Pambling Roads ~~ Arkansas to Mississippi
Pambling Roads ~~ Arkansas to Mississippi
Well, here we are in Arkansas and Mississippi. Both states are absolutely gorgeous and definitely awesome places to visit. We thoroughly enjoyed our travels, meeting so many wonderful people.
We stayed at the Best Western in Hope. The rooms were clean and it was a nice, quiet stay.
Washington State Park
Just a short ride north of Hope, Historic Washington State Park is a small village thriving in living history. The area is unique because of the strategic efforts of the local people wanting to preserve their history and culture. Many of the homes are pre-Civil War and have been renovated, preserved, and/or reconstructed. Tours by guides were available in the buildings that were open to the public. We did spot one B + B which looked like it would be a pleasant place to stay.
We stopped by the 1874 Courthouse and Visitor Center and purchased the full walking tour. We toured the Morrison Tavern, the print museum, Royston log home, the Blacksmith Shop, 1836 Courthouse and Confederate Capital of Arkansas, Sanders House, and the Edward’s Weapons Museum. Lunch (and dessert) was perfect and was also in an historical building, the Williams’ Tavern Restaurant.
After the walking tour, we drove around the town and viewed many of the other homes we hadn’t been able to tour because they weren’t open at the time. Different homes are open on specific days for tours.
We stopped and chatted with a park representative, Billy Nation. He was very helpful and answered all of our questions about the area and history.
Crater of Diamonds State Park
Going hunting for diamonds was a very interesting experience. It had rained the day before and had been chilly and drizzly the morning we arrived at the park. Thousands of diamonds have been found by very lucky people, sizes ranging from tiny chips to 40 carats.
What you find at the park is yours to keep.
They give you diamond hunting tips and they explain that there are other gems and minerals you can find. Tools are also available for rental to aid you in your search for precious gems. Appraisers are available. They determine what type of gems you have found and their value.
There is a gift shop, exhibits, a theater, and restaurant.
We found agate, jasper, quartz, and calcite.
We stayed at the Quality Inn in Natchez.
Being on the Mississippi River, Natchez is a gold mine of history. It is also known as the oldest city on the Mississippi. (Two years before New Orleans)
The Natchez website advertised trolley tours. There were no trolley tours available. We were interested in getting a river tour as well but there were none available. However, the visitor center recommended a carriage tour that we did take. There really wasn’t any information about the company who did the carriage tour. The tour was very informative and the driver was knowledgeable about the area.
With a map in hand, we did the recommended driving tour to decide which historic antebellum homes we wanted to see.
Auburn, an antebellum Greek Revival home was built in the early 1800’s. A fascinating feature is the home’s circular staircase which stands alone and is unsupported by anything but itself. We met a couple who was on the tour that lived in Valkerie, LA right near the Oak Alley and St. Joe Plantations. It was neat talking with someone who lived in an area that we had visited the year before.
The property is large considering that it is in the city. (A full city block) Stanton is absolutely beautiful. There is a restaurant on the property. When we opened the door the overhead lights inside looked so dim and unwelcoming that we were under the impression that it was closed and didn’t go inside. We decided to go to another restaurant on Under-the-Hill.
Rosalie was my favorite. It wasn’t any more or any less elaborate than any of the other homes we visited. Perhaps it was the walk in the back yard along the river, or just the right touch of southern charm, welcoming anyone coming to the home.
Longwood started construction before the U.S. civil war and was never completed. It is the largest octagonal house in the United States. When the civil war started, the bottom floor was the only floor that had been finished. It is being preserved in its unfinished state.
Natchez Under-the-Hill and the nature trail
This was a great place to walk around and enjoy the atmosphere of the Mississippi River.
We were going to dine at one of the casinos but a gentleman was walking into the building wearing a three piece suit so we both realized we were extremely under-dressed. (Both of us in shorts since it was in the 90’s)
Forks of the Road was the last thing we visited before we headed to our next destination.
It is a small park-like area with an historical kiosk of information on the slave trading in the area. I found it stunning at the amount of names on the list. We didn’t count but I would guess that over half of the slaves were Asian and the other half Africans. There were shackles in a group on the ground near the kiosk.
We met a gentleman there who had gotten very emotional over the idea of those people being used as slaves. Our last comments to each other was our gratefulness that we, as a country, have grown to become better people and that most people no longer have the attitude of slave ownership.
The forgotten coast -- where Hurricane Katrina devastated the area, leveling many older historical homes and leaving more than half of the residents homeless. We stopped by the visitor center and toured the magnificent structure as well. We grabbed a local map. We asked about the train tour and shuttle buses and were told no shuttle buses were available. She gave us information on the train tour, the available times, and where to get the tour.
On our first night, we enjoyed the recommended walking tour.
The next morning we strolled along the beach area near the lighthouse and waited for the train to arrive. Forty-five minutes later, we left. We waited for twenty minutes after the train was supposed to be there). There were at least a dozen people waiting for the train tour who also gave up and left.
Beauvoir is one of the homes of the former president of the Confederate States. In the early 1900’s it was used as a Confederate Soldiers’ Home. On the property you can find a Jefferson Davis statue, the Jefferson Davis and Sons Statue, several reproduction buildings, the Confederate Soldiers’ Home Cemetery which includes the Tomb of the Unknown Confederate Soldier.
There is also a free buggy ride that takes you around the grounds of the property that was definitely worth the few bumps along the dirt road.
In the Presidential Library and Museum, we enjoyed viewing many of the confederate states history and a few previously unknown facts about southern Mississippi history.
Stopping at the gift shop, we picked up a few things. One was a very rare copy of the movie Song of the South. I was thrilled. It was one of my favorite movies when I was younger. I loved Uncle Remis, his stories, and the lessons he was teaching. I never quite understood the controversy. (Still don’t)
I made a comment to my husband about how much I loved the movie when a gentleman told me that this was the only place that would sell the movie because they want people to see the truth. He was very passionate in his opinions. When he said that the movie promoted hatred of the south I asked him how. (Big mistake) He proceeded to tell me that northern schools “to this day” teach their students to hate the South. I told him I was educated in the north and they didn’t teach me to hate the south nor did they promote any negative ideas like that to the students.
He blinked. I walked away. I had to. This would not have turned out well if I didn’t walk away.
Unfortunately, that’s when he turned to my husband and my husband received the man’s passionate views about the North and South. He continued on how Lincoln wasn’t elected by any of the southern states and how he wasn’t voted in by any southerner. (Lincoln wasn’t put on the peoples’ ballot in the southern states, but was in the running on the Electoral College ballots)
My husband being the generous, patient soul that he is let the man vent. He is much more diplomatic than I am. Although, I am getting better with age.
Goodness! I felt like I went back 150 years. I find it very sad that people actually still hold such antiquated beliefs after all this time.
Thank you for taking the time to travel with us, meeting people, and seeing the sites with us. If you haven't been to any of the places we have suggested, visit if you can. It's fun and relaxing!
Interested in time travel western romance?
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