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Unfinished Business in Natchez

By Linda Tancs

Located in Natchez, Mississippi, Longwood is an antebellum mansion built for wealthy planter Haller Nutt for himself, his wife and their eight children. As it was nearing completion, the Civil War began and the unfinished home was abandoned by its workmen, leaving the family to reside among the completed rooms in the basement. Now a popular tourist attraction, it is America’s largest octagonal house (at 30,000 square feet) and boasts a distinctive Byzantine onion-shaped dome. This listed home and national landmark is sometimes referred to as Nutt’s Folly, a reference to the mansion’s unfinished state because the fields and land owned by Nutt had been burned by Union soldiers during the Civil War.

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