The Natchez Trace Parkway Announces Winter Hours for the Mount Locust Site
Mount Locust winter operating hours: 9:00 am to 4:30 pm, Tuesday through Sunday. The site will be closed on Mondays; this includes the historic home, restrooms, visitor contact station, and the grounds.
Mississippi State Society, DAR marker at Mount Locust
Constructed circa, 1780, this home is one of the oldest structures in Mississippi. It functioned as both a working plantation and as an inn, where travelers on the Natchez Trace could rest for the night. Mount Locust is the only surviving inn of the more than 50 that existed during the period of greatest use of the Old Natchez Trace.
Beginnings of Mount Locust
The American Revolution caused several thousand British sympathizers to move into the Natchez District. During the American Revolution, Spain moved against Britain and seized Natchez in 1779. John Blommart, a retired British naval officer, probably built Mount Locust about 1780.
William Ferguson, a Virginian, migrated to Natchez in 1774. In 1784 the recently married Ferguson bought the Blommart tract, Mt. Locust. As the Ferguson family grew, so did the house and its outbuildings. William Ferguson's widow Paulina married James Chamberlain in 1806. The Ferguson-Chamberlain family lived at Mount Locust for over 150 years.
Mount Locust as an Inn
After 1795, the Mississippi River was legally opened for American traffic. Settlers from the Ohio River Valley floated their products downriver and sold them at Natchez or New Orleans. Most of them walked back home over the Natchez Trace, because their boats could not go upstream.
Mount Locust as a Plantation
When steamboats came to the Mississippi, travel on the Trace declined. At Mount Locust, cotton growing replaced the tavern business.
Mount Locust Today
The site is open every day except Christmas Day from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Admission is free and interpretive programs are given daily. Restrooms, exhibits, an information center, and bookstore are on-site. There is a wheelchair accessible walkway leading to the historic home.
Groups and schools are encouraged to make reservations by calling 601-445-4211.