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Signature City Natchez: Jewel of History and Culture on the Mississippi

Program Number: 20379RJ
Start and End Dates:
2/18/2014 - 2/23/2014; 10/8/2014 - 10/13/2014;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Natchez, Mississippi
Price starting at: $798.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Signature Cities; History & Culture; Festivals, Misc. Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 14; 5 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 5 Dinners    
Meal Options: Low Fat; Low Salt; Vegetarian; None    

Named after a Native American tribe, the Mississippi River settlement of Natchez absorbed French, English, and Spanish influences before becoming part of the U.S. Today it preserves the historic character of its landscapes and beautiful architecture as well as any American city. Join us to explore the oldest settlement on the Mississippi that became a center of wealth and culture in the antebellum era. Contrast lives above the bluffs with Natchez-under-the-Hill, examining the heritage of freed slaves and social realities that have changed from romantic notions of the Old South to the more egalitarian New South.




Highlights

• Field trips to great mansions, fascinating museums and historic sites tell the unique story of Natchez.
• Attend special events and presentations associated with seasonal activities in the bustling city of Natchez.
• Savor real Southern cooking including a private lunch at a 19th century downtown mansion.



Activity Particulars

Walking up to one mile per day.



Participants split into smaller groups for some programming and meals.




Date Specific Information

2-18-2014

For two days, be part of the 25th annual Natchez Literary and Cinema Celebration, a conference that attracts scholars, authors and film experts who present programs to several hundred people at the Natchez Convention Center. Theme for the Silver Anniversary of the Celebration is "60 Years and Counting: Voices of the Civil Rights Movement".
Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.



10-8-2014

Enjoy the annual Natchez Fall Pilgrimage to historic mansions and flowering gardens, complete with evening entertainments especially designed to enhance the experience.




Natchez

Sitting high on a bluff above the Mississippi River, Natchez boasts the largest collection of antebellum homes in the U.S. The mansions and estates, built by 19th-century plantation owners, were largely spared destruction during the Civil War. Today, museums honor the city’s rich Indian, African-American and antebellum heritage.



Accommodations
The Natchez Grand Hotel in the heart of the historic downtown where the Natchez Trace meets the Mississippi River.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Carolyn Smith

Carolyn Vance Smith is a recognized authority on the history of Natchez, and is author of several non-fiction books about the region, including "Natchez: An Illustrated History" and "The Goat Castle Murder." She holds degrees from Mississippi University for Women and Vanderbilt University, and is president of the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters. Carolyn is also the founder of the annual Natchez Literary and Cinema Celebration, and in 1996, she was named Citizen of the Year in Natchez.
 
Marion Smith

Marion Smith is the only Natchez attorney — and one of 100 Mississippi attorneys — listed in Outstanding Lawyers in America. After earning B.A. and J.D. degrees from the University of Mississippi, he served as Adams County Senator to the Mississippi Legislature, where he was President pro-tempore. A former professor of law at Ole Miss, he is a frequent lecturer on Natchez history and has been involved in numerous organizations, including the Natchez Historical Society.
 
Jim Barnett

Jim Barnett is director of historic properties for the Mississippi Department of Archives and History in Natchez. He is responsible for two historic sites with museums, the Grand Village of the Natchez Indians and Historic Jefferson College. A published author and an experienced professional lecturer for The University of Southern Mississippi and for the Natchez Literary and Cinema Celebration, Jim is a member of the Mississippi Archaeological Association and the Southeastern Museums Conference.
 
