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Natchez On-Top-of-the-Hill Historic District


The Natchez On-Top-of-the-Hill Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979. Portions of the content on this web page were adapted from a copy of the original nomination document. [†] Adaptation copyright © 2011, The Gombach Group.

Description

The Natchez On-Top-of-the-Hill Historic District occupies the gently rolling surface of a tableland set about 200 feet above the Mississippi River and separated from it by steep bluffs. The bluffs bound the Natchez On-Top-of-the-Hill Historic District on the upper west side; the bluff parklands included in the Natchez Bluffs and Under-the-Hill Historic District bound the district on the lower west side. The fine, loose, loess soil of the Natchez On-Top-of-the-Hill Historic District was originally cut by deep ravines (called bayous locally), which are characteristic of the region. Some of these bayous still exist and form natural boundaries for the district on portions of the eastern and southern sides. The bayous within the Natchez On-Top-of-the-Hill Historic District, however, had been filled and the hills had been cut through for streets by the mid-nineteenth century, establishing the present topographical character of the district, with streets that slope gently, often between high steep banks with buildings set on top. The natural boundaries mentioned above and lack of bayous within the district are some of the qualities differentiating the Natchez On-Top-of-the-Hill Historic District from its surroundings.

The street plan of the Natchez On-Top-of-the-Hill Historic District is a regular grid plan of blocks approximately 320 feet square, laid out and imposed upon the irregular topography. The regularity of the street plan, plainly visible on maps and to persons entering the district from primary streets is a major factor differentiating the Natchez On-Top-of-the-Hill Historic District from the surrounding area where the irregular terrain has stopped the streets altogether or has dictated an angular and unsystematic placement of streets.

The streets of the Natchez On-Top-of-the-Hill Historic District, nearly universally bordered with chinaberry trees during the nineteenth century, are now shaded primarily in the residential areas where street trees prevail. The chinaberry has been replaced by other trees, mostly evergreen. These include the magnolia; the live oak whose spreading branches shade the streets as well as the yards in which they are planted; the cherry laurel, sometimes shaped as they are at the intersection of S. Wall and Washington Streets; and most of all the deciduous and flowering crepe myrtle which line such streets as Washington, Pearl, High, Rankin, Union, and Main Streets.

The structural density characteristic of the town in the nineteenth century is fairly intact. The commercial area of town, focused on Main, Franklin, and Commerce Streets, is slightly larger, having included some residences adapted for commercial use. However, little other adaptation has occurred and the center of the Natchez On-Top-of-the-Hill Historic District is surrounded by an economically healthy residential area housing citizens of all income levels. Density is highest at the center of the district, where commercial buildings are generally placed to abut the sidewalks and each other. Density is lower, though still dense, in the surrounding residential area where, with few exceptions, residences of all periods of the town's history are located within a few feet to approximately fifteen feet of the sidewalks and within the same distance of each other. Some exceptional major residences, sufficient in number to be significant, are set in large landscaped grounds constituting small city estates.

Throughout the Natchez On-Top-of-the-Hill Historic District are open spaces, most of which are landscaped parks and gardens, and some of which are parking lots. The parking lots are located, for the most part, between the commercial and residential areas. They are not considered in themselves to be intrusions, because the character of the district is defined by the entire history of the district, including the age of the automobile. Those parking lots which are an eyesore because of ruins or other disfiguring elements are considered intrusions. Those which are landscaped or well maintained, especially when opening vistas of architectural elements or groupings of elements, are considered contributing elements to the character of the district.

The landscaped open spaces, which are found throughout the Natchez On-Top-of-the-Hill Historic District in inverse proportion to the structural density, combine with the street trees to significantly define the "green" character of the district. Large informally landscaped areas include Memorial Park, the area around the City Hall and the Adams County Courthouse, and the small city estates of major residences. Small landscaped areas take the form of mini-parks next to commercial buildings or of geometrical (Barnes House, 705 Washington Street; Dixie, 211 S. Wall Street; Holly Hedges, 214 Washington Street) and informal (Dr. Dubs Townhouse, 311 N. Pearl Street; Smith-Bontura-Evans House, 107 S. Broadway) gardens in the many small front or side yards of residences. Some of the geometrical gardens include historically important remnants, including brick walks and raised beds, of nineteenth century townhouse gardens (Smith House, 212 N. Pearl Street; Samuel Cockerell House, 207 S. Union Street).

