Thursday, August 16, 2007


Our family roots are buried deep in the soil of Mississippi. The earliest recorded ancestor in Mississippi was Thomas Christian Heidelberg who moved his family there in 1816. According to the Christian Heidelberg and Some of His Descendants family book,
"After many weeks of slow hard travel, the wagon train arrived at it's destination. Thomas Christian and his family rested their first night in Mississippi Territory with a hospitable and friendly Choctow Indian chief."

Once a year in late summer, the Heidelberg cousins gather together from all parts of the country for a family reunion. This has been going on for decades. What started out as a rather large picnic lunch back in the day has evolved into a small weekend of semi-organized festivities. Three reunions ago we all gathered in Natchez. One of the planned activities was a guided tour of Longwood.* While there I took several photos of the grounds with the thought of someday painting a part of my beloved Mississippi. Longwood is just off the Natchez Trace, and it's not too hard to imagine early relatives travelling the Trace with friendly Choctow Indians.

*All construction halted on this antebellum mansion at the start of the War Between the States. Even though the owner of the house and surrounding land had Federalist papers, when Union soldiers came through Natchez, they completely destroyed the property. What is left of Longwood is a sad reminder of the war and it's enduring impact that is still felt deeply in parts of the South.

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