Longwood (Natchez, Mississippi)

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Longwood by Highsmith 01.jpg
Longwood (Natchez, Mississippi) is located in Mississippi
Longwood (Natchez, Mississippi)
Longwood (Natchez, Mississippi) is located in the United States
Longwood (Natchez, Mississippi)
Location140 Lower Woodville Road, Natchez, Mississippi
Coordinates31°32′12″N 91°24′17″W / 31.53667°N 91.40472°W / 31.53667; -91.40472Coordinates: 31°32′12″N 91°24′17″W / 31.53667°N 91.40472°W / 31.53667; -91.40472
Built1859-ca. 1864
ArchitectSamuel Sloan
Architectural styleOctagon Mode, Italian Villa
NRHP reference No.69000079
USMS No.001-NAT-4016-NHL-ML
Significant dates
Added to NRHPDecember 16, 1969[2]
Designated NHLDecember 16, 1969[3]
Designated USMSNovember 29, 1994[1]

Longwood, also known as Nutt's Folly, is a historic antebellum octagonal mansion located at 140 Lower Woodville Road in Natchez, Mississippi, United States. Built in part by enslaved people,[4][5] the mansion is on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places, and is a National Historic Landmark.[3][6] Longwood is the largest octagonal house in the United States.[7]

Description and history[edit]

The mansion is known for its octagonal plan, byzantine onion-shaped dome,[5] and the contrast between its ornately finished first floor and the unfinished upper floors.

The inspiration for Longwood: Sloan's "Oriental Villa" as it appeared in his 1852 book, The Model Architect

Samuel Sloan, a Philadelphia architect, designed the home in 1859 for cotton planter Haller Nutt.[8] Work was halted in 1861 at the start of the American Civil War. Nutt died of pneumonia in 1864, leaving the work incomplete. Of the 32 rooms planned for the house, only nine rooms on the basement floor were completed.

Haller Nutt's never-finished Natchez home, Longwood, was the last burst of Southern opulence before war and the federal ban on enslaving people brought the cotton barons' dominance to an end. Longwood survived decades of neglect and near-abandonment to become one of Natchez' most popular attractions.[9]

Longwood is owned and operated as a historic house museum by the Pilgrimage Garden Club; it is also available for rent.

In popular culture[edit]

Longwood was featured in the Southern United States segment of Guide to Historic Homes of America,[10] an in-depth production by Bob Vila for the A&E Network.

In 2010, Longwood was used in the HBO series True Blood, for the external shots of the fictional Jackson, Mississippi, mansion of Russell Edgington, the Vampire King of Mississippi and Louisiana.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Mississippi Landmarks" (PDF). Mississippi Department of Archives and History. May 2008. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 9, 2010. Retrieved April 20, 2009.
  2. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. January 23, 2007.
  3. ^ a b "Longwood". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Archived from the original on 2011-06-06. Retrieved 2007-10-20.
  4. ^ "National Historic Landmarks Program (NHL)". 2011-06-06. Archived from the original on 2011-06-06. Retrieved 2020-12-16.
  5. ^ a b Kristin Reichardt Kirwan (July 2007). "Echoes of an Era". Decor & Style Magazine. The most fascinating house in Natchez … is the ghostly masterpiece of Longwood. The home was to include architectural features that were ahead of their time: The exterior double walls were 27 inches thick with a 5-inch air space to leave room for sliding glass windows to provide maximum ventilation. Running water was to have been brought into the house via pipes connected to the dome on the roof, in which rainwater could be stored.
  6. ^ Patricia Heintzelman (May 30, 1975). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: Longwood / Nutt's Folly" (pdf). National Park Service. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help) and Accompanying 13 images, exterior and interior, from 1960, 1969, 1975, and undated. (4.58 MB)
  7. ^ "Pilgrimage Historical Association Collection: Nutt Family Papers 1841-1911". Mississippi Department of Archives and History. Archived from the original on 2011-07-22. Retrieved 2008-07-14.
  8. ^ Natchez Mansions. "Longwood". Archived from the original on 2003-07-14. Retrieved 2007-07-24. Longwood in its unfinished state illustrates the impact of the Civil War on the economy of the South.
  9. ^ "Ghost Town of Rodney". Southpoint Travel Guide. Retrieved 2008-07-14.
  10. ^ "Bob Vila's Guide to Historic Homes of America". A&E Network. 1996.

External links[edit]