Objects in the Natchez On-Top-of-the-Hill Historic District are associated with landscaped spaces. These include the cast-iron fountain, stone obelisk with statue, and cast-iron cannon in Memorial Park, the cast-iron fountain in the garden of 100 N. Pearl Street; the cast-iron and glass fountain with fish tank in the side garden of the Dr. Dubs Townhouse; and the latticed gazebos like the mid-nineteenth century one at the Elms and the one at Myrtle Bank (408 N. Pearl Street). Other objects are the fences, which, although less prevalent than during the nineteenth century, are sufficient in number and quality to be important in establishing the character of the district. These fences include palisaded wooden fences, the most outstanding being at Rosalie; cast-iron fences of the mid-nineteenth century, as at Stanton Hall (401 High Street), the Samuel Cockerell House (207 S. Union Street) and Myrtle Terrace (310 N. Pearl Street); cast-iron and bent-wire fences of the mid-nineteenth century, as at Institute Hall; and iron fences of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, as at Dr. Dubs Townhouse. The practice of delineating adjoining property lines with vertical board fences has practically been abandoned. The presence of the other fences, especially those of an earlier period, help differentiate the Natchez On-Top-of-the-Hill Historic District from its surroundings.

The primary structures within the Natchez On-Top-of-the-Hill Historic District are the railroad tracks which form the basic northern boundary of the district and which branch out to form a railroad yard in the open space on the bluff area in the northwest corner of the district adjacent to the Illinois Central Gulf Freight Depot (207 Arrighi Alley) and the Sidetrack (200 N. Broadway). Additional tracks cut across the southwest corner of the district and form the lower western boundary of the district where it adjoins the Natchez Bluffs and Under-the-Hill District. These tracks have served as generally accepted boundaries for the last century and today help differentiate the district from its surroundings.

Sites important to the history of the Natchez On-Top-of-the-Hill Historic District include the site of Andrew Marschalk's printing office, where the father of Mississippi journalism printed the first book in the state in 1799, now occupied by the parking lot of the A & P Grocery Store (305 Franklin Street); the site of the first bank in the state, now occupied by Helen Figura Antiques (326 Main Street); the site of the raising of the American flag in 1798 by Andrew Ellicott near the House on Ellicott's Hill (215 N. Canal Street) and the site of the Methodist Church where the first Sunday school south of Philadelphia is reputed to have been held, now occupied by Pyron's Furniture Co. (512-4 Franklin Street).

The architectural character of the Natchez On-Top-of-the-Hill Historic District is primarily (60%) nineteenth century but is established by all periods of architecture in the town's history. The concentration of the pre-Civil War buildings of the town within the district, where they compose 24% of the architectural elements, distinguishes the district from its surroundings. The late nineteenth century buildings, especially the commercial buildings that accompanied the mercantile boom following the Civil War, are also concentrated within the district and give it a character, especially commercial, that further distinguishes it from its surroundings. The placement and siting of the late nineteenth and twentieth century residences among earlier houses within the Natchez On-Top-of-the-Hill Historic District is different in character from the housing subdivisions that began to be developed in the late 1880's outside of the district. This mixture of architecture from all periods and its homogeneity of placement and setting within the district further distinguish the character of the Natchez On-Top-of-the-Hill Historic District.

