Bluff Park - Playground for the City

Bluff Park - Playground for the City (HM1MVJ)

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

N 31° 33.71', W 91° 24.388'

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Natchez Trails

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 Lincoln's 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 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.
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Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Friday, August 14th, 2015 at 9:01pm PDT -07:00
Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)15R E 651238 N 3492970
Decimal Degrees31.56183333, -91.40646667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 31° 33.71', W 91° 24.388'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds31° 33' 42.6" N, 91° 24' 23.28" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)601, 769
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling South
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 107 S Broadway St, Natchez MS 39120, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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