Windsor Ruins – Claiborne County, Mississippi

About 10 miles southwest of Port Gibson is what is left of the largest antebellum Greek Revival mansion ever built in the State of Mississippi.  Three stories with twenty-five rooms (each room with a fireplace). 

The construction costs of the home were $175,000 at the time or roughly $4,665,000 in today’s market.

Windsor 2
© 2014 Ricki K Ewing

Windsor played a big role during the Civil War. The Confederates used it for observation and a signaling station. Then Ulysses S. Grant and 17,000 trooped seized it and used it as a hospital and an observation station.

Windsor Mansion drawn by a Union Officer while in occupation of the property

Sookie and I were taking a leisurely drive on one of our road trips. I had seen a picture of the Windsor Ruins while doing research of the area. I had to see it in person.

Windsor 3
© 2014 Ricki K Ewing

We headed south from Vicksburg. The drive is beautiful and then confusing and then a little creepy and then beautiful again and then frustrating.

There are no good directions or GPS or signs to tell you where you are at or where you are going. You vaguely remember where you have been, and then BAM!  1 sign on a little country road.

Not that this sign does much for you. It is about the equivalent of asking an ancient blind deaf man with no arms how to get there and he tilts his head toward some random direction and says, “Over yonder. No. Wait. It’s the other way.”  Then his nurse tells you he just moved in the day before from up North, has never been here and is a bit of an ass.

Windsor 5

I passed my destination 4 times. We finally pulled over. Sookie was giving me suspicious looks.  I decided to wait for another car to come by because why in the hell else would they be driving in the middle of the woods if they were not going to The Windsor Ruins?

We waited about 10 minutes and followed an RV for only about a whole 30 seconds and pulled into a semi open field.

No picture I saw in my research could have prepared me for the sight that we drove into. Once out of the car, Sookie sat down and looked straight up to take it all in. You felt like you were in Greece rather than Mississippi.

Windsor 6
© 2014 Ricki K Ewing

So, here’s the short story. The lady of the house was having a party. Somebody on the third floor was irresponsible with their ciggy and some flaming ashes caught some renovation material on fire and the whole place went down in flames. The only things of the mansion that survived are the 23 columns and 5 partial columns now standing, some fine bone china, some iron staircases and the balustrades.  Since it was right after the Civil War, the family did not have the cash flow to rebuild. And here it now stands.

You need to see this. It is one of those surreal travel moments that stays with you for life. It’s totally worth being lost for over an hour and having your loyal canine companion look at you like you have gone insane.


Windsor Ruins

Location:  31°56′26″N 91°7′46″W

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