The architectural styles in the Natchez On-Top-of-the-Hill Historic District include almost all the national styles associated with the period 1790-1979. National styles usually have been late in arriving in the Natchez area. The first documented Greek Revival building, for instance, was not constructed until 1833 (Britton & Koontz Bank, 410 Main Street). When the styles arrived, they tended to undergo modification to adapt them to the climate. The preponderance of porches, porticoes, galleries, and verandas is an example, with the undercut gallery (a porch running the length of a building and cut out of the body of the building so that the roof line is unbroken from ridge to eave and so that the gallery is an integral though unenclosed part of the frame and form of the building) being most characteristic and significant. The prevalence of jalousies, louvered blinds, jib windows, and triple-hung floor-length sash are other examples. The need, in all periods except for the last forty years, for high ceilings to combat the heat has helped make Natchez architecture distinct in scale and proportion from most national, though not regional, architecture.

The quality of architectural design within the Natchez On-Top-of-the-Hill Historic District is generally very good. The Greek Revival architecture is of national significance in the concentration of examples and in the quality of design, execution, and integrity. The Federal style architecture and the late nineteenth century commercial architecture rank among the best of the region in design quality. The most significant examples in the State of Mississippi of the Swiss Chalet style (Edelweiss, 209 S. Broadway) and the residential French Second Empire style (300 S. Commerce Street) are found within the district. These outstanding individual elements and stylistic groups combine with the general high level of the architectural design of the district to make the district highly significant.

Most of the buildings within the Natchez On-Top-of-the-Hill Historic District are constructed of wood, as has been true of the town throughout its history. Brick, however, has grown in frequency of use since the early nineteenth century to nearly match wood as a building material. The commercial buildings, especially, are of brick, as are most of the Greek Revival style buildings of the 1840's when a ban was placed on wood buildings following a series of fires in the late 1830's. During the Federal period, brick was usually left bare. Beginning in the Greek Revival period and continuing into the twentieth century, however, stucco was applied liberally to new construction and was used to update old brick buildings. Veined, scored, and penciled, stucco proved an apt substitute for the stone used by architects in other areas of the country. Only the Commercial Bank Building (206 Main Street) and the Deposit Guaranty National Bank (409 Franklin Street) are faced with stone. Most other commercial buildings are faced with stucco over brick, often combined in the late nineteenth century with cast or pressed metal. Exposed brick became popular again late in the nineteenth century and is found with frequency among both the commercial and residential buildings of ca. 1890-1979.

The few undecorated, plain buildings in the Natchez On-Top-of-the-Hill Historic District are primarily small, inexpensive buildings. Most of these inexpensive buildings, however, derive some ornamentation, as do the more expensive ones, from the inclusion of a railed porch or gallery on the facade. The more expensive buildings without applied ornament derive their ornamentation from the high quality of workmanship evident in the brickwork or joinery (Dr. Dubs Townhouse, 311 N. Pearl Street). This high quality of workmanship is predominant throughout the district as is the use of ornamentation. Ornamentation takes the form of scored stucco, molded stucco cornices and gables, cast and pressed metal facades or window caps, sawn scrollwork, champhered or turned wooden columns and posts, Flemish bond or butter-jointed brickwork, decorative brickwork in different patterns and colors, exterior stairs, classical porticoes, entrance doors with molded panels, elaborate entrance frontispieces with sidelights and transoms, colored glass around entrance doorways as early as the 1840 period, cast-iron railings, and jib windows with molded panels.

Although white with green shutters predominate as the primary colors for frame buildings in the Natchez On-Top-of-the-Hill Historic District, as they did for most of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, other colors such as green, gold, and cream, have been applied within recent years. Some of these colors may be similar to the colors noted in Natchez in the late eighteenth century, and some are similar to the Victorian coloration of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, as found on a few extant examples. Stucco buildings and painted brick buildings are not often white but are usually a stone color or some shade of green. The softer stone colors are remarkably similar to extant examples from the mid-nineteenth century. The brownstone color so popular 1850-60 is being restored to only one building (Magnolia Hall, 215 S. Pearl Street).

The general condition of the buildings within the Natchez On-Top-of-the-Hill Historic District is good. The residences are in very good condition with most buildings being well preserved or restored and well maintained. The exceptions lie in the area of N. Rankin Street and N. Pine Street, the block bounded by N. Broadway, N. Canal, High, and Jefferson Streets, the 200 block of Orleans Street, and the area of S. Wall Street Extension. The commercial buildings are not so well maintained, in general, because the retail activity of the town has tended to shift to suburban shopping centers and malls leaving some stores without tenants and others with decreased income.

