Happy New Year!
As the new year (AND new decade) begins, everyone is getting back to their routines or starting new ones after the busy holiday season. At Anchuca, it’s been business as usual with the addition of our beautiful Christmas tree as we continued to welcome so many tourists from the wonderful riverboats. We are thankful for the opportunity to share our uniquely American neighborhood and our dedication to preserving our local history all these visiting Vicksburg. We wish you a happy and healthy 2020!
In Springfield, one of Vicksburg’s most historic neighborhoods, named for its proximity to natural, freshwater springs in the area at the time, new construction homes are finding their niche for the first time in more than 75 years. With the completion of Springfield home in January 2009, Tom Pharr not only successfully relocated and repurposed a historic home marked for demolition, he began to reimagine a way to revitalize his beloved neighborhood. As owner of nearby Anchuca Historic Mansion and Inn, Pharr wanted to find a way to add value and bring new life to the historic area while also maintaining the historic integrity of the neighborhood. With decades of experience in designing beautiful homes, Pharr combined his talent of design, attention to detail, and love for his neighborhood into building what he calls “Springfield Cottages,” five new residences built on previously vacant lots on Cherry and First East streets.
In addition to adding value to current residences, this new construction has attracted more people to call this neighborhood home. Whether young professionals or ready-to-retire and downsize, these new homeowners can enjoy the benefits of living close to downtown and in the heart of Vicksburg’s unique and diverse mix of historic buildings.
This project was recently featured in a publication by the Vicksburg Post, called “Letters from Home: Stories of Vicksburg for Every Letter in the Alphabet” under “N” for neighborhood.
A note about Anchuca’s original cast iron, coal-burning fireplaces
We hope you are staying warm on this unusually cold and icy day in Vicksburg. These frigid temps have us thinking about curling up with a good book by the fireplace, and also asking the question, “Did you know…?”
Anchuca’s cast iron, coal-burning fireplaces, a modern convenience at the time, were some of the first in Vicksburg. Jane and Victor Wilson, a coal and ice merchant and one of the town’s most influential citizens, are credited with adding the impressive Greek revival-style addition to the home in the late 1840s. This addition not only made Anchuca one of the first columned-mansions in Vicksburg, but also included many beautifully-designed, architectural details that are still seen today. Unlike the other wood-burning fireplaces throughout the home, the coal-burning fireplaces were supplied by Mr. Wilson’s coal yard, located just at the bottom of the hill.
Anchuca’s original, coal-burning fireplaces are beautiful architectural details.
Of course, they are not working fireplaces now (even though once replaced by gas heaters) as it would pose a safety hazard. Also, you may have noticed that Anchuca’s chimneys on the front addition are not visible from the outside as they were damaged in the devastating tornado of 1953.
Anchuca’s original chimneys were destroyed by tornado in 1953.
Enjoy Anchuca, as well as other gems in our neighborhood, as part of the “Vicksburg Antebellum Experience” through Vicksburg Old Town Tours.
It’s a beautiful day in Anchuca’s historic neighborhood.
These arial videos by Tom Roark give us a bird’s-eye view of Anchuca, in the heart of Old Town Vicksburg, which is just blocks from the Old Courthouse Museum and minutes from downtown and the National Military Park.
(Just click the links below for a look at Anchuca from the air.)