It's been 150 years since the siege of Vicksburg that virtually sealed the fate of the Confederacy in the Civil War.
Being here, even with the passage of time, it is not that hard to imagine the city back then. Vicksburg remains a small town, charming in its simplicity, harkening back to earlier eras.
The best way - and the easiest - to transport yourself back to the 19th century is to stay in one of the historic bed-and-breakfast inns in the city.
And the best time of all to do that is during the annual, month-long Tapestry, The Pilgrimage to Vicksburg, a heritage festival, which takes place each April.
This year's Tapestry is appropriately oriented around the 150th anniversary - the Sesquicentennial - of the Civil War and the great and terrifying siege at Vicksburg which took place over 47 days, from May 26-July 4, 1863.
The Pilgrimage to Vicksburg is called "Tapestry" because visitors get to experience the rich tapestry of early Vicksburg life. You get to explore the fabric of Vicksburg society - a lot more complex and intricate than might be supposed - with tours of 15 historic homes and buildings, some which are only open during this heritage festival. During the festival, there are costumed interpreters who give presentations that bring to life the heritage and culture of this river city.
"Together these stories weave the Tapestry of who we are today."
Most of us think of Vicksburg as a battle, but it was a campaign - in fact, one of the largest, longest and most complex of the Civil War that encompassed several towns and villages and battlefields including Port Gibson, Raymond and Champion Hill. But it culminated with a siege of the city that lasted 47 days, from May 26 to July 4, when Confederate General Pemberton surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant (the city did not celebrate Independence Day again until the 1950s).
When you are in Vicksburg, you can understand most profoundly the impact, the terror of the families - mostly women, children and their servants at that point living in the city during the siege. That is something that I am sure I never realized before visiting here.
Vicksburg did not just take place on a battlefield, now a National Military Park, but on these streets and in these homes, and most remarkably, in caves where the families took shelter for days and weeks on end, coming out only to cook when the cannon fire stopped. At least two babies were born in the caves during the siege.
You can visit the buildings where there are still bloodstains in the wood floor, and which still have cannon ball imbedded in a wall.
The personal stories come to life as you visit these homes and buildings.
Touring is a treat; even better is to stay.
I think of the way most people come to Vicksburg - either to the riverboat casinos (granted, they have tremendous atmosphere, too), or straight off the highway to spend a day at Vicksburg National Military Park. The Battlefield park is awesome, but cold, vacant. Yes, there are impressive monuments, stunning statuary, and the exhibits like the USS Cairo. Here, you feel the shadows.
But staying in the city, you hear in your mind the swoosh of hoop skirts, you can rock on porch, see portraits and paintings, see the same books that Elizabeth and John Klein read.
I realize that Vicksburg's story was not just the soldiers. It was the civilians.
As soon as you cross the threshold, you are captivated by a sort of spell - which is saying something for a Northerner.
Carolyn Stephenson, who is president of Vicksburg Bed-and-Breakfast Association, one of the organizers of Tapestry and owner of the historic Annabelle B&B, said her presentation this year will focus on the ladies of the siege and the hardships they had to endure "having the cannonballs whizzing overhead, living in dirt; half the time the caves would collapse, there was no food, no medicines or anything."
"Caves were all over Vicksburg. Some were just for the family, but they would also take servants into the cave... Sometimes two families would have to share, where one family's cave collapsed. There could be 15-20 people in a cave. They would come out on occasion when the shelling would stop. They did most of cooking outside."
Vicksburg's position on high bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River made the city a natural fortress, and enabled the Confederacy to control shipping - effectively cutting off the upper Midwest from trade. That was a vise on the Union, causing Northerners who were losing patience with the war, to put pressure on Lincoln to end its prosecution and capitulate to the South instead of dictating the terms of surrender.
Lincoln recognized Vicksburg was the key to cranking open the Confederacy, and at the same time, unplugging the bottleneck of trade from the northern Midwest.
