Monmouth Historic Inn

More History on Monmouth

April 16 2015 | News

Here's an excerpt from "Monmouth:  Its Majesty and Legacy."  Also, three years ago this month the Reuthers purchased Monmouth - Happy Anniversary!  Monmouth's legacy continues . . . . Until next time - happy travels!

On the eve of the Civil War, Monmouth was considered one of the grandest of the fifty or more elegant estate houses in the Natchez area.  As the decades passed, the South and Natchez struggled to recover from the effects of the war.  Monmouth was no exception.  Although inhabited by Quitman survivors (and descendants) for almost fifty years after the end of the ear, Monmouth and its once elegant grounds lost its former splendor.  During the 1870’s, the main house and grounds were rented out, with the land utilized for cotton crops.  By the 1880’s, Quitman family members once again inhabited the estate.  Monmouth was sold out of the Quitman Family in 1919.  Monmouth remained empty (except for an occasional tenant), housing only furniture for many decades, a telling monument to a bygone era.

After several brief changes in ownership, Monmouth was sold to Natchez widow Annie Gwin in 1922.  It remained in her family for more than half a century.  Gwin remarried and the new Mrs. Herbert Barnum moved to the nearby Arlington estate.  Barnum utilized Monmouth as a dairy farm, and for several decades, its once elegant grounds served as pastures for dairy cattle.

Efforts to revitalize Natchez’s failing economy in the 1930’s saw the advent of a newly implemented tourism industry which centered on the opening of the town’s antebellum mansions, complete with Natchez women decided out in gowns and bonnets.  As with other antebellum estates in Natchez, Monmouth became a curiosity – a haunting reminder of days gone past. . . . Despite its deterioration (or perhaps because of it), Monmouth was included on the Natchez Pilgrimage Tour of homes.