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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Natchez in Adams County, Mississippi — The American South (East South Central)
 

Bluff Park - Playground for the City

Natchez Trails

 
 
Bluff Park - Playground for the City Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, August 4, 2015
1. Bluff Park - Playground for the City Marker
Inscription. When the Spanish laid out the town of Natchez about 1790, they set aside land on the bluff for use as a public park. In 1839, after the city had sold off most of the park and built Broadway Street, writer Joseph Holt Ingraham complained that “the esplanade in front of the town, which has been for years the grazing spot for the cows, the playground for boys, the parade for soldiers, and the promenade of the citizens, is nearly filled up with buildings; whose encroachments upon this naturally beautiful spot ... promise soon to obliterate it altogether.”

The Bluff Park has long been a center of public activity. The Marquis de Lafayette, a French hero of the American Revolution, spoke in the Bluff Park in April 1825. Citizens filled with “horror and dismay” gathered in the park for a “public demonstration of grief” at President Abraham Lincolnís death in April 1865. In 1909, President William Howard Taft addressed a large crowd on the bluff as he traveled the Mississippi River. More recently, Vice-President George H.W. Bush spoke from the gazebo to a large crowd in 1984.

Natchez residents gather in the Bluff Park for concerts, July 4th fireworks, Easter sunrise services, and festivals like the Great Mississippi River Balloon Race. The first launch of a hot
Bluff Park - Playground for the City Marker image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, August 4, 2015
2. Bluff Park - Playground for the City Marker
1969 bandstand in background
air balloon
in Natchez occurred in 1806. A balloon named the Star of the West flew in 1836, and diarist William Johnson described it as “the most beautiful splendid sight ever seen in this place ....” Johnson also noted a disastrous 1842 balloon launch, which was delayed by weather and created an angry mob that destroyed the balloon. The historic photograph (above) documents a hot air balloon flight at Landsdowne Park about 1890.

The Pilgramage Garden Club built the bandstand in the Bluff Park in 1969 to honor the Mayor and Board of Aldermen and Katherine Grafton Miller, one of the founders and primary promoter of the Natchez Pilgrimage house tours. The existing 1960s bandstand is similar to the Victorian bandstand (pictured above). The Victorian bandstand replaced an earlier classical bandstand that appears in several drawings of the Natchez bluff.
 
Location. 31° 33.71′ N, 91° 24.388′ W. Marker is in Natchez, Mississippi, in Adams County. Marker can be reached from S. Broadway Street south of Main Street, on the right when traveling south. Click for map. Marker is located in Bluff Park along the S. Broadway Street sidewalk. Marker is in this post office area: Natchez MS 39120, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker
View to Southwest Along S. Broadway Street image. Click for full size.
By Duane Hall, August 4, 2015
3. View to Southwest Along S. Broadway Street
Marker and Bluff Park are on the right (west) side of the street
. Spanish Colonial Natchez (here, next to this marker); Natchez (within shouting distance of this marker); Richard N. Wright (within shouting distance of this marker); Bluff Park - Memorials and Louisiana Connections (within shouting distance of this marker); The Natchez Trace (within shouting distance of this marker); Bluff Park and South Broadway Street (within shouting distance of this marker); Ealey Brothers (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Commercial Bank Building (about 500 feet away). Click for a list of all markers in Natchez.
 
Also see . . .  The Natchez Bluff. From the website of Friends of Our Riverfront Natchez. (Submitted on August 14, 2015.) 
 
Categories. Air & SpaceSettlements & Settlers
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page has been viewed 258 times since then and 7 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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