"One of the logos of Vicksburg is a key because Abraham Lincoln considered it the key to winning," Stephenson said. "When the surrender took place, General Grant was supposed to send Lincoln a telegram that said he was supposed to put the key into his pocket."
When the Annabelle was built in 1868, the house faced the Mississippi River, which flowed from the west and then made a northerly turn and then a hairpin turn to the south. This is one of the reasons why Vicksburg was so valuable during the Civil War (which southerners still refer to as the War of Northern Aggression).
The Union gunboats had to slow to make the tight hairpin turn and before they could regain speed, they would be picked off by marksmen from the bluffs above and along the river.
General Grant, who (I learn) did many audacious, risky and fairly desperate things to win, actually tried to divert the Mississippi to allow gunboats to sail straight into Vicksburg. But that plan failed.
Ironically, in 1876, an earthquake caused the river to change course, cutting off the bend in the river which left the port of Vicksburg high and dry. It was a devastating blow to the city whose economy was based on the riverport. (It was then that the Annabelle was literally turned on its foundation to face Speed Street, using mules and ropes.)
Later, a project to restore the riverfront began in 1895 by diverting the Yazoo River which flows north of Vicksburg. That project worked and it is the Yazoo, not the Mississippi, that you see flowing past Vicksburg's downtown today. For many years, the US Army Corps of Engineers was one of the city's biggest employers (there is a newly opened Lower Mississippi River Museum, a $24 million project of the US Army Corps of Engineers).
The bed and breakfast homes are open for people to tour 365 days of the year. But during Tapestry, the presenters are in costume and do the special presentations on their designated days.
For example, on Fridays, the owner of the George Washington Ball House, the oldest home still standing in Vicksburg (circa 1822) will discuss the slave trade in Vicksburg, using auction papers found in researching the house. The four-room bed-and-breakfast, was built in Vicksburg’s oldest neighborhood by a distant cousin of President George Washington. (The George Washington Ball House, 921 Main Street, Vicksburg, MS 39180, 601-636-7915, www.georgewashingtonball.com).
The Bazsinsky House (circa 1861), a Jewish family's home for 150 years, will focus on Jews of Vicksburg (a Jewish community has been in Vicksburg since 1820), and their role in Vicksburg as a multicultural river city, for Tapestry, on Saturdays at 1 pm (1022 Monroe Street, 601-634-8404).
The Baer House (circa 1870) is another. The home was designed and paid for by Leona Baer for Lazarus, her husband and their children. The Tapestry presentation this year (Wednesdays at 1 pm) will focus on Vicksburg under military rule: Occupied by the Union 1863-1877: Carpet Baggers! Scalawags! Citizens were prisoners with no escape. Homes were plundered, occupants evicted and evacuated. Food rationed and disbursed. (1117 Grove Street, 601-868-2237).
What I found so interesting was that Leona Baer came to Vicksburg because Mississippi was one of the few places in the country where women could own property in their own right (the legacy of Governor Alexander Gallatin McNutt whose house may be visited during Tapestry).
This dimension of Vicksburg's tapestry astonished me, frankly. Vicksburg was one of the river towns along the Mississippi where many Eastern European Jews settled as merchants and shopkeepers, eventually moving into other businesses where many families attained significant wealth. During our travels in Vicksburg and the surrounding towns that played a part during the Vicksburg Campaign - Port Gibson, for example - I was surprised to see shops and streets still named for Jewish families and 19th century synagogue in Port Gibson. There is a Jewish cemetery just outside the Vicksburg National Military Park.
This is a factor in another astonishing facet of Vicksburg, which I learn while visiting the Old Courthouse Museum: Warren County did not vote for secession. In fact, despite the fact that Confederate President Jefferson Davis and his brother Joseph had plantations near here, there were very few plantations and very few slaveholders in this area. You also get the feeling that there was some sympathy for the Union when General Grant's forces were "hosted" at Windsor, when he was making his daring march from a direction that surprised General Pemberton. Instead of letting the soldiers rest there, they could just as easily have sent scouts to alert the Confederate Army. Vicksburg's immigrants and merchants clearly played a part in the political perspective.
