Windsor Ruins…stepping back in time


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A little is known about the Windsor Ruins.  This past weekend, I had the opportunity to visit Natchez, and I decided to go see the ruins.  The ruins are located in Claiborne County, near Port Gibson.  The house was built by C.S. Smith in 1861 and it was retained by the family until 1974 when they decided to give the ruins to the Mississippi Department of Archives and History. Up until 1985 no one knew what the place looked like originally.  In 1990, a sketch was found inside an Union’s officer notebook.  The officer, apparently sketched the home n 1963.  

The only known sketch of Windsor. Photographs were burnt in the fire. No others have ever been found. 1863:

The place took my breath away!  I would have never imagined a mansion tucked in the woods, until I enter the dirt road that lead me to the impressive Windsor Ruins.


The ruins consist of nothing but columns, shaped into what once was a beautiful, 4 story, massive home.  Seeing the columns up close literally stopped time for me.  I could not stop staring at all the details on the top of the columns, at the beauty, the height, the size…I was transported to the 1800’s. 


After digging around I came across information stating that the house burnt down. Apparently, during a party, a guest left a cigar lit on the top floor and it burn to the ground. The construction of the plantation home, lasted approximately 3 years…and sadly Mr. Daniel only lived a couple of weeks in the mansion before he died. 



During the civil war, the house was used as a Union hospital, there are notes that mentioned that Mark Twain watched the Mississippi River from the cupola on top.  Now, the place is open to the public, there is no fee, follow the dirt road, you’ll be able to see the ruins from the road.  There is also a sign that points you in the right direction.  The eerie ruins…massive ruins…showcase beautiful iron work at the top of the columns…a quiet place, almost like a sacred place…the peace I felt while walking around the ruins is indescribable. If you happen to be in Natchez, Mississippi please go visit the place.

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