Bluff Park and South Broadway Street

Bluff Park and South Broadway Street (HM1MVI)

Location: Natchez, MS 39120 Adams County
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Country: United States of America
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N 31° 33.743', W 91° 24.362'

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Natchez Trails

Bontura, built in 1851, was the home of Robert Smith, a free African American who ran the city's most successful carriage business in the 1850s. The house stands at the head of Silver Street, which leads to Natchez Under-the-Hill. Smith and his drivers met the steamboats and flatboats that provided a steady stream of business in passengers and freight. Smith was one of a small number of free African Americans who were economically successful but lived under restrictions due to race. After Smith's death in 1858, Joseph Bontura bought the property and carriage business and enlarged the house into an inn for river travelers.

The Henderson Cotton Warehouse is the earliest surviving industrial building in Natchez and was built in 1852 for Thomas Henderson, a planter and cotton merchant. Later enlarged and remodeled, the late 1800s front includes a series of store doors beneath a second story of decorative pressed metal. The side of the building that faces Broadway Street resembles its pre-Civil War appearance.

In 1905, the Mississippi State Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution (D.A.R.) decided to recognize the historic importance of the Natchez Trace by placing historic markers in every Mississippi county along its route. The D.A.R. dedicated the Adams County marker at a ceremony on the bluff in 1909. This early effort to recognize the historic road was one of several that led to the 1938 creation of the Natchez Trace Parkway as a unit of the National Park Service. Soon after, DAR members (above) gathered in a second ceremony to acknowledge the first funds for the parkway.

The Bridge of Sighs arches over Roth Hill Road, which intersects the Bluff Park and runs from the foot of Main Street to the waterfront below. The bridge took its name from the Bridge of Sighs in Venice, which was named by Lord Byron and later the title of a famous poem by Thomas Hood. Artist and engineer William Marshall Merrick sketched the bridge in 1855 (pictured above), and it appears in historic photographs until about 1920.
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Friday, August 14th, 2015 at 9:01pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)15R E 651278 N 3493032
Decimal Degrees31.56238333, -91.40603333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 31° 33.743', W 91° 24.362'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds31° 33' 44.58" N, 91° 24' 21.72" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)601, 769
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling South
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 100-198 N Broadway St, Natchez MS 39120, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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