Each of the historic buildings has a fascinating story to tell, and when you can stay in them as bed-and-breakfasts, the stories really come to life.
Cedar Grove has one of the most fascinating stories of all.
Cedar Grove was built by John Alexander Klein, who moved to Vicksburg from Leesburg Virginia when he was 24. He was a silversmith by trade, but was clever enough to diversify into cotton, sawmills, railroads, banking and investment property, becoming extremely wealthy. He had everything he could want - but a wife.
He chanced to meet Elizabeth Bartley Day who was just 12 years old in 1838 when she came from Ohio to visit relatives in New Orleans. He set his mind to making her his wife when she was older.
In 1840 he began construction of Cedar Grove with the intention of gifting his bride-to-be with the most magnificent home in the city. The home was set on eight acres of land, which he had landscaped in elegant style. It had a nine-foot deep catfish pond (goldfish today); a grove of 25 cedar trees in the back yard.
By 1842, he was 30 and Elizabeth was 16 and considered old enough to marry. He gave her the home as a wedding present and wisked her away on a year-long honeymoon to Europe where they brought back furnishings for the mansion.
They had 10 children together; only six survived to adulthood.
During the siege of Vicksburg, she was pregnant with their last child. Their house had been struck by more than 40 cannonballs (one is still embedded in the wall in the parlor).
Then, an opportunity to save herself and the house presented itself: Elizabeth was related to General William Tecumseh Sherman - he was an uncle by marriage. General Sherman offered to transport Elizabeth, her mother and children back East until the war was over if Cedar Grove would serve as a hospital. That saved the home from the torch.
General Grant stayed in the master bedroom for one day after the siege ended, July 4, 1863.
Elizabeth named the child she bore during the siege William Tecumseh Sherman Klein. Horrified Vicksburg neighbors swore any child bearing the name of the most-hated general in the history of warfare would be cursed.
When Willie was 16, he was accidentally shot in the chest by a friend. He died trying to climb up the black iron staircase.
"Guests still hear the footsteps and the thump mostly in the middle of the day."
There are other spirits in the house, as well. "The downstairs portion of the present-day Library Suite was the original wine cellar for the home, and, because of its cool temperature, was used as the morgue during the time the home was a Union hospital," writes Kathleen Walls, author of Hosts With Ghosts: Haunted Historic Hotels in the Southeast (see American Roads Travel Magazine). "This suite is haunted by many spirits. Many guests note a smell of decay here as if the bodies are still making their presence felt. Others have heard the sound of men marching. But the departed Union soldiers are not the only specters here."
Many of the furnishings in the house are original to John and Elizabeth, including most of the books in the bookcase. Two books, “How to be a Lady in Modern Society,” a favorite of Elizabeth’s, and “Notes on Law,” one of John’s favorites, are said to be frequently rearranged in the bookshelf by some unearthly presence."
(Needless to say there are several purveyors of ghost tours of Vicksburg).
Today, Cedar Grove Inn is one of the largest and one of the most elegant bed and breakfasts in the South. Situated on five acres of gardens, it offers 33 rooms and suites spread out in five historic buildings. Guests are treated to an early evening complimentary glass of house wine, a chocolate and sherry nightly turndown service and a home-style country breakfast.
For Tapestry, on Thursdays at 4 pm, the owners will present a tasting of foods and spirits. (Cedar Grove Inn, 2200 Oak Street, Vicksburg, Mississippi 39180, (800) 862-1300, www.cedargroveinn.com).
