Date: May 12, 2014 Contact: Melissa Tynes, (601)446-5790
The William Johnson House site in downtown Natchez, Mississippi will be closed to the public on Mondays, Thursdays, and Fridays through the rest of the month of May 2014 as contractors gear up to begin work on two historic buildings.The William Johnson House site is one unit of Natchez National Historical Park.
The William Johnson House itself at 210 State Street was home to "the Barber of Natchez" who was a free man of color, entrepreneur, and diarist in antebellum Natchez.It houses modern museums on the first floor and the furnished residential rooms of William Johnson and his family upstairs.
The second building slated for work is the historic kitchen structure that sits behind the main house.It was constructed in the 1890s by several of William Johnson's children who continued to live at the house as adults and work as local schoolteachers. Today it is used for park staff offices.
Cyclic repairs to these brick structures will include replacement of their wood shingle roofs as well as repainting of their wooden elements in historic colors. The work should not impact the visitor center functions at the site on the days the house remains open. There is no entrance fee charged at this site.
"We apologize for any inconvenience caused by this necessary repair work at the site," said park superintendent Kathleen Jenkins, "but we want to emphasize public safety during the work that will require construction of scaffolding over the State Street sidewalk as well as blocking off the parking spaces in front of the site. We will keep the site open to the public on weekends as well as on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and the work should be complete in just a few weeks."
Did You Know?
During the antebellum period, Natchez Mississippi was the home of over two hundred and fifty free blacks. The largest number of free blacks lived in New Orleans and numbered over two thousand.