History of St. Catherine Street

History of St. Catherine Street (HM20OQ)

Location: Natchez, MS 39120 Adams County
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Country: United States of America
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N 31° 33.366', W 91° 23.105'

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Pre-Civil War St. Catherine Street
The road, for the first mile, after leaving town, passed through a charming country, seen at intervals, and between long lines of unpainted, wretched looking dwellings, occupied as 'groggeries' by free negroes, or poor emigrants...Joseph Holt Ingraham, 1835St. Catherine Street's "groggeries," or taverns, beckoned to weary travelers on foot or horseback. The street was the bluff-top equivalent of Silver Street whose taverns and bawdy houses catered to Mississippi River travelers.The most infamous St. Catherine Street businesses were the slave marts, which by 1853 had congregated at the corporation line at the eastern end of the street. City ordinances in the 1830s forced the slave traders from the city limits and spurred the development of the Negro marts at the Forks of the Road, depicted below on the far right.
1853 Survey Map of St. Catherine Street
An 1853 survey in a City of Natchez minute book maps the entire length of the "Road to St. Catherine," which extends 64 chains or 4,224 feet, about four-fifths of a mile.During its early history, St. Catherine Street was sometimes called "great northern road," because it was the first or last leg of the Natchez Trace which extended from Natchez to Nashville.The
creation of the village of Washington six miles northeast and its 1802 designation as the territorial capital led to the street's territorial references as the Road to Washington.The "Road to St. Catherine" refers to the creek and race track of the same name. The city eventually designated as St. Catherine Street that section of the road extending from town (far left) to the Forks of the Road (far right) at the intersection of the Old COurthouse Road.Common sights on St. Catherine Street before the Civil War included travelers entering and leaving the city; Pony Express riders carrying mail; the stagecoach making its daily roundtrip between Natchez and the village of Washington; and enslaved people being transported to and from the Negro marts at the Forks of the Road
Post-Civil War St. Catherine Street
St. Catherine Street reached its height of prosperity in the late 1800s and early 1900s when it was home to families of African American professionals. Before the Great Northern Migration, houses of doctors, attorneys, educators and businessmen lined the street.Natchez is the Garden City of the South for persons of color. There is more freedom, enterprise, worth and progress among them there than anywhere else in the section. Christian Recorder[African Methodist Episcopal Church], Philadelphia, Pa., December 20, 1894The wealth, the rich background, and the intelligence of Natchez Negro leaders have made Natchez the Negro cultural center of the State.... St. Catherine Street, however, may be said to be the focal point....Mississippi, A Guide to the Old Magnolia State, 1938
HM NumberHM20OQ
Series This marker is part of the series
Placed ByCity Of Natchez
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, August 13th, 2017 at 10:01am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)15R E 653277 N 3492365
Decimal Degrees31.55610000, -91.38508333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 31° 33.366', W 91° 23.105'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds31° 33' 21.96" N, 91° 23' 6.3" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)601, 769
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling East
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 224-232 St Catherine St, Natchez MS 39120, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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