Port Gibson, MS – Yes, we DO leave the state of Georgia from time to time. Visiting the Windsor Ruins with my dog Leroy was fun – read on for more photos and the history of this hauntingly beautiful place.
Port Gibson was the final leg of our trip, and after a couple of hours driving here with Leroy in the back seat (he sounds exactly like having Darth Vader in your vehicle!), was excited to finally visit these ruins.
Windsor was built between 1859-1861, and was NOT destroyed during the Civil War. It was destroyed in an unfortunate accident in 1891.
Located several miles outside of Port Gibson, my first impression of the Windsor Ruins? Huge! I couldn’t believe how big this home was.
Built over a 2 year period at a cost of $175K, the 4 story house had 23 rooms, and was situated on 2,600 acres. Smith Daniell and his wife moved into the home in 1861. He died a few weeks later at age 34.
The house survived the Civil War, and was a center of entertainment over the years. Mark Twain stayed here and wrote of its elegance in Life on the Mississippi.
In February 1891, a guest dropped a cigarette into debris left by carpenters who were making repairs on the 3rd floor. The mansion burned, with only 23 of the 29 columns remaining, a set of exterior stairs, and a set of china.
There were no known images of this magnificent mansion, and it was not until 1991 that a sketch from a Civil War soldier was found.
This sketch really shows the grandeur of this place, and helped me to better understand what I was looking at.
Taking Leroy around the ruins, it’s hard to get a sense of the scale – but let me assure you it’s huge! The staircase to the home is now located at Alcorn State University.
The remote setting adds to the drama of visiting the ruins. Looking around it’s surrounded by undeveloped land.
The remaining columns give an idea of just how grand this 4 story home was. An a testament to the craftsmanship of the late 1850s!
After a little while admiring this place, it was time to head home on the long drive back to Atlanta.
Leaving Windsor, I am so grateful that this has been preserved and available for all to enjoy the hauntingly beautiful site. If you’re in the area, I highly recommend a visit! Thanks so much for reading the blog – I appreciate it!