Elms Court, Natchez, Mississippi

Elmscourt Natchez MS pc1Elmscourt Natchez MS pc2

“Elmscourt, Natchez, Mississippi. Its galleries of lacy iron work brought from Belgium are unusual. Built 1810. Enlarged and remodeled by Ayers P. Merrill, United States minister to Belgium under the Grant Administration; contains many treasures. Particularly interesting is the pier table which originally was made for the Duke of Devonshire.”

From a rustic Ozark cabin on the prior post to an elegant Mississippi mansion – which would you rather call home?

Update from author/researcher Michael Llewellyn:  Elms Court was built in 1837. See comment on this post, July 21, 2016.

This postcard for Elmscourt, a.k.a Elms Court, is interesting because there is a major problem with the 1810 construction date listed in the description above. Most online sources give the date built as about 1835 -1836. How curious! Upon further research, a detailed description of Elmscourt was found in Mississippi:  The WPA Guide to the Magnolia State, originally published in 1938, which included a reference to “a particularly beautiful pier table”  as well as the 1810 date that stated Elmscourt  “…was erected in 1810 by Lewis Evans, first sheriff of Adams Co.”  It’s very possible then that the source of the misinformation was obtained in part from this WPA entry.  To illuminate further, an entry at the Mississippi Department of Archives and History (MDAH) website indicates that in 1810, a Natchez mansion, currently known as The Elms, was put up for sale. The purchaser of this property was “Lewis Evans, first sheriff of the Mississippi Territory.”  On December 2, 1977, Elms Court (that we see in this postcard photo) was entered into the National Register of Historic Places. A detailed description of property and ownership can be found in the Elms Court National Register nomination form, which confirms that the construction date was about 1835-’36. (We wonder if the pier table was actually at Elms Court.) Elms Court today is one of the twenty-four antebellum mansions, in the Natchez Pilgrimage Tours open to the public for four weeks every spring.

The actual mansion known as The Elms is today a beautiful and historic guest home. Their website states that the residence was known as The Elms since 1843.

By the way, what is a pier table? It’s a low table or console intended to be set between two windows, often beneath a pier glass. Well then, what is a pier glass? A large high mirror, especially designed to occupy the wall space between windows.

Divided back, unused postcard. News-N-Novelties Dist. Co., Natchez, Mississippi. Curteichcolor Art-Creation From Color Transparencies (Reg. U.S.A. Patent Office.) Circa 1960s – 1970s.

Price:  $4.00

Sources:  Works Progress Administration. Mississippi:  The WPA Guide to the Magnolia State. 1938. University Press of Mississippi, 2009. p. 341. Web accessed October 10, 2014. (Googlebooks)

The Elms Papers. Mississippi Department of Archives and History. Web accessed October 10, 2014. (http://mdah.state.ms.us/manuscripts/z1879.html)

Elms Court, National Register of Historic Places. Web accessed October 10, 2014. (Mississippi Department of Archives and History)

Pier Table. n.d. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/pier+table (accessed October 8, 2014).

Pier Glass. n.d. http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/pier%20glass (accessed October 8, 2014).

2 thoughts on “Elms Court, Natchez, Mississippi

  1. Elms Court was built in 1837 and extensively remodeled after 1853 when it was bought by cotton baron Frank Surget as a wedding gift for his daughter Jane and her fiance, Ayres Merrill. The house is prominently featured in my novel, The Goat Castle Murder, to be published by Water Street Press Books in summer, 2016. I did extensive research and hope this information helps.

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