Alterations to residences have not been detrimental to their character for the most part. Alterations to commercial buildings have been more extensive and less sympathetic. The commercial buildings, however maintain a good amount of integrity that is most pronounced on the upper levels of the facades.

The potential for historic archeology in the Natchez On-Top-of-the-Hill Historic District is great. Most of the area has been the site of human occupation since ca. 1800. The potential for prehistoric archeology is unknown.

Significance

Although famous primarily for its antebellum suburban mansions and grand tollhouses, Natchez has an impressive and remarkably intact old town area which is composed primarily of 19th century buildings. Within this cohesive and architecturally significant old town area, twenty-one buildings are already listed on the National Register of Historic Places, three buildings are in the process of being listed [1979], and four buildings have been designated National Historic Landmarks. During the early 19th century, Natchez was politically, commercially, and culturally pre-eminent in the region which now includes Mississippi and upper Alabama. Its nearest rivals among Mississippi River towns were Memphis and St. Louis to the north and New Orleans to the south. Older even than New Orleans, Natchez was one of the earliest settlements on the Mississippi River and was the terminus of the old Natchez Trace from Nashville to Natchez, at one time the most southwesterly settlement of the United States. The boundaries of the Natchez On-Top-of-the-Hill Historic District are based on the street grid plan of the Spanish as depicted on the 1864 Map of the Defenses of Natchez. The Natchez On-Top-of-the-Hill Historic District is naturally bounded by the bluff park area to the west and by bayous to the east and south. Railroad tracks located in the center of Monroe Street and running its full length make Monroe Street the logical northern boundary. The Natchez On-Top-of-the-Hill Historic District stands out within the city by its street regularity and the high concentration of antebellum buildings within its boundaries.

Natchez was founded as a French settlement in 1716 with the establishment of Fort Rosalie high on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River. The fort was located just south of the site of the house Rosalie (100 Orleans Street), named in its honor. The name of the town derives from the sun-worshipping and mound-building Natchez Indians, who ceased to exist as a tribe in 1731 when they were conquered by the French. The French controlled the Natchez region until the French and Indian Wars resulted in the area being ceded to England. During the Revolution, England surrendered Natchez to the Spanish, who held the town until 1798 when it became a territory of the United States. Andrew Ellicott raised the United States flag in defiance of Spain to claim the territory. In 1792, under the Spanish government, the basic grid plan of the old town area on top of the bluff was laid out. Before this time and into the early 19th century, the stretch of land below the bluffs along the river bank was referred to as Natchez. As the bluff part of town grew and prospered, travellers and citizens spoke of the higher settlement as Natchez on-Top-of-the-Hill, and the river bank area became known as Natchez Under-the-Hill, a distinction still made by citizens today (the Natchez Bluffs and Under-the-Hill District was entered on the National Register in 1971).

The rise to prominence of Natchez as a major Mississippi River port and a regional center for agricultural production in the late 18th and early 19th centuries was based on its location on a fertile tableland high above the river. Following the shift from indigo and tobacco to cotton about 1800 and the inauguration of steamboat service on the river in 1811, the Natchez economy boomed and its merchants and planters became renowned for their opulence. During the early 19th century, Natchez was supreme in the Mississippi-upper Alabama region, and it served as Mississippi's territorial capital until regional feelings of jealousy moved the capital to neighboring Washington, Mississippi. However, when Mississippi became a state in 1817, political power began to move to more inland towns, with centrally located Jackson becoming the state capital. By mid-century, commerce in towns such as Vicksburg, which were better located for the increasingly important railroad traffic, rivaled that in Natchez. As the loess soil around Natchez began to wear out in the 1820's, agricultural production shifted to plantations across the river in Louisiana or upriver in the Mississippi Delta. Nevertheless, the planters retained Natchez as their commercial, cultural, and social center, and they erected grand townhouses like Stanton Hall (401 High Street) and Magnolia Hall (215 S. Pearl Street) as well as the large suburban villas like Melrose and Longwood.

