Welcome to Port Gibson, population 1668 or so, the town whose souvenir T-shirts and signage proclaim as "Too beautiful to burn."
Judging by Port Gibson's deserted Main Street, they might want to reconsider this promotional angle.
Aside from not being ugly enough to burn, Port Gibson actually has a few other points of interest to bring in tourists: it's a stop on the Mississippi Blues Trail (more on that later), it's the site of the Battle of Port Gibson, and it's close to the Natchez Trace national scenic trail.
We stopped in Port Gibson on a road trip on a summer Saturday in early afternoon. Because it was blazing hot and our destination was still hours away, the visit was rather rushed, and I didn't get to enter the few open businesses. Also, the midday glare was too bright to properly view the photos I was taking. So although conditions weren't ideal for creating this post, when it comes to photography I take the "we may never pass this way again" approach, and shoot it in the time and conditions I do have.
I'm going to call the above the M.F. FATTER OFFICES building until someone corrects my interpretation of the faded sign. Below, an action shot of the structure's interior (due to a flying pigeon).
Below and to the right of the ghost-sign for Claiborne Hardware (above photo) is a former store called Abraham and Sons, and the next two photos show the interior.
Between father Abraham here and H. Frishman on that shoe sign, that's two more Jewish names than I expect to see in these parts. Here's a New York Times article addressing Jewish history in the South, which mentions Frishman.
The Trace Theater appears to be somewhat in use as a community theater venue. It has also served as a nightclub in recent years.
View through Trace's marquee to an older sign:
Across the street from the Trace is another historic venue, seen below. The Rabbit Foot Minstrels/ Rabbit's Foot Company were headquartered here beginning around 1918, and among their performers were Ma Rainey, Bessie Smith, and Louis Jordan.
More recently, the place served HAM AND CHEESE BURGERS.
Below, the former Light Foot Washateria, slowly being overtaken by plants, along with what amounts to a traffic jam in Port Gibson.
Here, the wood-paneled office of the weekly Port Gibson Reveille. An old-fashioned newspaper office! Isn't it cute?
And another vintage-looking office, this one with faux-wood paneling.
Information on Port Gibson's revitalization and historic restoration efforts can be found at Port Gibson Main Street.