Description - Natchez National Historical Park celebrates the history of Natchez, Mississippi and interprets the pivotal role the city played in the settlement of the old southwest, the Cotton Kingdom, and the Antebellum South.
- European settlement of Natchez began with a French trading post in 1714. In the decades before the Civil War, Natchez became a commercial, cultural, and social center of the South's "cotton belt," with power and wealth unmatched by other southern towns of comparable size. The city of Natchez today represents one of the best preserved concentrations of significant antebellum properties in the United States.
The park is made up of three units. Fort Rosalie is the location of an 18th
Century fortification built by the French and occupied by the British, Spanish and Americans. The William Johnson House was a house and
business owned by William Johnson, a free black man, whose diary tells the story of everyday life in antebellum Natchez. Melrose was the estate
of the John T. McMurran who rose from being a middle class lawyer to a position of wealth and power in antebellum Natchez.
Recreation - Opportunities include walking, taking guided tours and viewing the historic sites.Melrose is the
only unit currently open to the public. here is a small visitor information center in one of the outbuildings behind the mansion. Several of the outbuildings are open to the public during park hours. An exhibit on slavery is located in the slave quarters. Temporary exhibits may be available. There are several walking trails on the grounds of Melrose.
Climate - Mississippi lies mainly in the subtropics. The climate is mild with the coldest months experiencing low temperatures near 40 degrees F. Summer temperatures frequently reach 100 degrees F, with coastal breezes providing cooling relief. Humidity is highest in August and September reaching an average close to 90%. The highest rainfall comes during the spring months, but December and January are wet, too. Expect temperatures in the northeastern region to be somewhat cooler than the rest of the state.
Natchez National Historic Park is located in Natchez, Mississippi. From I-10 at Baton Rouge follow US 61 north to Natchez. From I-20 at Vicksburg, follow US 61 south to Natchez. From I-20 at Jackson, follow the Natchez Trace Parkway to US 61 to Natchez.