Hanbury Preservation Consulting

P.O. Box 6049
Raleigh, NC 27628 USA
(919) 828-1905 phone

African American Heritage Tourism Sites Assessment, Natchez MS

Natchez, MS

Rich with Native American history, Natchez was settled by the French in 1716, and is the oldest European settlement on the Mississippi River. It was occupied by Spain and England before becoming an American territory. Its strategic location along the Mississippi and its proximity to a rich cotton economy made Natchez an affluent community before the Civil War. Natchez and her citizens were part of the creation of the “new south” during the reconstruction era. Today a large part of Natchez’s economy is tied to tourism and heritage tourism specifically; however the African American experience has not been fully explored in these efforts.

Working with the National Park Service-Natchez National Historical Park, Mississippi Heritage Trust, Mississippi African American Historic Preservation Council, and the Mississippi Development Authority-Division of Tourism, Hanbury Preservation Consulting produced an assessment of African American Cultural and Heritage Tourism sites in the city of Natchez. The process involved site visits, stakeholder interviews, public meetings, and a focus group. Public participation drove the resulting document. Hanbury Preservation Consulting facilitated consensus on key sites and identified the need not only for an assessment but for a vehicle for implementation. The resulting study outlines sites deemed significant by the community and assesses their “tourism readiness;” it offers models and best practices from across the country; and it proposes an organizational and management structure to fundraise and implement the study’s recommendations.