Photo: F.O. Cambre house, circa 1925, 1336 Olive Street, Belhaven Historic District, Jackson. The Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2012. Photograph by David Preziosi, 2012, for nomination document,Belhaven Historic District, Jackson, MS, NR# 12000920, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places. Accessed October, 2023.
The Belhaven Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2012.
The Belhaven Historic District is composed of 1538 buildings, 2 sites, and 2 structures. The district is located in Jackson, Mississippi, which is the capital city for the state and one of the county seats of Hinds County. The district encompasses a wide range of building styles and dates of construction representing a unique pattern of development for suburban development within the capital city. The district is primarily residential; however, it also contains commercial, educational, governmental, and religious structures from 1904, the earliest existing structures in the Belhaven neighborhood, to 1962. The historic neighborhood is relatively dense with only a few vacant lots and two parks. Architectural styles found in the district include Italianate, Queen Anne, Colonial Revival, Neoclassical Revival, Craftsman Bungalow, Tudor Revival, Spanish, Colonial Revival, Mission, Art Moderne, Minimal Traditional, Modern and Ranch. There are four resources in the district previously listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Belhaven Historic District is a primarily residential neighborhood which developed as the population of the City of Jackson grew from the 1910s through the 1960s. The growth was aided by the expansion of the street car as it extended north from the downtown core of Jackson and later the availability of the automobile, allowing owners to not have to rely on the street car line for transportation to the city center. Jackson is the capital of Mississippi as well as the county seat for Hinds County. The Belhaven Historic District is located approximately one mile from the downtown core of Jackson and is roughly bounded by East Fortification Street on the south, Riverside Drive on the north, Interstate 55 and the railroad right-of-way on the east and North State Street on the west.
The character of the district is mostly residential with some limited historic commercial buildings, a fire station, two schools which historically served the neighborhood, and a small private university. The district started out with a small amount of residential development along North State Street, on the western side of the proposed district , and then spread east with new subdivisions and residential construction as the population of the city increased the need for housing, and building took place within those newly platted subdivisions.
The terrain of the Belhaven Historic District is undulating with rolling hills and elevation changes throughout the district. Generally the land is higher at the western boundary of the district and slopes down to the eastern boundary, which is near the Pearl River. For the most part the streets traveling in an east/west direction are the ones that follow the slope of the land, while the north/south streets remain relatively flat and are cut through the sloping land. The result on these north/south streets tends to make the houses higher on one side of the street than the other. The campus of Belhaven University is located in the northern central part of the district. The southwestern part of the campus at the corner of Peachtree Street and Pinehurst Street is on relatively flat terrain and contains the historic core of the campus. The campus slopes down to the north and to the east, although some of the elevation changes were manmade to accommodate athletic fields and a large lake which was expanded from a small natural pond. The Belhaven Historic District is densely populated with a variety of large growth trees, either existing before the neighborhood was developed or planted there soon after. Many of the streets have a great deal of shade from the tree canopy. Most of the front yards of the houses in the district are casually landscaped with trees, shrubs and other vegetation. Some of the lots that sit higher than the streets are terraced with the rest sloping to the street. Most of those lots also have stairs leading from the street level to the house.
Three major thoroughfares, an interstate highway, and a railroad right-of-way serve as boundaries for the district. East Fortification Street serves as the southern boundary and is a heavily traveled five-lane city street with access to Interstate 55. It also divides the Belhaven neighborhood from the Belhaven Heights Historic District (National Register Historic District, 1983 with amendments in 1998) the neighborhood south of East Fortification Street, where the original Belhaven College was located. The western boundary of the district is North State Street a major five-lane thoroughfare running north from downtown Jackson. It also originally served as U.S. Highway 51 before Interstate 55 was completed in 1970. Riverside Drive is the northern boundary of the district and is a major divided lane thoroughfare, although it does not have the traffic count of East Fortification Street or North State Street. Riverside Drive crosses over Interstate 55 accessing the frontage road of the highway on the eastern side. Interstate 55 runs between Chicago and New Orleans and serves as a portion of the eastern boundary of the district. Enterprise Street in the Belhaven neighborhood was demolished for the interstate right-of-way. Enterprise Street was located parallel and one block east of Myrtle Street. In the district, only East Fortification Street provides direct access to the interstate. The other portion of the eastern boundary of the district is the old New Orleans and Great Northern railroad right-of-way that has been abandoned and the track taken up. The majority of the streets within the district do intersect with the other boundary streets of North State Street, East Fortification Street, and Riverside Dive.