Meals and Lodgings
   Natchez Grand Hotel
  Natchez, MS 5 nights
 Natchez Grand Hotel
Type: Hotel
  Description: This new hotel's location is the most historic on the Mississippi River. The spot is where the Mississippi River meets the ancient Natchez Trace. This overland route, now a national parkway, links Natchez, Miss.,444 miles northeast to Nashville, Tenn. The hotel, located near a 200-foot bluff overlooking the Mississippi River, offers nearby views of the river, including dramatic sunsets. The hotel is in the heart of historic downtown Natchez, just steps from dining, shopping, entertainment, and historic attractions.
  Contact info: 111 S. Broadway St.
Natchez, MS 39120 USA
phone: 866-488-0898
web: www.natchezgrandhotel.com
  Room amenities: A safe, flat-screen TV, hair dryer, coffee maker with complimentary coffee, work desk wtih lamp, iron, ironing board, radio/arlarm clock.
  Facility amenities: Unlimited wired and wireless internet, unlimited local and long distance phone calls, guest laundry, fitness center, business center, on-site parking, nightly wine reception.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: $125.00 Room rent includes breakfast. To reserve a room for up to two nights before the program and/or two nights after the program, call the hotel directly and identify yourself as a Road Scholar. Give the opening date of the program. This procedure guarantees that the room will be used throughout the stay and no changing of rooms will take place. Hotel phone numbers: 866-488-0898 or 601-446-9994.
  Check in time: 4:00 PM
  Additional nights after: $125.00 Room rent includes breakfast. To reserve a room for up to two nights before the program and/or two nights after the program, call the hotel directly and identify yourself as a Road Scholar. Give the opening date of the program. This procedure guarantees that the room will be used throughout the stay and no changing of rooms will take place. Hotel phone numbers: 866-488-0898 or 601-446-9994.
  Check out time: 11:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
4:30-6:00 p.m. registration in the hotel lobby, a Welcome-To-Natchez reception at 6:00 p.m. You will be staying at Natchez Grand Hotel that night.
  End of Program:
Program ends after breakfast Sunday unless Scholars want to stay for an optional, free tour Sunday afternoon of Black churches in downtown Natchez to learn of their roles during the Civil Rights era. You will be staying at Natchez Grand Hotel the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Parking is free at the hotel.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Natchez, MS
  Nearest city or town:  From Jackson, MS--103 miles and from Baton Rouge, LA-- 90 miles
  Nearest highway: Highway 61
  Nearest airport:  Baton Rouge Airport
  From End of Program
  Location: Natchez, MS
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

From Baton Rouge, LA

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Public Transportation
Greyhound Bus Service
phone: 225-383-3761

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$31
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

 

Distance:

 

90 miles

   

Taxi from Baton Rouge airport to bus station costs $26. Taxi from Natchez bus station to hotel costs $9.Bus departs Baton Rouge bus station daily at 12:55 p.m. and arrives at Natchez bus station at 2:45 p.m. ALTERNATE PLAN: Use the Baton Rouge, La., Airport Shuttle, available by calling 225-933-7107. This service costs $150 one way. The price is the same, whether for one person or up to six persons. Reservations are essential.

 

From Natchez, Miss.

 

To Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Public Transportation
Greyhound Bus Lines
phone: 225-383-3761

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$31
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

 

Distance:

 

90 miles

   

Taxi from Natchez hotel to bus station costs $9. Taxi from Baton Rouge bus station to airport costs $26. Bus departs Natchez bus station daily at 3:55 p.m. and arrives at Baton Rouge bus station at 6 p.m. ALTERNATE PLAN: Use the Baton Rouge, La., Airport Shuttle, available by calling 225-933-7107. This service costs $150 one way. The price is the same, whether for one person or up to six persons. Reservations are essential.

 
Driving Directions
  From Baton Rouge, LA From Baton Rouge, LA: Approximately 90 miles. Take Hwy 61N to Natchez. Turn West onto John R. Junkin Drive (Hwy 84W). About 1.5 miles to Canal St. Turn right on Canal (at Natchez Visitor's Center). Go to corner of Canal and Main streets. Turn left and enter Natchez Grand Hotel parking lot. The hotel address is 111 S. Broadway Street.
  From Louisiana Highway 84 From Louisiana Highway 84: Cross the Mississippi River Bridge from Vidalia, Louisiana. Turn left at the first traffic light (Canal Street). Drive to corner of Canal and Main streets. Turn left and enter Natchez Grand Hotel parking lot. The hotel address is 111 S. Broadway Street.
  From the North (Jackson, MS) From Jackson, MS: Approximately 103 miles total to Natchez. Take I-55 South to Brookhaven, MS; exit Hwy 84 (exit 38)and go west to Natchez. Follow Business 84 (becomes St. Catherine street and later becomes Jefferson Street). Turn left on Canal Street. Turn right one block later on Main Street and enter Natchez Grand Hotel parking lot. The hotel address is 111 S. Broadway Street..
  From the north on Natchez Trace Parkway From Nashville, Tenn., or points south, enter the Natchez Trace Parkway, which begins in Natchez. Follow signage as you traavel south to Natchez. At the origin of the Trace, take Liberty Road west into Natchez. This road becomes Quitman Boulevard and then Main Street. At the corner of Main and Canal strees, enter the Natchez Grand Hotel parking lot. The hotel address is 111 S. Broadway Street.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Welcome and overview of program
(Tuesday, February 18)
   
 Afternoon: 4:30-6 p.m. registration in the hotel lobby. At 6 p.m. attend a Welcome-To-Natchez reception with complimentary wine at the hotel.
 Dinner: Dinner will be at a restaurant across the street from the hotel.
 Evening: Introductions of individuals, overview of the week's program, and overview of Natchez's history.
   
