The Natchez Trace

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Our day dawned pretty early. 8:15 a.m. 🙂 Plans were to leave at 9:30. Dale hustled and I buttoned up the RV for travel and we were on the road at 9:15 a.m. After months of planning and travelling, we were finally getting on The Trace. Please understand the excitement we felt. This was something  we have been looking forward to since we were told about this incredible 444 mile journey. This “history lover” was doing flips inside!

Like I said, the Trace is 444 miles long beginning in Natchez, MS and ending in Nashville, TN. We bought a great book, Guide to the Natchez Trace by F. Lynne Bachleda. She gives history about the Trace and information about mile by mile. A great book for history.

Our first stop on Wednesday was at the Old Trace. We had to walk across the street  and we could see the old trail used by Indians, Boatmen, travelers, Pony Express and so forth.

We read the information boards and then walked toward what looked like a cemetery. It was.

In this cemetery are the graves a family which most are children from 10 months old to 18. Eleven graves were children. Probably from an epidemic of yellow fever that came through the area.

Our next stop was the Emerald Mound. This is a mound of dirt that the Indians created for ceremonial and worship reasons. Emerald Mound measures 770 by 435 feet at the base and is 35 feet high. The mound was built by depositing earth along the sides of a natural hill, thus reshaping it and creating an enormous artificial plateau. Two smaller mounds sit atop the expansive summit platform of the primary mound. The larger of the two, at the west end, measures 190 by 160 feet and is 30 feet high.

We are on the top of the mound here looking toward the east end.

Along the Trace were hostels where guests could get a meal and a sleep. People had to travel in groups for safety because of very cruel highway robbers. Hostels were safe areas. There is only one hostel left, 

The furnishing in the hostel are mostly authentic. The Forest Service does a nice job at this site.

It has been fun getting to see "old time" items used for spinning, weaving and using yarn.

The Ferguson Family Cemetery that is still used today.

We stopped for a picnic at the Sunken Trace. The day was about 88 and the humidity was high. We melted. We enjoyed our lunch under the trees and then walked to the old Trace trail.

Can you feel it? People from the 1200’s walked here, the Spanish and the French. Troops from the Civil War trod here on their way to Natchez. So much history here that we will never know about.

Our day ended at a Civil War site, Grand Gulf. A Naval war was fought here. The State of Mississippi has a wonderful RV park, museum and artifacts from the war.

Life is still so very good (tornado warning or not). God is awesome.


2 thoughts on “The Natchez Trace

    MrsCraftyRVing said:
    April 22, 2011 at 11:08 am

    I am so enjoying your words and pictures of Mississippi – I really do. You are bringing back so many great memories of my time there. I was 19 when I drove across country from CT to CA and spent a lot of time down South. A funny story but too long to post in the comment feed.

    tinycamper said:
    April 22, 2011 at 9:06 pm

    Gwen, so glad you are enjoying the Trace. That’s something we want to do someday, too.

    I revel in history, too, especially touring the old houses and and discovering the unique revelations of their place in history. I also love local museums and have learned so much that way.

    Thanks for the vicarious tours! 🙂

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