Date Visited


United States

Natchez, Mississippi

Magnolia Hall



Magnolia Hall, also known as the Henderson-Britton House, is a brownstone structure constructed in the Greek Revival style in 1858. It now acts as a museum displaying the items used by its owners in the mid-nineteenth century. 



Magnolia Hall is located in uptown Natchez and was built in 1858 by Thomas Henderson, a wealthy merchant, planter, and cotton broker.

In 1870 the house was acquired by Eliza and A.C. Britton, so is also known as the Henderson-Britton House. Britton was the president and co-founder of a bank called Britton & Koontz Bank, which still operates today, making it the oldest bank in the city. In 1963 the house was acquired by the Trinity Episcopal Church which used it as an elementary school and nursery until 1974. In 1976 it was acquired by the Natchez Garden Club, the Preservation Society of Ellicott Hill.

In 2016 the building was restored by the Garden Club which now maintains it, and it was converted to a museum displaying the artefacts that were used during its period of use as a residential building.

Magnolia Hall was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979 and is also a contributing property of the Natchez On Top of the Hill Historic District.

Constructed in the Greek Revival style Magnolia Hall, has stuccoed and scored brick walls, which have been painted in a chocolate brown colour. The front incorporates a portico with four ionic columns with a further four ionic columns at the rear facade.  


The colour is known as Brownstone, which was popular during the mid-nineteenth century, particularly in New York City. Natchez had over a hundred brownstone structures; although Magnolia Hall is only one of two houses that has survived. 

Visitors enter the long entrance hall, which contains a floral design ceiling centerpiece and cornices and a number of doors leading into the parlours and dining rooms. It also contains the staircase to the upper floor.


The parlour has a fine marble mantel and plaster ceiling centerpiece with magnolia blossoms incorporated into the design, something that gave the Hall its’ name.


A number of other parlours provide accommodation for socialising and for the family. A parlour in fact is used for relaxing and entertaining guests. It is a reception room, although can also be known as a drawing or a sitting room. A parlour normally has fine furniture, artwork, and other decorative elements such as a fine fireplace and chandelier that reflect the family’s wealth and taste, this may include a piano as found in Magnolia Hall. 




A parlour is usually located near the entrance of the house and is separate from the more private living or family rooms.

Adjacent to the parlours are two dining rooms, the main one being used on social occasions. 


At the top of the stairs, by the doorway to the veranda, is a collection of dresses from the mid-nineteenth century, although costumes are also displayed in the bedrooms.


The bedrooms, like the rest of the house, have been restored to their original décor and display items that would have been found there and used by the Hendersons or Brittons.

One of the bedrooms contains a bed for the youngest child.

One of the other bedrooms shows the steps used to allow the user to climb into the bed.

The children’s bedroom and the two single beds.

Adjacent to the house is a building containing a souvenir shop.




              All  Photographs were taken by and are copyright of Ron Gatepain

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