Must-See Mississippi: Port Gibson

Updated on May 17, 2017
Shannon Ballard profile image

Shannon has worked in radio for over 20 years. In her spare time, she enjoys photography, traveling, and exploring historic sites.

Port Gibson, Mississippi is 60 miles southwest of Jackson. The town, and surrounding area, is full of fascinating sights to visit on a road trip to this part of the state.

Windsor Ruins

Windsor Ruins is a sight you don't happen upon in Mississippi—you have to know what you're looking for. Travel down the Natchez Trace to mile marker 30, exit onto Mississippi Hwy 552, and drive west. You'll follow signs that direct you to Windsor Ruins. As you drive into the wooded area where the home once stood strong, you'll have a moment of surprise as you drive into a clearing and then see the 23 columns that remain of this once magnificent home. It's awe-inspiring to know how long these columns have survived, especially knowing what happened here in 1890.

Windsor Ruins is open to the public during daylight hours. There's no charge to visit
Windsor Ruins is open to the public during daylight hours. There's no charge to visit

The Windsor plantation was built by Smith Daniell, from 1859 to 1861. Sadly, Daniell died only a few weeks after the home was completed. The Daniell family continued to occupy the home. As the Civil War began, Confederate troops used the plantation home as a signal station and observation platform until 1863, when Union troops took control of Windsor and used the home as a hospital. There are many legends associated with Windsor, but the most infamous is that of Mark Twain, who is said to have stayed at Windsor. He used the roof observatory to stand and look out at the Mississippi River and muse about life, inspiring many of his works.

Soldier's sketch of Windsor Plantation Home. The only known look at what the original home looked like
Soldier's sketch of Windsor Plantation Home. The only known look at what the original home looked like

Windsor Plantation Home became Windsor Ruins on the night of February 17, 1890. There was a party at the home and it's believed a guest left a lighted cigar on a balcony of the home which caused the house to burn to the ground. Only the 23 columns, balustrades and iron stairs survived the fire. It's an inspiring and haunting place to visit. You'll be impressed by the intricate artwork of the columns that withstood the fire and have stood strong for over 156 years.

Grand Gulf Military Park

Grand Gulf Military Park is an ideal place to combine exploring history with a love of the outdoors. You can explore Fort Cobun and Fort Wade, along with many restored buildings and a museum that tells the history of Grand Gulf. One of the most notable buildings on the site is the Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church which is one of the few examples of carpenter gothic architecture that remains in the state of Mississippi.

Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church, Grand Gulf Military Park
Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church, Grand Gulf Military Park

After you explore the buildings, you can explore the surrounding area on one of many hiking trails and then camp for the night on the property. There's so much to see here and it's worth the price of admission. Grand Gulf Military Park is located at 12006 Grand Gulf Road in Port Gibson, just 10 miles from the Natchez Trace. Admission for adults is $4 and children 12 and under are $1. Information about camping is available on the park website.

Grand Gulf Military Park
Grand Gulf Military Park

Wintergreen Cemetery

Wintergreen Cemetery dates back to 1807 and is known as one of the most beautiful cemeteries in the state. When you see it, you'll understand why it holds that claim to fame. As you enter the cemetery you'll note the shade that covers all of the souls buried here and the Mississippi Spanish moss hanging from the trees gives it an eerie and beautiful appearance. Many notable people are buried here, including Samuel Gibson, the man known as the founder of Port Gibson. You can visit the cemetery from sunrise to sunset. It's located at 613 Greenwood Street in Port Gibson

Wintergreen Cemetery
Wintergreen Cemetery

First Presbyterian Church

This Romanesque Revival-style church has many a unique feature that leads people to drive along Church Street in Port Gibson. Many just want to get a sight of the noted gold hand pointing to Heaven. Most days you'll see someone outside of the church trying to get the perfect photograph of the infamous gold hand. According to the church history page on their website, there have been two hands. The first was carved by Daniel Foley, but time took its toll and it was destroyed by 1901 A new hand was then carved and installed. There is a lot of focus on the golden hand above the church, but the interior is quite impressive with three brass chandeliers that were once a part of the steamboat, Robert E. Lee. The church is located at 605 Church Street in Port Gibson. It is free to visit, but apart from designated church services, it's hit and miss as to when the church is open to explore the interior.

Golden hand pointing to Heaven
Golden hand pointing to Heaven
First Presbyterian Church
First Presbyterian Church

St. Joseph Catholic Church

Built in 1849, this church is the oldest in Port Gibson. It is open most days of the week and the interior is must see. Its blue stained glass offers a beautiful blue hue throughout the church that adds to the spiritual feeling of the space. St. Joseph Catholic Church is located at 909 Church Street in Port Gibson. It is open most days and the church welcomes visitors. They do ask that you consider leaving a donation, which is noted when you enter.

St. Jospeh Catholic Church
St. Jospeh Catholic Church

Have you ever visited Port Gibson, Mississippi?

See results

Questions & Answers

    © 2017 Shannon Ballard

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      No comments yet.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, wanderwisdom.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://wanderwisdom.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)