Annabelle Bed-and-Breakfast where I stay also has a connection to John Alexander Klein. Klein built the magnificent Victorian-Italianate residence around 1868 on his Cedar Grove Estate for his son Madison. (Klein built five homes for his children; only two, Annabelle and The Corners, are left).
Annabelle also has an adjacent, charming 1881 Guest House with 55 foot long gallery that overlooks a swimming pool, the river valley below and the delta across the Mississippi river.
The Inn's seven elegant rooms and beautifully furnished living areas in both houses evoke the ambiance and opulence of the Victorian age, a slower, more genteel time. Some rooms offer fireplaces and relaxing whirlpool baths. All the rooms have luxuriantly comfortable beds dressed in fine linens, 13 foot ceilings adorned with beautiful chandeliers, private baths with spa inspired amenities, soft fluffy robes, phones, cable television and wireless internet connections.
My room is The Rose Room, with a luxurious, king size, four poster canopied bed with billowy soft feather bed topped with a down comforter. It overlooks the old courtyard and fountain. Empire furnishings, fine art, Oriental rugs and a converted 19th century oil lamp add to the setting.
The parlor is stunning with a chandelier that is original to the house, made of Venetian crystal, and a mirror over the mantle which is French and also original to the house.
One of the nicest aspects of staying in a bed-and-breakfast is the fanfare the host attaches to the breakfast ritual. But at the Annabelle, this is a spectacular production, as visually sumptuous as the feast: the table is magnificently set, down to name places, individual dishes of salt in crystal bowl with a tiny silver spoon; napkin holder of flowers that perfectly matches the floral arrangement in a silver bowl at the center of the table, candlesticks, green glass and pink napkins. Breathtaking.
This morning, the breakfast consists of eggs, croissant, cheese grits, ambrosia, strawberry butter in crystal bowl with sterling silver. The next morning, we are served French toast from the Paula Dean cookbook.
There is white-glove service: nightly turndown with a candy treat.
Carolyn and Paul Stephenson have dogs and have some pet friendly rooms.
The one defect - of sorts - is that the inn is around the corner from the train tracks, and freight trains rumble through several times during the day and into the night. I didn't really mind - it was part of the atmosphere. But you may want to bring ear plugs.
Annabelle offers packages, such as a two-night "Dream Escape," for $299, that includes Dinner for two at one of Vicksburg’s finest historic eateries; a tour of the Old Court House Museum built in 1858 that houses artifacts telling Vicksburg’s story; audio tour of Vicksburg National Military Park; driving Tour of the Historic Garden District; and, of course, a tour of Annabelle.
For Tapestry, on Thursdays at 2 pm, Carolyn will present “Ladies of the Siege”: Hear how the ladies of Vicksburg recounted their experiences during the Siege. Clothing, jewelry and cooking utensils on display along with the favorite recipes of the time.
Built for a favored daughter, Susan, by the Kleins who lived next door at Cedar Grove, The Corners home features pierced columns with symbols of love and marriage. The interior is detailed with stunning crown moldings and ceiling medallions.
Here, for Tapestry 2013, Thursdays at 3 pm, you can learn the history of John Alexander Klein (1812-1884) family during the Civil War from the perspective of his daughter, Susan Klein Bonham (1853-1935) and view artifacts uncovered on the Klein estate. The Corners is a bed-and-breakfast inn with 14 rooms (601 Klein Street, 601-636-7421, 800-444-7421, firstname.lastname@example.org, www.thecorners.com).
While Cedar Grove had an association with General Sherman and was visited by General Grant, Anchuca has an association with Confederate President Jefferson Davis, who gave a farewell speech, of sorts, from the balcony, when he was reunited with his brother Joseph Emory Davis at Anchuca in January, 1869.
"The town's legend testifies that it was during this stay that Jefferson Davis did indeed speak to friends and neighbors from Anchuca's front balcony, marking this site for many historians and Southerners alike as one of the last public addresses to the people of Vicksburg by Jefferson Davis."