The Natchez recorded by John James Audubon in his ca. 1822 landscape of Natchez and by James Tooley in his ca. 1835 drawing is still recognizable today. Buildings such as Texada Tavern (22 S. Wall Street), Coyle House (307 S. Wall Street), Governor Holmes House (207 S. Wall Street), Holly Hedges (214 Washington Street), Trinity Episcopal Church (305 S. Commerce Street), and the First Presbyterian Church (117 S. Pearl Street) are easily identifiable. However, almost no buildings have survived that can be documented as having definitely been constructed in the 18th century. Those buildings with the greatest probability of 18th century construction dates are King's Tavern (613 Jefferson Street), Texada Tavern (222 S. Wall Street), and the House on Ellicott's Hill (215 N. Canal Street). The architecture of the early years of Natchez could best be described as West Indian, and two unrelated travellers, in 1808 and 1809, remarked on the similarity between Natchez and St. John's, Antigua. Since Natchez was governed by countries who also had outposts in the West Indies and was also commercially tied to the West Indies, this similarity in architecture is understandable.

The first real architect to work in the Natchez area was Massachusetts native Levi Weeks, who designed and built the National Historic Landmark house, Auburn. He was probably influenced to come to Natchez by Aaron Burr who had defended him in a murder trial in New York and who had been arraigned for treason in neighboring Washington, Mississippi. Weeks described Auburn as being the "first house in the territory on which was ever attempted any of the orders of architecture." Unfortunately, no other documented intact examples of Levi Weeks's work have survived, but his influence was undoubtedly felt for many years after his death in 1819. Notable examples of the Federal style in the old town district area are Rosalie (100 Orleans Street), the Mercer House (118 N. Wall Street), Williamsburg (821 Main Street), the Presbyterian Manse (307 S. Rankin Street), Liberty Hall (117 S. Pine Street), and the house at 609 Franklin Street.

The construction of the Britton and Koontz Bank building (410 Main Street) in 1833 probably introduced the Greek Revival style to Natchez — a style in which the town would excel. Today, Natchez possesses one of the finest concentration of buildings in this style in the United States. Joseph Holt Ingraham, in The South-West by a Yankee published in 1835, describes the Britton and Koontz Bank building as the finest public building south of Washington, D.C. The Greek Revival style remained popular in Natchez even after the Civil War as evidenced in the residences at 108 Washington Street and at 112 S. Pine Street. The most outstanding and productive of the architects working in Natchez during the Greek Revival period was James Hardie, a Scot who arrived in Natchez after 1830. Working with him were his three brothers, all of whom listed their occupations as carpenters. His earliest building in Natchez was probably Choctaw (310 S. Union Street), which he designed for Joseph Neibert, who in partnership with Peter Gemmell operated one of the largest contracting businesses in antebellum Natchez. Hardie may also have been employed by Neibert and Gemmell to design some of the smaller houses built by their firm such as the Smith House (212 N. Pearl Street), the Tillman House (506 High Street), and the house located at 508 High Street. In his obituary, James Hardie is described as having designed and built many of the mansions and buildings in Natchez with Gothic St. Mary's Cathedral (103 S. Union Street) being the "thorough work of his hand." He was also responsible for the 1851 Greek Revival remodeling of the First Presbyterian Church (117 S. Pearl Street).

Another popular builder, and possibly a designer, was John Crothers, who is documented as having constructed the Rectory (107 S. Union Street) for St. Mary's Cathedral and the duplex residence located at 600-2 Jefferson Street. The Weldon Brothers, Thomas and William, who were described in an 1891 publication as being the most extensive and wealthiest contractors in the state, did the carpentry and possibly the designing of Institute Hall (109 S. Pearl Street) and probably worked on other buildings in the area since they considered Natchez home. A local attorney, J. Edward Smith, designed Zion Chapel A.M.E. Church (228 N. Pine Street) and Christ Church in Church Hill, Mississippi, as well. Stanton Hall (401 High Street) is attributed by a contemporary newspaper article to contractor Thomas Rose, who may have served as a designer of other buildings as well as contractor for their construction. Andrew Brown, whose lumber business was well known in the Southwest, is credited by a late-19th century newspaper article with having constructed the ca. 1837 Commercial Bank Building, a National Historic Landmark.

