This house is an stunning example of the incredible amount of money plantation owners made off of the back breaking labor of enslaved people. In an attempt to outdo the town houses of their neighbors in Natchez, Haller Nutt and his wife, Julia Williams Nut, hired architect Samuel Sloan of Philadelphia to design and build what would be the largest octagonal house in America.
Using clay found on the land slaves made more than a million bricks. Work on the house began in 1860 but in 1861, when news of the Civil War reached the Natchez area, the carpenters, brick layers, and other craftsmen who were from the north dropped their tools and headed home. The brick work and the exterior were complete but very little had been finished on the interior. The Nutt family and their descendants lived in the basement until the 1960s.
The first floor and the basement, which is furnished with original family pieces, are opened for tours. Unfortunately at the time of our visit the basement was closed for repairs due to damage from a broken sprinkler pipe so we visited the first floor only.
The basement is accessible but the first floor is not due to steps. (Tony pulled me up) The grounds are hilly and uneven. The outbuildings are not included in the tours and do not have exhibits but a few pieces of equipment are stored in the carriage house.