Joseph Emory Davis, lived here until his death on September 18, 1870, at the age of 87.
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this impressive Greek Revival landmark, named for a Choctaw Indian word meaning "happy home," claims to be the first columned mansion in Vicksburg. Surrounded by stately live oaks and located in the heart of Vicksburg's Historic District, Anchuca was built in 1830 by local politician J. W. Mauldin. In 1847, Victor Wilson, a local coal and ice merchant added the columned front and the two-story dependency in back.
Anchuca is decorated in exquisite period antiques - spanning the late 1700s to the mid 1800s - that are true to how the house would have looked; it was one of the first homes to have coal heat, and has a cast iron coal fireplace, considered "modern" for the time. It has gasoliers, which would have been lit with whale oil.
It has a rather unique stairway and stained glass, imported from Europe of pure gold and mercury.
Duff Green Mansion
One of the fascinating homes is the Duff Green Mansion, built in 1856, will be featured during Tapestry, when the Wednesday presentation will focus on the mansion as a hospital during the Civil War: Union soldiers on an upper floor, Confederate soldiers on a lower floor, and the story of a baby, William Siege Green, born in a cave during the siege.
Built in 1856 by successful businessman Duff Green as a wedding gift for his bride Mary Lake, the mansion was designed for entertaining. Prior to the siege of Vicksburg, the home was well known for the many lavish parties that set the standard for hospitality and good taste.
In 1863, the home was hit at least five times by Union cannonballs. The Greens hastily offered the Mansion for use as a hospital as a means to try and save their new home, and retreated to two caves built in the side yard. In one of these caves, Mrs. Green gave birth to her son and named him William Siege Green.
In one of the stunning contradictions of the Civil War, both Union and Confederate wounded were cared for in the Mansion. The Union troops were placed on the top floor with Confederates housed on the main floor. The kitchen on the bottom floor was converted to an operating room where hundreds of soldiers were treated.
Beneath its high ceilings and richly decorated walls of cardinal reds, deep blues and rich greens, the polished floors carry bloodstained marks from wounds. In one room, the ceiling beams show where a cannon-ball struck.
After the surrender of Vicksburg on July 4, 1863, the Mansion was leased to the United States Government for use as a Soldiers Home where wounded soldiers could recuperate before their respective journeys home.
In 1866 after all soldiers had left, the Greens moved back in their home where they lived until Mr. Green’s death in 1880. Mrs. Green sold the mansion that same year to the Peatross family who maintained it as their family residence until 1910.
The property was then sold to Fannie Vick Willis Johnston, a great-granddaughter of Vicksburg’s founder Rev. Newitt Vick. Mrs. Johnston lived in the Mansion until her new home Oak Hall (The Stained Glass Manor) was completed around 1913.
Mrs. Johnston, a philanthropist, donated the Mansion for use as a boy’s orphanage and later as a retirement home for elderly widows. When she died in 1931, her estate sold the property to the Salvation Army for $3,000, which had it for 54 years.
In 1985, the property was sold to Mr. & Mrs. Harry Carter Sharp of Coral Gables, Florida, who spent 2 1/2 years restoring the mansion to its former glory, with the professional expertise of a local architect Skip Tuminello.
Original works of art hang throughout and the mansion is furnished with a mix of antiques and comfortable furnishings.
Since the Duff Green Mansion is not presently open as a bed-and-breakfast, the only time to tour will be open on Wednesdays at 2 pm for Tapestry with a presentation of Duff Green Mansion’s history as a hospital for both Confederate and Union soldiers during the Civil War including the story of a child born to the Green family named Siege.(Duff Green Mansion, 111 First East Street, Vicksburg, MS 39180, 601-636-6968, 601-529-9119, www.duffgreenmansion.com).
