Friday, November 23, 2012

Fishing Streams on the Famous Natchez Trace Parkway

Road trips are the best way to discover new areas and to see some things that just might perk your interest. I made one such trip a while back with my brother to an area off the Natchez Trace Parkway. If some of you haven’t heard of this stretch of highway; then you are missing a famous roadway that runs through Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee. The Trace covers 444 miles through these three states. The first travelers on the Trace were European Explorers as far back as 1742. The Trace during that time was known to be a dangerous place to travel with robbery and killings common. Even Meriwether Lewis lost his life while traveling the Trace.

My brother and I spent the better part of the afternoon at the tiny town of French Camp which is one of the many historical sites along the Trace. The little town is located 82 miles south of Tupelo Mississippi. While there we drove through the campus of French Camp Academy, which is actually a Christian Boarding School for trouble children. The School has made a tremendous difference in so many children’s lives over the years. The following projects are some of the astounding accomplishments that the children have completed while attending the school.
                                   This is one of the many dwellings that was moved from old homesteads throughout the area and reconstructed by the students at the school. Every board and log were moved and mark to duplicate the original dwelling. Even the original square head nails were used to complete the dwellings. This house at the entrance of the "Walking Museum" which is really what this is; is the welcome center with a gift shop which was a bedroom in this house and to the right across the hall is another bedroom.                                          
Another view of the welcome center with a walkway constructed by the students, which is leading you to the Cafe

                                                                                  This building is the cafe where they served some of the best bread pudding I have ever eat. The sandwiches were outstanding as well. They also make all their breads in the cafe which is sold in the gift shop. This exact spot was where the Choctaw Indians had there council dwellings. The Choctaws lived in this area.
   Construction of the Colonel James Drane house began in 1846 using a water powered saw. This man was a prominent citizen back the early 1800's in the French Camp area. The foundation and framing of the house are secured with wooden pegs and the ceiling with squared nails. Moved to this location in 1981, the house is now owned and operated by the French Camp Academy. This was the finest house in the area during that period. The house is listed on the National Registry of Historic Homes in the United States. The following is a description of the inside---  There were four principal rooms downstairs, two on each side of a large central hallway, faced with huge double doors but open at the back. The fireplaces in the two front rooms had matched mahogany mantels. A curved stairway led from the left rear of the hallway to three bedrooms on the seconds floor, two large wing rooms with three front windows each, connected by a small hall at the middle front window, opposite which was a small central room with single window opening on the back of the house. The house is fully furnished with period furniture.
                                                                             Sorry I don't have a full view but there was so much reflection from the front until I had to settle for the back of Col. Dranes carriage.
The original old French Camp Post Office 1848.  
                                                                             This old barn was moved from a nearby farm where the barn was the only building that was left. All the logs and boards were assembled using the original wooden pegs and square head nails. All the plows, harness, and gear are in the barn. This was really interesting in that it was assembled to perfection.
This is the shop house on the early farm. This one building was ever so important to the function of the farm, because of the tools it housed to repair the farm tools. All the period tools are here in this dwelling.
                                                                               This house was actually moved from an area north of French Camp--it was falling apart before it was rescued by the students at the school. All of the house is original except the chimneys, they are all new.
                                                                                I couldn't let this post go by without showing you some of the awesome looking streams that are found on the Trace. My brothers and I fished many of these streams as young boys back in the day. In fact I was raised less than five miles from the Trace.
                                         One of the scenic water falls that are found on the Parkway.  



Brk Trt said...

A wonderful bit of history.
Things like this should be preserved.

Bill Trussell said...

I have always been interested in history, and this place was ever so interesting. It was amazing what the students had accomplished here. Thanks for the comment

cofisher said...

Bill, you know that I'm a history nut and your pictures of the Trace were amazing! Thanks...

Bill Trussell said...

This is one beautiful stretch of road. The streams on the Parkway are perfect for large sunfish and redeye bass. Thanks for the comment

Ricky Anderson said...

Bill, that looks like a totally fascinating place to visit. I love places like that. Thanks for sharing.

Bill Trussell said...

Hi Rick
I really like to go on Road Trips like this one, proves you can enjoy this country and not spend a ton of money. Thanks for the comment

Ty said...

Wow. Interesting stuff Bill. Thanks for sharing that.

Bill Trussell said...

I will be doing a post on one of the streams this summer; I will do a post on the trip. Thanks for the comment