Port Gibson is Mississippi’s third oldest settlement. The town was chartered on March 12, 1803. This historic town was the site of several clashes during the Civil War with the Battle of Port Gibson occurring on May 1, 1863 resulting in the death of more than 200 soldiers.
This beautiful historic town is home to many of Mississippi’s architectural treasures including the famous First Presbyterian church with the golden hand with a finger pointing toward the skies atop the steeple. Port Gibson is special in that many of its beautiful historic buildings survived the Civil War simply because Grant believed the city was too beautiful to be burned.
The Mississippi Department of Transportation has plans to widen Highway 61 (historic Church Street) through the town of Port Gibson. Many of the town’s historic structures are located along this route as well as many ancient oaks. There is an active opposition to this plan. To read all about the controversy visit the Port Gibson Heritage Trust website. Included on the site is detailed information about the highway plans, photos of their recent Memorial Day concert and a link to their online petition that has already been signed by nearly 3,000 concerned people.
Photograph of First Presbyterian Church courtesy of The Library of Congress