The sweeping staircase of Auburn. The imposing ironwork of Ammadelle. The forlorn, ambitious geometry of Longwood. Mississippi homes boast some of America's great architectural marvels.
Great Houses of Mississippi highlights the state's exceptional antebellum houses in color photographs and lively and informative text. Federal town houses, Greek Revival plantation homes, and Italianate and Gothic villas recall the decades when Mississippi led the nation in architectural excellence. The stories behind these houses mirror Mississippi's history. The tales of the families and slaves who built them, the people who preserved them through multiple generations and often saved them from destruction, convey the story of the state from its earliest territorial years to the present day.
Mary Rose Carter's ninety-five photographs detail these homes in vivid full color. The labor of frontier carpenters is evident in the simple lines of Cold Spring, Rosemont, and the Feltus-Catchings House. Territorial prosperity and the arrival of skilled architects are demonstrated in the symmetry and elaborate Federal detailing of Auburn, Rosalie, and the Lewis House. As the Cotton Kingdom flourished, Greek Revival found its most exuberant expression in Mississippi in the early examples of Melrose, Cedar Grove, and the Martha Vick house and then spread elsewhere. Rare Gothic Italianate styles are here as well in Ammadelle, Rosedale, Cedarhurst, and Mount Holly. The zenith of the antebellum era, when Mississippians vied to build ever grander plantation homes and town houses, is captured in stunning photographs of Dunleith, Stanton Hall, Waverley, and Walter Place.
These pages display the talents and imaginations of Mississippi's antebellum generations. The enduring beauty of these homes and their fascinating stories will captivate anyone searching for the architectural splendor of the South.
Mary Carol Miller is a freelance author who lives in Tupelo, Mississippi. Her previous books include Lost Landmarks of Mississippi, Lost Mansions of Mississippi (both from University Press of Mississippi), and Written in the Bricks.
Mary Rose Carter is a freelance photographer who lives in Greenwood, Mississippi. Her photographs were featured in Written in the Bricks.