Accommodations: Natchez Grand Hotel
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Buffet breakfast at the hotel/Lectures about Natchez history and culture. Expert-led walking exploration along the Mississippi River. Exploration of Stanton Hall and St. Mary Basilica. Dinner in one of the oldest buildings in downtown Natchez.
(Wednesday, February 19)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast is served every morning beginning at 6:30 a.m. in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: An overview lecture about Natchez history will precede an expert-led walking exploration along the Mississippi River bluff and an expert-led visit to historic Rosalie, one of the most photographed mansions in America.
 Lunch: In the Carriage House on the grounds of historic Stanton Hall, with program by Rotary speaker.
 Afternoon: Guided exploration of the mansion Stanton Hall, a National Historic Landmark. Exploration of St. Mary Catholic Basilica, one of the most beautiful buildings in the South. Wind up the day with complimentary wine at the hotel.
 Dinner: Dinner will follow the day's historical agenda. It will follow a menu from 1836 found in the diary of William Johnson. It will be at a downtown historic building.
 Evening: Stroll along the riverfront to see the sunset and lighted river bridges. Afterward enjoy an award-winning documentary film about the first 25 years of the Natchez Literary and Cinema Celebration, 1990-2014
   
Accommodations: Natchez Grand Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Program about William Johnson, a Free Black, with field trip to his historic home. Visit to Natchez in Historic Photographs and two historic churches with interesting architecture. Pre-conference session of 25th Natchez Literary and Cinema Celebration.
(Thursday, February 20)

Note: walking



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast will be in the hotel dining room beginning at 6:30 a.m.
 Morning: The story of William Johnson by a local historian who impersonates the Free Black. Afterward, visit to the William Johnson House, part of the Natchez National Historical Park. Field trip to Natchez Gallery of Historic Photographs, an exhibit of pictures depicting 100 years of history.
 Lunch: At a downtown restaurant
 Afternoon: Free time. Complimentary wine at the hotel at 5 p.m.
 Dinner: A glass of wine and guided exploration of the downtown mansion Magnolia Hall will be followed by buffet supper in the dining room.
 Evening: Pre-conference events of the 25th annual Natchez Literary and Cinema Celebration, a humanities conference called "60 Years and Counting: Voices of the Civil Rights Movement." Evening program by Jacqueline Dace about the new Civil Rights Museum in Jackson, Miss., part of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, followed by a session devoted to the heroism of The Rt. Rev. Duncan M. Gray Jr., in 1962 when James Meredith integrated Ole Miss. Bishop Gray, an Episcopal clergyman, calmed the chaos. Bishop Gray plans to attend this session. A reception at Trinity Episcopal Church will honor Bishop Gray.
   
Accommodations: Natchez Grand Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Opening of the 25th NLCC, "Voices of the Civil Rights Movement." Lectures by noted authors, scholars, and film experts, including David Sansing, U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran, Clifton Taulbert, Greg Iles. Luncheon with NLCC speakers. Reception. Film, "The Help."
(Friday, February 21)
   
 Breakfast: A full breakfast will be served in the hotel dining room beginning at 6:30 a.m.
 Morning: Keynote address of the 25th annual Natchez Literary and Cinema Celebration by noted historian/author David G. Sansing of U. of Miss. Presentation of the Thad Cochran Humanities Achievement Award by U.S. Sen. Cochran. Program by noted author/lecturer Clifton Taulbert.
 Lunch: A private, specially arranged luncheon for Road Scholars only with NLCC speakers.
 Afternoon: Premiere of a film about the life and career of William F. Winter, a Civil Rights hero in Mississippi. Panel discussion about how a novelist and two journalists confront racism. Speakers are New York Times bestselling novelist Greg Iles of Natchez; and Pulitzer Prize finalists Jerry Mitchell (Jackson Clarion-Ledger) and Stanley Nelson (Ferriday, La., Concordia Sentinel). Reception follows at African-American Museum.
 Dinner: At a downtown restaurant.
 Evening: Screening of "The Help," a film set in the 1960s in Jackson, Miss., that reveals racism and how strong African-American and White women dealt with it. Discussion to follow led by three experts.
   