Other historic buildings offering special tours for Tapestry:
The Cobb House is a Greek Revival home built around 1830 and purchased by the Sisters of Mercy in 1860. It served as barracks between 1862 and 1864. The Cobb House is part of the Southern Cultural Heritage Center. On Wednesdays at 3 pm during Tapestry, Mark or Michelle Bleakley of Mark Bleakley Stained Glass will demonstrate how to build a stained glass piece from glass cutting to soldering and finishing. (1302 Adams Street, 601-631-2997).
The Governor McNutt House was built in 1826 and is among the oldest antebellum homes in Vicksburg's Historic Downtown District. It was acquired by Governor Alexander Gallatin McNutt (Mississippi's 12th Governor) in 1830, for $900, the rear wing was added in 1832.
McNutt is best remembered for his staunch, but unsuccessful battles to regulate banking as well as for having signed into legislation the right of women to own property in Mississippi. Over the centuries the house has had many owners including the Vick family, for which the city is named. It will be open for tours on Fridays at 1 pm during Tapestry.
Martha Vick House (circa 1830) is the last original Vick family homes in Vicksburg. The Greek Revival min-mansion built for the unmarried daughter of Vicksburg’s founder, Newit Vick, has been carefully restored and furnished as a “fine but comfortable” home. Elegant 18th and early 19th Century antiques and fine 20th Century French paintings are displayed in every room. On Fridays at 2 pm, for Tapestry, the tour will features the rarely seen collection of 18th and 19th Century China and rare silver pieces (1300 Grove Street, 601-831-7007).
One of the features of Tapestry is that there are tours of private homes and historic buildings that are not normally open to the public.
The Mary Harwood circa 1825 was built on a bluff facing the Mississippi River. In 1862, an ammunitions magazine was built in front of the house by Confederate soldiers for their cannons in the defense of Vicksburg. Damage from intensive shelling by Union gunboats during the Siege is still visible inside the house. It will be open on Saturdays at 11 am for Tapestry 2013 where you can see a cannon and ammunitions magazine that were placed in the front of house during the Siege making it strategic in the defense of Vicksburg.
Morrissey House (circa 1832) on the corner of Cherry and China streets s one of the prettiest areas of the city. The 13-foot tall mirror, which stands in the central hall, weighs over a thousand pounds. There are detailed plaster ceiling medallions and bronze chandeliers. The large magnolia trees give the home a very stately and imposing quality. On Saturdays at 2 pm during Tapestry 2013, the house presents a visual reminder of the prosperous antebellum era in Vicksburg.
Pemberton’s Headquarters circa 1835, is a National Park Service property but is only open to the public during special events like Tapestry, when it will be open on Saturdays at 3 pm with free admission. This is the building that Confederate Lt. Gen. John C. Pemberton occupied during the Siege of Vicksburg. The Siege was led by Union Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant from May 23 to July 4, 1863. It was in this building that Pemberton held a council of his chief officers on July 3, 1863 to discuss plans for surrender of the city, which occurred the following day (1018 Crawford Street, 601-636-0583)
Besides the great houses, there are several historic museums that add immeasurably to Vicksburg's story:
Most especially is The Old Court House Museum- Eva W. Davis Memorial., a significant National Historic Landmark with a superb collection that tells Vicksburg's story and Civil War history. The 1858 Warren County Courthouse was where Jefferson Davis launched his political career, U.S. Grant addressed his victorious troops and notable figures such as Zachary Taylor, William McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt and Booker T. Washington gave speeches.
I was fascinated to see the rooms which depicted the life and times of Vicksburg's early inhabitants - including John Alexander Klein whose homes we visit. There is a room with an excellent exhibit devoted to Jefferson Davis and his family (I had not realized Jeff Davis was from Warren County).
Among the artifacts on display: Confederate flags including one that was never surrendered, the tie Jefferson Davis wore at his inauguration as President of the Confederacy; antiques and furnishings that had been in the antebellum homes; an original Teddy Bear given to a local child by Theodore Roosevelt (Old Court House Museum- Eva W. Davis Memorial, 1008 Cherry Street, Vicksburg, Mississippi 39183, 601-636-0741 or by e-mail at email@example.com).
