Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Ruins of Windsor

"To me, there is no more haunted, complex terrain in America than the countryside between Port Gibson and the river..." -- Willie Morris, Ghosts of Mississippi

Indeed, Mr. Morris. The highway outside Port Gibson that leads to Windsor twists and turns, flanked on either side by seemingly bottomless ravines. You drive out of civilization, and perhaps time itself. In parts, the tenacious kudzu vines are reclaiming the very roads, narrowing them to one lane. And then rises the hulking ruin of Mississippi's once-grandest home.

Mark Twain and passing Union soldiers wrote of its glory, and the home survived the Civil War largely because of its excellent vantage point on the river. And perhaps its beauty.

Windsor's glory didn't last long after the war, though, as it burned when a cigar was left unattended. Today, it's once-stately columns are crumbling, its ornate ironwork is rusting. And its easy to feel Willie Morris' ghosts, the ghosts of time long past.

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