Natchez National Historical Park | MELROSE MANSION

Melrose Mansion at Natchez National Historical Park

Melrose Mansion at Natchez National Historical Park

1 Melrose Montebello Parkway
Natchez, MS 39120

The main attraction at Natchez National Historical Park is Melrose Mansion, the name the opulent mansion was given by its first owners. However, there is more to see and do than just taking a tour of the mansion. Visitors can walk the grounds of the plantation, which include slave quarters, a stable, a carriage house, and a formal garden. A thorough visit to the park takes about 2.5 hours. Allow at least 1.5 hours for a shorter visit.

See the following web pages for more detail on the attractions at the park.

MELROSE MANSION TOUR

MELROSE PLANTATION OUTBUILDINGS

MANSION HISTORY

Melrose Mansion is an excellent example of the Greek Revival architectural style that was popular during the mid-1800s in the southern United States. Construction on the home began in 1841 and took eight years to complete. When done, lawyer, politician, and successful plantation owner John McMurran and his family moved in. The home was furnished with the best that money could buy, and most of the furnishings in the home today are from the McMurran period. McMurran sold the home and all furnishings to George and Elizabeth Davis in 1865, then moved to a neighboring estate owned by Mrs. McMurran’s widowed mother. In subsequent years, the house was inherited by the Davises’ daughter, Julia (a Kelly by marriage), and when she died her young son, George, inherited Melrose. The house remained in the Kelly family until it was sold to John and Betty Callon, owners of Callon Petrolum, in 1976. The Callons renovated the mansion and made it their home, but also used it for corporate functions, and even turned most of the rooms not occupied by their family into bed and breakfast rooms. When the oil business went bust in the mid-1980s, the Callons put Melrose up for sale. The National Park Service purchased the property in 1990.

Prior to 2020, the mansion’s columns and non-brick outer walls were painted white. This white-washing was not part of the original decoration and was done by the wife of George Kelly around 1903. The columns and wall surfaces were originally decorated with what was termed “faux marbling,” a technique of painting a surface to resemble marble. This technique had been around for centuries, but it was extremely popular in Europe at the time the McMurran’s built Melrose, and Americans who traveled abroad brought back the latest European fashions and trends. The National Park Service has restored the faux marble appearance to the columns and outer walls.

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Last updated on January 17, 2022
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