Accommodations: Natchez Grand Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Lecture about "The Help."Writing awards to "The Help's" Kathryn Stockett (novel), Tate Taylor (film), and Civil Rights icon and author James Meredith. Afternoon programs by experts. Silver Anniversary reception. Concert of Civil Rights-era music.
(Saturday, February 22)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast will be served in the dining room beginning at 6:30 a.m.
 Morning: Opening program by Gene Dattel of New York on whether "The Help" -- novel and film -- is fact or fiction. Writing award ceremony honors "The Help's" Kathryn Stockett (novel) and Tate Taylor (screenwriter) as well as author/Civil Rights activist James Merdith.
 Lunch: Lunch will be at the Carriage House at Stanton Hall, with live music by Alvin Shelby and the Holy Family Catholic Church Choir, singing Civil Rights-era music.
 Afternoon: Program by William A. Ferris of U. of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, featuring recorded remarks by Pete Seeger, Aaron Henry, Robert Penn Warren, Alice Walker, Robert Moses, and Eudora Welty, all voices of the Civil Rights Movement. Program by Miss. Sen. David Jordan and how he rose from the cotton fields to be a political leader. Program by Charles Reagan Wilson of Ole Miss on Elvis Presley and Fnanie Lou Hamer and their use of the same kind of religious music in the 1950s and 60s. NLCC Silver Anniversary reception.
 Dinner: Gala event at the historic mansion Dunleith, a National Historic Landmark, limited to 100 people and honoring speakers and award winners. Tour of the mansion.
 Evening: Concert by Tougaloo (Miss.) College Choir, an historically Black school, featuring Civil Rights-era music. Comments prior to the concert about the role of Tougaloo College during the turbulent times of the 1960s in Jackson, Miss.
   
Accommodations: Natchez Grand Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Buffet breakfast and farewell unless Scholars want to stay for an optional, free Sunday afternoon tour of historically Black churches in downtown Natchez and learn of their role during the Civil Rights era.
(Sunday, February 23)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast will be served in the dining room beginning at 6:30 a.m.
 Morning: Check out of hotel by 11 a.m.
 Afternoon: Optional, free tour of four historically Black churches in downtown Natchez, where church members will discuss the role of the churches during the Civil Rights era.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Natchez, MS Free Time In Natchez
Participants have lots to choose from for their free time. They can take another three house tour, go on carriage rides, play golf or tennis, and shop, just to mention a few.
  Natchez, Miss. Historic Mansions of Natchez
Visit historic mansions, such as Longwood, uncompleted since 1861 when the Civil War broke out and Northern artisans fled back home. 140 Lower Woodville Rd, Natchez, (601) 442-5193. Rosalie, overlooking the river, and other houses, churches, and buildings: www.rosaliemansion.com For additional information, visit www.visitnatchez.com
  Natchez Museum of African-American History and Culture
Exhibits include "Portraits of Black Natchez," from the Norman Collection, “The Rhythm Night Club Fire,” and “Natchez Beginnings of America's Cotton Kingdom.” Open Tuesday-Saturday, 1 p.m.- 4:30 p.m. 301 Main Street, (601) 445-0728.
  Natchez in Historic Photographs Gallery
Located in the First Presbyterian Church, this collection features the photography of Henry Norman, who photographed Natchez from 1870 until his death in 1913. Open Monday – Saturday, 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. 405 State St. (601) 442-2581. For additional information, visit www.natchezms.com
  Trinity Episcopal Church
Trinity Episcopal Church is the oldest church building in Natchez and the oldest existing Episcopal church building in Mississippi. The interior decoration includes two stained-glass windows designed and installed by Tiffany. 305 South Commerce Street, Natchez, (601) 445-8432.
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


Black Boy


Author: Richard Wright


Description: This blockbuster is by a Natchez native.



Natchez: An Illustrated History.


Author: David G. Sansing, Sim C. Callon, and Carolyn Vance Smith


Description: This is the only complete history of Natchez, a perfect way to get ready for Natchez.



Native Son


Author: Richard Wright


Description: This blockbuster is by Natchez native Richard Wright.



Rising Tide


Author: John Barry


Description: A history of the Mississippi River



Sleep No More


Author: Greg Iles


Description: Thrilling novel set in Natchez



The Barber of Natchez


Author: Edwin Adams Davis and William Ransom Hogan


Description: A biography of William Johnson, a Free Black in antebellum Natchez, Miss., who owned barbershops. His downtown home is part of the National Park Service.



The Collected Stories of Eudora Welty


Author: Eudora Welty


Description: Many of Eudora Welty's short stories are set in or near Natchez, Miss., including some on the Natchez Trace.



The Devils Backbone


Author: Jonathan Daniels


Description: A history of the Natchez Trace



The Devils Punchbowl


Author: Greg Iles


Description: Thrilling novel set in Natchez



The Outlaw Years


Author: Robert Coates


Description: A history of the Natchez Trace



The Quiet Game


Author: Greg Iles


Description: Set in Natchez, Miss.



True Evil


Author: Greg Iles


Description: Set in Natchez, Miss.



Turning Angel


Author: Greg Iles


Description: Thrilling novel set in Natchez





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