These stately columns are all that remain of the Windsor, the largest Antebellum House in Mississippi.
The mansion was built by Smith Coffee Daniell, II, in 1859 and actually survived the Civil War. The home consisted of 25 bedrooms with 25 fireplaces and cost an enormous $175,000. It had gravity-fed plumbing throughout as well as basement with a school room, dairy, and supply rooms.
The roof observatory high up on the top of the mansion was used by Confederate troops to watch for Yankee troop movements on the river. In fact, one young soldier was shot in the doorway of the home. After the war, Mark Twain used the observatory as a muse of sorts, and even wrote about the Windsor in his book “Life On The Mississippi”.
In February of 1890, a careless party guest dropped a cigarette and ignited the house while the owners were away on errands. They returned to see the house engulfed in flames and as it burned from the top down, it made fighting the fire virtually impossible.
Today, all that remains of the Windsor are it’s 23 Corinthian Columns. There are no photographs of the Windsor in it’s heyday, as all records were lost in the fire. The mystery of what this home looked like was finally solved when the diary of a Union officer was found to contain a sketch of the home done by the soldier as he travelled to fight in nearby Port Gibson.
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