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Apr 30 An Inn along the Natchez Trace

Your Natchez History Minute is brought to
you by Natchez National Historical Park. Mount Locust is one of the oldest structures
still standing along the Natchez Trace. John Blommart began what would become Mount Locust
in 1780 but his tenure here was short-lived. After leading a failed rebellion against the
Spanish, he was jailed and forfeited his fortune and property. Blommart’s former business
associate, William Ferguson and his wife, Paulina purchased Mount Locust in 1784 and set about building it into a prosperous plantation. .Due
to the ever-increasing number of travelers Due to the ever-increasing number of travelers along the Natchez Trace, ,the Fergusons turned
their plantation home into a “stand,” or a crude inn as another source of income. Travelers paid a mere 25 cents for the
much needed food and over-night accommodations. After William’s death in 1801, Paulina married James Chamberlain, the overseer of the burgeoning Mount Locust plantation. Paulina outlived both her husbands, dying in 1849, a very wealthy woman leaving behind an estate of over 1,000 acres and around 100 enslaved African-Americans to her heirs. Mount Locust was home to five generations of Chamberlains, with the last leaving in 1944. The National Park Service began restoration in 1954, returning the home to its 1820 appearance. Today, the site is open daily, except for Christmas Day, and admission is free. This is Jacob Dinkelaker, a park ranger with the Natchez Trace here at Mount Locust and this is your Natchez History Minute.

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