Civil War Photo Contest
Featured Book Reviewer
- Feb 23, 2013
- East Texas
Cedar Grove Mansion is one of Vicksburg's most historic and impressive Antebellum estates, and for those so inclined, a wonderful Bed-and-Breakfast establishment. Originally begun in 1840 by Vicksburg merchant John Alexander Klein for his soon-to-be bride Elizabeth Bartley Day, the central portion was completed in 1842 in time for the wedding of the thirty-year-old Klein to his sixteen-year-old bride the same year, following which they made the usual European tour, there buying many of the furnishings which remain in the house to this day, including the gasolier chandeliers.
The spacious grounds include statuary which survived through the siege and bombardment of Vicksburg like the one below:
Cedar Grove was never a working plantation but rather a large urban estate; however, the grounds as originally created included all the land seen in the picture below, growing from eight acres of land to over a hundred. Following the death of John Klein his widow allowed the city to cut a new street through the property right in front of the house across which had been a large, sloping lawn. The house on the corner, along with two others, had been built by the Kleins for their adult children when they married.
Plaque beside the front door proclaims the house's historic status; one panel in the door has been patched with a piece of tin to cover the hole made by a piece of Union Navy grapeshot that has been left embedded in the wall of the front parlor!
That parlor, seen below, also features a piece of plexiglass in the floor revealing another hole made by a low-flying shell that crashed through the front window before going through not only the floor but also a crossbeam! Supposedly, the house was struck no fewer than forty-two times, though other than chips in the brick exterior, those are the only ones that haven't been repaired.
Fortunately for the Kleins, not only were they wealthy, but Elizabeth was a Northerner from Ohio and Union Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman was her uncle! Following the siege, Sherman was a guest in the house and today one of the upstairs bedrooms is named in his honor. Another but later guest was President Ulysses S. Grant, for whom the bedroom below is also now named; this is speculation, however, because the ground-floor room below actually served as the Klein's master bedroom, and there is now no way of knowing if they gave it up to their distinguished guest. Amazingly, most of the antique furnishings belonged to the Kleins and are original to the house!
A more-recently added room above now looks out towards the greenhouse and two-story carriage house in the background.
Below, view of the backside of the estate, showing the additions made to both ends of the house in the 1850's.
A more modern touch is the swimming pool and bathhouse above.