Built in an antebellum rush of youth and bloom as a wedding present for George Marshall and his bride Charlotte Hunt, Lansdowne has been the seat of grandeur at times and has been kept together with nothing more than the meager sales from butter and eggs after the Civil War. It has known triumph and sacrifice. Its walls contain sentiments of majesty and tragedy, of weddings and funerals, of 150 Christmas mornings and 150 New Year’s Eves.
Lansdowne is still owned by the descendants of George and Charlotte. It contains most of the original furnishings. The parlor still has the original wallpaper and paint on the woodwork. Each room has original Italian marble mantles from Carrera and faux bois painting on doors and baseboards. Outbuildings two wings housing a school room, Governess's room, billiard room, kitchen and washroom, and the original Privy. Lansdowne is situated on 120 acres just one mile from the city limits of Natchez.
Lansdowne doesn’t advertise, but you can find it. The way is farther into the thin roads that sway with the country. Red cliffs rise and crumble through parts of town that once knew fortune and parts that only heard of it. Follow the road out of town, past freshly painted picket fences, and houses with new names, to where houses are the color of old women. This is where it all gets real. You begin to slow under the weight of memories – your own and not your own. Then you see the sign for Lansdowne, flung up like a barrier and you must stop. It walks in your skin like a visitor. Inside the gates you may sense the fading and coming of seasons. You will not be prepared for the beauty as you pass under seventeen shades of green sprung from vines and deep trees, or for the suddenness with which your slow procession leads to the sight of the awakening house. You will not be prepared for the lovely women, those daughters of daughters born and buried here waiting to welcome you, or for the undeniable sentience of personality and character acquired from the people who breathe or have breathed in it.
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