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Natchez in Adams County, Mississippi — The American South (East South Central)
 

Natchez Under-the-Hill - Life on the Riverfront

Natchez Trails

 
 
Natchez Under-the-Hill - Life on the Riverfront Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cajun Scrambler, November 30, 2019
1. Natchez Under-the-Hill - Life on the Riverfront Marker
Inscription.  
On May 8, 1840, one of the deadliest tornadoes in American history struck Natchez and killed about 300 people. Most of the dead were boatmen and passengers on steamboats docked at the waterfront. The city was already suffering from the economic Panic of 1837 when the tornado struck, and Natchez spent the decade of the 1840s-rebuilding the city. All of the existing historic buildings at Natchez Under-the-Hill date to after 1840.

Industry on the Natchez bluff and waterfront grew rapidly after rail service began in 1882. By 1910, three different railroad companies were operating in Natchez. They located their depots on or near the bluff to provide easy transfer of goods to and from the steamboats and barges on the river. The Bluff City Railroad also opened in 1882 to transport goods from the top of the bluff to the landing below.

Named for the blue catfish of the Mississippi River, the Blue Cat Club (behind you) hosted the first professional performance of Rock and Roll great Jerry Lee Lewis when he was only 13 years old. Born in 1935 in nearby Ferriday, Louisiana, Lewis grew

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up performing in the Pentecostal Church. His musical cousins included entertainer Mickey Gilley and singer-evangelist Jimmy Lee Swaggart. Lewis was the Blue Cat Club's most popular entertainer in 1955, when he traveled to Memphis to audition for Sun Records. Two years later, by the age of 22, Jerry Lee Lewis had recorded "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On" and "Great Balls of Fire," each selling a million copies.

The railroad ended the steamboat era, and the loss of river commerce caused Natchez Under-the-Hill to decline. Between 1900 and 1940, most business below the bluff related to the ferry which operated between Natchez and Vidalia. After a bridge was built in 1940, Natchez Under-the-Hill became almost a ghost town. In the 1970s, growing interest in historical tourism and steamboat travel brought new visitors to Natchez Under-the-Hill. Legal gambling returned to the waterfront in 1990.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: DisastersEntertainmentSettlements & Settlers. In addition, it is included in the Mississippi - Natchez Trails series list.
 
Location. 31° 33.565′ N, 91° 24.718′ W. Marker is in Natchez, Mississippi, in Adams County. Marker is on Silver Street, half a mile south of South Broadway Street, on the

Natchez Under-the-Hill - Life on the Riverfront Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cajun Scrambler, November 30, 2019
2. Natchez Under-the-Hill - Life on the Riverfront Marker
right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Natchez MS 39120, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Lafayette's Tour (within shouting distance of this marker); Natchez Under-the-Hill and the Steamboat Era (within shouting distance of this marker); Fort Rosalie (approx. 0.2 miles away); Rosalie Cemetery (approx. 0.2 miles away); A Canal Street Neighborhood (approx. 0.2 miles away); Ft. Rosalie (Ft. Panmure) (approx. 0.2 miles away); Fort Rosalie Revisited (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Spanish Lay Out a Permanent Town (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Natchez.
 
More about this marker. Silver Street is one-way south.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 2, 2019. It was originally submitted on December 1, 2019, by Cajun Scrambler of Assumption, Louisiana. This page has been viewed 569 times since then and 113 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on December 2, 2019, by Cajun Scrambler of Assumption, Louisiana.

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Jul. 23, 2024