I was still trekking down the Trace, ever south, when I stopped for the night at Port Gibson, MS. Like many towns in the south it is very, very poor and I wasn’t that sold on the place. However the B&B was nice so I decided to stay a second night & take in the sights in the surrounding area.
I had been staying mostly at fleabag motels or camping up to this point so the luxury of the Oak Square Country Inn was too good to pass up. The Inn is an old antebellum mansion and lovely grounds, off street parking and strong wifi. At $65 a night it was a little outside my budget, but hang the expense for once.
In the morning I headed out to take in the sights. First up were the Windsor Ruins. The ruins are all that is left of one of the finest mansions in the south. It burned down in 1890 and all the remain are the columns.
From there I went on to the “ghost town” of Rodney. That was easier said than done however, since the road Google Maps put me on was closed (because of hunting season I later found out). After trying another couple of routes I eventually stumbled into the campus of Alcorn State University. The security guard gave me directions through the campus, across a dorm parking lot, and down a dirt road.
I’m not that big on riding dirt roads since the last time I rode one I fell off, but everything went fine and soon I arrived at this:
It wasn’t really a ghost town, but boy was it ramshackle and decrepit, even by Mississippi standards. The main street was a dirt road lined with mostly ruins and some mobile homes. There were people around, including children racing ATVs up and down the “street”
If you look closely at the church below, there is a cannonball lodged in the façade. It was fired from a union gunboat on the nearby Mississippi during the civil war.
I meant to have a quiet evening in working on the blog, but ended up drinking whiskey with the landlord of the B&B (I know, excuses, excuses!). He was quite the character. Former policeman, nuclear power plant inspector and candidate for county judge. While polishing off a bottle of JD with him I heard about his late wife, his legal wranglings with his brother-in-law, and finally I learnt about Port Gibson and his gun collection. “It’s a peaceful town but I’m ready for war”, he said.