The Civil War ruined the established economy of Natchez, but its effect on the physical aspect of the town was immediately minimal and eventually beneficial. The town lost only two buildings, Clifton and the Bird's Nest, as a direct result of the war, and the planters and citizens who kept their houses had little money after the war to remodel them. Natchez was occupied by Union troops in 1863, and the Map of the Defenses of Natchez, drawn in 1864, is a primary reference source for studying the physical history of the town. With the end of the war, Natchez witnessed the emergence of a new social order with its merchants, most of them second generation French-German Jewish immigrants, experiencing a period of growth and prosperity that rivaled only that of the planters in the antebellum years. Beginning in the late 1860's, Main, Commerce, and Franklin Streets began to bustle with the construction of new commercial buildings — a boom that continued until the end of the 19th century.

The prosperous Natchez merchants purchased some of the older antebellum townhouses and they also erected new ones. Probably the most outstanding of the post-Civil War houses are Glen Auburn (300 S. Commerce Street), the best example of the Second Empire style in the state of Mississippi, and Edelweiss (209 S. Broadway), Mississippi's premier example of the Swiss Chalet style. Most of the notable buildings constructed in Natchez in the late 19th and early 20th centuries were designed by architects from outside the state. Edelweiss appears to be based on a design in E.C. Gardner's Illustrated Homes, published in Boston in 1875. Romanesque Stratton Chapel (117 S. Pearl Street) was designed by a Detroit firm, Neo-classical Temple B'nai Israel (213 S. Commerce Street) by a Dallas architect, and the Second Renaissance Revival Prentiss Club (211 N. Pearl Street) by a New Orleans firm. Other late 19th and 20th century buildings designed by out-of-state architects include Deposit Guaranty National Bank (409 Franklin Street), Natchez Public School Media Center (301 Main Street), the Natchez Institute (108 N. Commerce Street), and the old Adams County Jail (310 State Street).

Two local architects worked in Natchez in the early 20th century, but they produced no outstanding architectural elements within the old town district. William Steitenroth served as the architect for the enlargement and remodeling of the Elks' Club (401 Franklin Street) and was the contractor for the construction of the Prentiss Club (211 N. Pearl Street) and the Natchez Institute (108 S. Commerce Street). Steitenroth was a partner in the local firm of Steitenroth and Dowda, architects and contractors. C. Sedgewick Moss, working in partnership with the contracting firm of Bost and Moss, designed the First Baptist Church (701 Main Street) in 1921 and did some remodeling of Institute Hall (109 S. Pearl Street). Bost and Moss also constructed a considerable number of residential buildings in the suburban areas surrounding the old town district. Between 1910 and 1946, the most notable of the architectural styles erected in Natchez were constructed in the Bungalow style and the Spanish Colonial Revival style. Good examples of the Bungalow style are located at 304 N. Commerce Street, 615 S. Union Street, and 311 State Street. Two fine examples of the Spanish Colonial Revival style are found at 311 N. Union Street and 309 S. Union Street. The Ritz Theater (127-9 N. Commerce Street) is the only example of the Art Deco style in Natchez.

In the 1960's, Natchez began to witness the erection of buildings designed by Natchez native Charles Moroney. Although frequently met with outcries from local preservationists, the Moroney buildings have again given Natchez a place in the mainstream of American architecture. The Hardy House (221 S. Union Street) is an outstanding example of modern residential architecture sympathetically introduced into a historic district area. His Southwest Savings and Loan Co. building (513 State Street) is a modern reflection of the gable roofs and parapet gable ends that were distinctively Natchez in the mid-19th century.

