Quite a few of the South’s important cities met the fate of William T. Sherman’s torch during the Great Yankee Invasion of the 1860s. Jackson, Mississippi, was one of the first of these unfortunate cities. After the town was burned in 1863, many structures had only their chimneys left, prompting some to nickname it "Chimneyville." Fortunately for us, a handful of the city’s antebellum structures did survive and remain to this day.
Because it was being used as a hospital, this structure was not molested by Federal troops when they captured the city. Built in 1847, it is one of the finest examples of Greek-Revival architecture in the country. Located on S. President Street, it is open to the public for free Monday through Friday from 8am to 5pm. For more information, call 601/960-1034.
Constructed in 1842, this building served as headquarters for both Grant and Sherman. Throughout Mississippi’s history, this Greek-Revival mansion has been the only one designated as the official residence of the state’s governor (it is the second oldest of its kind in the United States). Free guided tours are given Tuesday through Friday from 9:30 to 11am. For more information, call 601/359-6473.
Located at E. Fortification Street and Congress Street, this Gothic-Revival mansion was built in 1857. It was the home of Charles Henry Manship, the town’s mayor, who surrendered the town to Sherman on July 21, 1863. The house is filled with Manship family belongings and artwork. Free guided tours are offered Tuesday through Friday from 9am to 4pm and Saturdays from 10am to 4pm. For more information, call 601/961-4724.
The Oaks House
This Greek-Revival residence is thought to be the oldest house in Jackson to be continuously occupied. Constructed in 1846, it was the home of James Hervey Boyd, a former mayor of Jackson. The house has been restored and furnished with period antiques. A rocking chair and couch that once belonged to Abraham Lincoln are among the many antiques found here. Thirty-minute tours are offered Tuesday through Saturday from 10am to 3pm. Admission is $3. For more information, call 601/353-9339.
Boddie Mansion at Tougaloo College
The 200-year-old moss-draped oaks that once graced Boddie Plantation now shade the students of Tougaloo College, a historically black institution founded in 1869. The Boddie Mansion, erected in 1848, now houses the college’s administrative offices.