Other special presentations during Tapestry include:
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Church of the Holy Trinity is considered to be the finest example of Romanesque Revival architecture in Mississippi. Construction began in 1870 and completed nine years later at a cost of $85,00. Holy Trinity boasts six stained glass windows by Tiffany studios. Tapestry 2013: Tours of Holy Trinity on Thursdays during Tapestry focus on the architecture, windows and liturgical furnishings of this 19th Century jewel which still serves as a vibrant Episcopal Church (900 South Street, 601-636-0542).
Christ Episcopal Church, circa 1839, was one of the first buildings built for public assembly in Vicksburg. The cornerstone was laid in 1839 by Bishop Leonidas Polk, who later served as a Lt. General in the Confederate Army. In spite of the shelling during the siege of 1863, the Rev. W. W. Lord conducted daily services. Many original furnishings are still in use in the weekly worship services. It features two Tiffany stained-glass windows. The church was damaged by the Union gunboats explosive shelling from the river and the rectory was so badly damaged that it had to be torn down and reconstruction was completed during the 1873. Weekly services are held at 8 am and 10 am on Sundays and 12:15 pm and 5:30 pm on Wednesdays. It will be open for tours during Tapestry on Fridays at 11am. (1115 Main Street, 601-638-5899, www.christchurchvburg.dioms.org)
There are two new museums: The Lower Mississippi River Museum (a $24 million project of the US Army Corps of Engineers) as well as The Old Depot Museum, a transportation museum in the former Yazoo Mississippi River Valley Railroad Depot.
Walnut Hills Restaurant
Visiting the homes naturally works up an appetite, but you need not get out of character or leave the epoque to satisfy your hunger.
The Walnut Hills Restaurant is housed in a mansion built with cotton money in 1904, which has been a Vicksburg tradition here for decades. Owner Joyce Clington upholds the heritage of Southern cooking.
Miss Herdcine has been chief cook at Walnut Hills for over 30 years and is the second generation of family members who have played a key role in the success of this popular dining spot. Herdcine's mother, the late Ms. Alma Robinson, made the wonderful salads and slaw every day until she retired at age 70. Herdcine's son, Xavier, has been serving this delicious food for over 15 years, marking the third generation of the Williams family on the staff.
Each has had a stake in developing the lengthy menu, where their contributions are acknowledged like recipes in a community cookbook: Herdcine's fried chicken, homemade biscuits, salad dressing, and from-scratch cornbread; and Joyce's cakes, pies, casseroles, and potato rounds are just a few of our specialties. See menu page...
Among the specialties of the house: Crab Cakes Louisa; fried dill pickles; Baby Back Ribs with Slaw and Fries, Mississippi Farm Raised Catfish and Walnut Hills Fried Chicken.
Walnut Hills Restaurant (also own Nogales House, next door), 1214 Adams Street, Vicksburg, 601-638-4910, www.walnuthillsms.com.
Vicksburg is a fabulous destination at any time, but visiting during Tapestry is like visiting Mardi Gras in New Orleans - it's that special.
Ticket prices for Tapestry 2013 events are $30 for three presentations or $15 for one presentation. Tickets are available at each venue and at the Vicksburg Visitor Information Center, 52 Old Hwy 27, 601-636-9421 or 800-221-3536.
Visitvicksburg.com has links to the bed-and-breakfast inns and other lodgings, and information on all the events and attractions.
Vicksburg Convention & Visitors Bureau, 1010 Levee Street, Suite 2B, Vicksburg, MS 39181, 800-221-3536 or 601-636-9421, www.visitvicksburg.com, Facebook: www.facebook.com/visitvicksburg, Twitter: @VisitVicksburg.
Karen Rubin, National Eclectic Travel Examiner
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