On the Road ~ Beautiful Greek Revival style Melrose mansion, Natchez, MS.
The house was designed by Maryland architect Jacob Byers and completed in 1848. The grounds feature outbuildings, including the two storied kitchen and dairy buildings, octagonal cistern houses, a smokehouse, a privy, one of the last remaining slave quarters in Natchez, a barn, and a carriage house.
The original owners sold their furniture with the house, and subsequent owners did the same, keeping the interiors remarkably intact. As Melrose was one of the most intact antebellum estates in the South, the National Park Service purchased the estate in 1990. It is interpreted to the pre-Civil War period and offers guided tours.
It is well worth a visit. Long recognized as symbols of Southern culture, the historic houses of the plantation south are also monuments to the fine craftsmanship and labor of the often-enslaved carpenters who built them and the other enslaved people whose labor paid for these beautiful buildings.
In recent years, substantial research has documented the skilled labor of enslaved craftsmen working in building construction in the American south. Visiting historic house museums is a wonderful way to get inspiration for your home restoration projects.
Restoration methods and materials used by museums are included among the approaches presented in “Restoring Your Historic House, The Comprehensive Guide for Homeowners.” Signed and personalized copies of the award-winning and bestselling 720-page hardcover book are available directly from the author at YourHistoricHouse.com/shop/ and in the shop on this page.
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