The intrusions in the district area of Natchez are primarily the result of well-meaning attempts by local citizens to make their new construction look old. Unfortunately, these attempts at instant-age have involved the use of stock building materials like pseudo-Colonial pediments, many-paned window sash, false balconies, molded panels, shutter blinds that are ill-fitting and poorly hung, and "old brick." Rarely has any attention been given to proportion, historical accuracy, building size in relation to the built environment, and the siting of the building on the lot. Examples of these modern intrusions are Lucius Butts Insurance Company at 302 Main Street and Natchez First Federal at 115 S. Pearl Street. This same pseudo-Colonial treatment has also been unfortunately used on many of the historic buildings in town during various renovations. Examples of this unsympathetic type of renovation are found at 131-3 S. Commerce Street, 207 S. Commerce Street, and 212 State Street.

Preservation in Natchez was an unconscious phenomenon in the late 19th century, and its success was based on little or no money for remodeling and a reverence for the buildings as grand reminders of life before the Civil War. A growing awareness that the old buildings were beneficial to the city as a whole is evidenced in the illustrated pamphlets published between 1880 and 1920 to promote Natchez as a place to live and do business. One such publication, published ca. 1887, was entitled Natchez on Top, Not "Under the Hill." In spite of the message put forth in these pamphlets, Natchez grew slowly and, in 1930, had changed little from its 19th century appearance. In 1932, the annual Pilgrimage house tours began and tourism based on preservation became a major force in the economy of the town. Preservation became a conscious movement shaped by the Pilgrimage and directed by the two garden clubs who sponsor the event. The focus of the Pilgrimage preservation activities has always centered upon the antebellum residences, and only in recent years has the population become concerned about its commercial buildings and its post-Civil War architecture. The involvement of the city of Natchez in the historic preservation movement officially began in 1952 when a small local historic district was established that required the City Planning Commission to review all plans for exterior alterations in the district. Later a second ordinance was passed requiring that all exterior alterations to buildings in the city constructed before 1900 be reviewed by the newly formed Historic and Preservation Commission. Until recently, the implementation of these two ordinances has been erratic, but the appointment of more concerned and interested citizens to the Historic and Preservation Commission has resulted in the commission taking on an increased amount of responsibility toward the preservation of the city's physical culture. New local legislation is pending [1979] that will further protect the historic buildings of the city by replacing the two earlier ordinances with a more comprehensive district ordinance.

References

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Sheppard's Business Directory [Natchez]: 1866-1867.

Stratton, Joseph Buck. Unpublished diary encompassing the years 1843-1903. Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Taylor, William Banks. King Cotton and Old Glory, Natchez, Mississippi in the Age of Sectional Controversy and Civil War. Hattiesburg, Mississippi: Fox Printing Company, 1977.

Tillman, Mrs. Cassius L. Interviewed by Mary Warren Miller, research consultant, Natchez, Mississippi, at Natchez, Mississippi, February 21, 1979.

Tooley, James. A print of the original sketch. Natchez Historical Society, Coyle House, Natchez, Mississippi.

Wilson, Capt. John M., Chief Engineer. Map of Defences of Natchez & Vicinity, prepared and survey under direction of Capt. P. Hains , U.S. Engineers, 1864.

† Mary Warren Miller, Historic Natchez Foundation, Natchez On-Top-of-the-Hill Historic District, Adams County, MS, nomination document, 1979, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.

Natchez On-Top-of-the-Hill Historic District Map

Street Names
Arrighi Alley • Bank Alley • Bracken Alley • Broadway North • Broadway South • Canal Street North • Canal Street South • Commerce Street North • Commerce Street South • Cotton Alley • Franklin Street • High Street • Jefferson Street • Jehlen Alley • Locust Street • Main Street • Market Street • Metcalfe Alley • Milburn Avenue • Monroe Street • Old Parker Alley • Orleans Street • Parkers Alley • Pearl Street North • Pearl Street South • Pine Street North • Pine Street South • Rankin Street North • Rankin Street South • Route 61 • State Street • Union Street North • Union Street South • Wall Street North • Wall Street South • Washington Street • Wensel Street

**Information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. You should independently verify any information you use for decision making.
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