Good Neighbors - Alexanders and Gonnellinis

Good Neighbors - Alexanders and Gonnellinis (HM26MC)

Location: Natchez, MS 39120 Adams County
Country: United States of America

N 31° 33.507', W 91° 23.747'

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Inscription

Natchez Trails

Louis and Anna Alexander resided in the craftsman style cottage (above) at 17 St. Catherine Street.Until his death in the late 1940s, Louis Alexander worked at the historic mansion Melrose for George and Ethel Kelly. He died during a trip to California to visit his children, three of whom had earlier died in the Rhythm Night Club fire.Letters written by George Kelly during the first half of the 1900s document Louis Alexander's talents. His duties included car mechanic, chauffeur, electrician, marketer of farm products, and general manager of Melrose.
After the death of Alexander, the Kellys hired Fred Page, who worked at Melrose over 55 years and ended his career as a National Park Service guide.The sales tax is now in force and is passed on to the consumer... Louis' housekeeping reports have tax items on them now. [The sales tax was 2 cents on a dollar.] George Kelly, Melrose May 8, 1932George Kelly gathered employees on the rear steps of Melrose for a photograph ca. 1905. Employees with ties to the St. Catherine Street neighborhood were Ed Barland, George and Celie Screws, and Joe Fisher.Louis and Helen Gonnellini (left) stand in front of their St. Catherine Street grocery and restaurant in the 1940s.Their family lived upstairs, where their living quarters incorporated an older house that stood



on the hill behind the store. The Gonnellinis almost lost their 1930s building to a fire. in 1939 (right). After the fire they repaired the building and added a front porch.The National Park Service has owned and interpreted Melrose, a National Historic Landmark, as part of the Natchez National Historical Park since 1990.Prior to the Civil Rights Act, few restaurants in the South served African Americans unless it was in the kitchen or outside the back door. Louis Gonnellini (above) defied convention in serving his African American neighbors but conceded to the unwritten laws of the South with separate "white and colored" entrances and a partial partition wall (above). The jukebox stood sideways in the wall to give access to both black and white patrons.
Details
HM NumberHM26MC
Series This marker is part of the series
Tags
Placed ByCity of Natchez
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Friday, April 6th, 2018 at 7:01am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)15R E 652257 N 3492610
Decimal Degrees31.55845000, -91.39578333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 31° 33.507', W 91° 23.747'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds31° 33' 30.42" N, 91° 23' 44.82" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)601, 769
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling East
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 30-38 St Catherine St, Natchez MS 39120, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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