“It’s like the apocalypse around here every time someone chips a wine glass.”
– Russell Edgington, Vampire King of Mississippi
Okay, I’ll admit it. I was initially interested in the Longwood estate because it was used for the exterior shots of Russell Edginton’s mansion in HBO’s True Blood. The place came up in conversation with Troy, who was putting me up in Baton Rouge, and he mentioned it was nearby. However, once I looking into visiting Longwood it became clear its rich history dwarfs a mere cameo on television. It’s the largest octagonal building in the United States and its construction spans a particularly acute moment in our history: the Civil War. From the Longwood Website:
Longwood (ca. 1861)
This six-story 30,000 square foot mansion was designed by Samuel Sloan of Philadelphia for wealthy planter Haller Nutt and his wife, Julia Williams Nutt, and epitomizes the rise and fall of the South. As it was nearing completion, the Civil War began and the workmen dropped their tools and went home. Haller died in 1864 and his wife Julia continued to live in the finished first floor that today contains many original family furnishings. The upper five stories are an architectural wonder – a magnificent work in progress where time just stopped and stayed. This grandest octagonal house in America is a National Historic Landmark.
Fitz at Longwood
Longwood Upper Hall
Longwood Second Floor
Longwood Principal Floor
Natchez Pilgrimage Tours
Located in the Visitor’s Center
640 S. Canal St.
P.O. Box 347
Natchez, MS 39121
Tours every 30 minutes 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Last tour begins at 4:30.