For the most part the Belhaven Historic District has a loose grid of streets running primarily east/west and north/south. There are a few curvilinear streets which disrupt the grid at the edges. The development of the neighborhood started at North State Street and spread east with new subdivisions platted for the opening up of land for development. As those subdivisions were developed existing streets were extended, thus continuing the neighborhood cohesiveness. The streets running in a north/south direction in the district include (going from west to east): North State Street, Pine Street (it runs at a slight angle), North Jefferson Street, Edgewood Street, Kenwood Street, Hazel Street, Whitworth Street, Peachtree Street, Monroe Street, Olive Street, Quinn Street, Greymont Avenue, Linden Place, Lyncrest Street, St. Ann Street, St. Mary Street, Rosehill Circle (even though it has a circle designation the street is straight), Piedmont Street, Howard Street, Devine Street, and Myrtle Street. The streets running east/west in the district (going from south to north) include: East Fortification Street, Carlisle Street, Manship Street, Poplar Boulevard, Pinehurst Street, Belhaven Street, Laurel Street, Arlington Street, Ivy Street, Fairview Street (runs at a slight angle), Park Avenue (runs at a slight angle), Oakwood Street (runs at a slight angle), Belmont Street, Euclid Avenue (runs at a slight angle), and Riverside Drive. There are a few curvilinear streets within the district which include: the western end of Laurel Street which wraps around the eastern edge of the Belhaven University campus; the southern end of Lyncrest Street which is a loop created by a later subdivision; the southern end of St. Ann Street; Parkhurst Drive, Pinehaven Drive and River Park Drive which were all created in a single subdivision; and Belvoir Place which was also created through a later subdivision.
Besides the boundary streets of the Belhaven Historic District, the more heavily traveled streets include Poplar Boulevard, Pinehurst Street, Peachtree Street, North Jefferson Street, and St. Ann Street. This is mostly due to the length of the streets and the access they provide to other smaller streets. Peachtree and Pinehurst Streets are more heavily traveled as they provide easy access from North State Street to the Belhaven University campus.
Lots are fairly regular throughout the district in respect to width and depth within the subdivisions that were created as the land was opened up for development. There are a few exceptions including some older houses, First Presbyterian Church, the two public schools, commercial development, and Belhaven University which are all on larger lots. There are also some larger lots on Riverside Drive which has been developed with newer office type buildings. Closer to State Street larger lots are commonly mixed in with smaller lots. There are also a few apartment complexes throughout the district which have larger lots to accommodate several individual apartment buildings. The two public schools in the district have large lots to accommodate the school buildings and outdoor recreation. The largest lot by far in the district is Belhaven University's which compromises forty-two acres.1 Generally setbacks are fairly consistent for residential lots in the Belhaven Historic District, with the exception of a few of the larger houses which sometimes sit further back on larger lots.
† Adapted from: David Preziosi, Mississippi Heritage Trust, Belhaven Historic District, nomination document. 2011, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C., accessed October, 2023.
Arlington Street • Belhaven Street • Belmont Street • Belvoir Place • Carlisle Street • Devine Street • Edgewood Street • Euclid Avenue • Fairview Street • Fortification Street • Gillespie Street • Greymont Avenue • Hazel Street • Howard Street • Ivy Street • Jefferson Street North • Kenwood Place • Laurel Street • Linden Place • Lyncrest Avenue • Manship Street • Monroe Street • Myrtle Street • Oakwood Street • Olive Street • Park Avenue • Parkhurst Drive • Peachtree Street • Piedmont Street • Pine Street • Pinehaven Drive • Pinehurst Street • Poplar Boulevard • Quinn Street • River Park Drive • Riverside Drive • Rosehill Circle • Saint Ann Street • Saint Mary Street • State Street North • Whitworth Street