Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Natchez, Day 3

We were on the road by 9 a.m. and off to Frogmore Plantation in Louisiana. Frogmore is the home of the Tanner family, who have raised and ginned cotton for 200 years, first with historical gins and today with modern computers. We sat in an 1800's plantation church in the original pews and listened to wonderful music while Lynnette Tanner read from journals and archives.

Lynette Tanner greeted us and was our guide on the tour. She and her husband, Buddy share a common love of agriculture and history. They have saved and moved antebellum buildings to Frogmore in order to tell a complete story about the cotton plantation system.

The Tanner Home

The Cook House

Dog-trot House (overseer's home)

We got to pick cotton. Not an easy thing to do. Hard on the fingers and back. Did you know that CRISCO is made from the oil from the cotton seed? It's even part of the name: seed cotton oil. The visit to Frogmore was our favorite tour. We could have stayed all day. Instead, we were off to Ferriday, Louisiana and made a very quick stop at the Louisiana Delta Music Museum for stories about Jerry Lee Lewis, Mickey Gilley, Aaron Neville, Conway Twitty, Percy Sledge, Jimmy Swaggart, et al. Back to Natchez for lunch in the Carriage House Restaurant on the grounds of Stanton Hall.

Carriage House Restaurant

This is Tinkerbell -- the resident kitty on the Stanton Hall grounds. She is well fed. Chicken was being served.

Carriage House Restaurant

The Carriage House Restaurant is nationally known for its tiny buttered biscuits and Southern fried chicken. You'd be right if you guessed that the fried chicken was the meal of choice for the group.

After lunch we toured Stanton Hall, a Greek Revival mansion, built in 1857 for cotton magnate Frederick Stanton by Natchez architect-builder Thomas Rose. No expense was spared, from Corinthian columns topped with iron capitals to silver door knobs and hinges, Italian marble mantles, gold leaf mirrors and bronze chandeliers.

We had the afternoon and evening off. Good thing. We needed to walk off some of the great food we'd had and investigate historic downtown Natchez. We stopped in two bookstores (of course) and found the yarn shop: Natchez-Needlearts - A Fiber Arts Studio. They had a little of everything: yarns for knitting, crochet, needlepoint, embroidery, cross stitch, crewel and fabric for sewing and quilting. A very colorful place.

Yarns at Natchez Needlearts

Dinner was on our own and we decided we didn't need anymore food! We settled into the hotel and watched baseball.

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