Saturday, May 1, 2010


Saturday, May 1 – Last night, we went to the Ameristar Casino. Marsha and I each lost $10 and spent another $8 on drinks – had several free ones....YES! There was a good group singing but we didn't dance this time....maybe tomorrow. My back seemed to hold up pretty good. We enjoyed people watching....especially a group at the roulette table betting big bucks at each spin on the “ball.” Looked like a lot of money being lost......YIKES!

We went to the Mississippi Visitor’s Center. As Marsha says, “This is the most beautiful visitor’s center we have seen.” Yep…she took pictures.




A little bit about Mississippi and Vicksburg.



We went to a free breakfast this morning. We got a complimentary breakfast at the casino for staying at the campground. We were smart and didn't gamble....maybe later tonight! Of course, I wanted to go at 6:30 a.m. but Marsha says....”We don't have to go at the crack of dawn!”, so we left the MH at 8:30.....jeesh, the day's half Breakfast was very good.

The Mississippi River has eroded the landscape so much that in order to get to the river boat casinos, there is a 150 ft. drop. Each road to the casino needs a retaining wall. The retaining wall is built by driving these huge bolts into the earth to keep the land from caving in. It is not your typical “garden” retaining wall.


We then went on a historical driving tour of Vicksburg. The city really did a nice job of setting this up. Street signs direct you on a city wide tour of numerous historical homes and buildings.We also saw this sign everywhere along the drive.


Here are some of the historical homes.

Anchuca Historic Mansion…This notable Greek Revival home built in 1830 was the first columned mansion in Vicksburg and was the location of one of the last speeches presented by President Jefferson Davis to Vicksburg after Lincoln's War.


Stained Glass Manor…Built in the 1900s as the home of Fannie Willis Johnson, the eminent humanitarian of Vicksburg, this Mission style house is also called the Tomil Manor.


Shlenker House…Built in 1907 by David Jacob Shlenker, a flourishing cotton factor and wholesale grocer, and Vicksburg's most significant Prairie style house.


Baer House Inn…This is an example of Eastlake Victorian home built in 1870 by Lazarus Baer for his wife, Leona.


Martha Vick House…Built around 1830, this is the last Vick family home in Vicksburg. This is known as the “mini” mansion.


More not so famous houses.

Besides homes, there are lots of historical churches. Marsha’s really enjoyed seeing these.

Church of the Holy Trinity…Around 1865 the divided congregation of Christ Church erected this stunning church showing off six elaborate Tiffany stained glass windows.


Beautiful steeple


Bethel AME church Founded in 1864 by Pastor Page Tyler and know as "The Mother Congregation of African Methodism in the state of Mississippi". One of the early pastors, Hiram Revels, was the first African-American U.S. Senator.


Beautiful stain glass windows


We drove by the Vicksburg Riverfront Murals. These were really neat. They are located on the floodwall on Levee Street. There are 32 pictorial murals depicting periods of history in Vicksburg. Here are some of the murals with a little history of each. Please visit the Mural link for an explanation of all 32 murals.

The City of Vicksburg was founded by Newitt Vick, a Methodist minister.  He died of yellow fever before the town could be laid out, however, leaving that task to his son-in-law John Lane. Incorporated in 1825 with a population of 180, the city grew rapidly because of its location on high bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River and soon became the largest and most progressive city in the state. The Welcome mural is below.


Below…"The Blue are the Roots ... the Rest are the Fruits"


THE SIEGE OF VICKSBURG: "Mississippians Don't Know ... Surrender"


THE SULTANA DEPARTS FROM VICKSBURG:  "The Worst Maritime Disaster in U. S. History"


See more mural pictures.

We also toured the Old Court House. That place was packed full of historical items. I especially like the upstairs courtroom. We spent a few hours in this museum.

Construction began in the summer of 1858 on what was then to be a new Court House for Warren County.  The building is perched on one of the highest hills in Vicksburg on land given by the family of the city’s founder, Newitt Vick.



This is the intricate iron stairway that took us up to the second floor. This stairway was manufactured in Cincinnati, Ohio. When the Yankees stormed the Court House, they remarked that the Confederates couldn’t even make their own stairway.


The way the Cleveland Indians are playing lately, we think they may be using a glove made in the 1800s….sorry Marsha.


Where Coca-Cola was first bottled in 1894…Vicksburg, MS.


We did not go here but the Biedenharn Coca-Cola Museum is also here. It features the history of one of the Nation's beloved beverages, along with equipment of the type that Joseph Biedenharn used to bottle Coke for the first time anywhere in the world in 1894. We drink Diet Coke…Marsha has to drink caffeine-free or she is bouncing off the wall.

We were not permitted to take FLASH pictures. Some of the pictures in the courtroom are a bit dark and blurry. But we hope you get a good idea what it looks like.


Below…Judge’s seat.


Below…The jury area.


See more pictures of the Old Court House here.

As we were about to leave it started raining. We planned on going to the Vicksburg National Military Park but decided to wait until tomorrow, hoping for better weather.

Thanks for visiting. Next blog….Vicksburg National Military Park.