finally, somehow, we ended up on some road, somewhere and asked the only passing motorist we had seen if he knew where Rodney was. He informed us we were very close, gave us directions, told us to watch for snakes, and said "I hope you're not expectin' much". We finally made it. There were no signs, it was very much off any normal road or beaten path, how any other road trip travelers found it is completely beyond me.
Rodney is now referred to as a "ghost town" by travelers (but you won't hear MS locals refer to it that way). Almost all of the buildings are abandoned and falling apart. The town has a lot of history, so if you're interested I suggest reading about it.
(Skips photo- he was taking pictures of the iron work and thought it was a nice addition to my post)
On our way out of Rodney I almost had a heart attack when we came within a fraction of a hair from hitting a large turkey vulture. Then, Skip almost had a heart attack when we had to cross the scariest bridge we'd ever seen in our lives. It was small, but looked like it was about to fall apart at any moment. After regaining our composers, we headed to Natchez for the night.
Next: Leaving MS and arriving in Louisiana.