ExploreSouthernHistory.com - Mount Locust Inn and Plantation, Mississippi
ExploreSouthernHistory.com - Mount Locust Inn and Plantation, Mississippi
Mount Locust
A major landmark on the historic Natchez Trace
Parkway, Mount Locust was an inn or "stand" used
by travelers as early as 1780.
Mount Locust Inn
Seen here from the back,
Mount Locust provided food
and lodging to weary travelers
for 25 cents.
Interior of Mount Locust
The inn and plantation home
has been restored to its 1820
Natchez Trace
The path leading from the
information center to Mount
Locust follows a preserved
original section of the historic
Natchez Trace.
Mount Locust Inn & Plantation - Natchez Trace, Mississippi
Historic Inn on the Natchez Trace
Emerald Mound
The information center at
Mount Locust also provides
information on nearby
Emerald Mound, a massive
prehistoric Indian mound that
covers 8 acres.
The Mount Locust Inn & Plantation, located at
milepost 15.5 on the
Natchez Trace Parkway
in Mississippi, is one of the most significant
historic sites in the South.

An easy drive north from Natchez, Mount
Locust was originally constructed as an inn
or "stand" on the historic Natchez Trace.
Often called the nation's first "superhighway,"
the Trace was an important route by which
"Kaintucks" or boatmen made their way back
home after floating flatboats and keelboats
down the Mississippi River.

The American Revolution was still underway
when John Blommart began construction on
the structure that would become Mount
Locust. Steamboat travel had not yet been
developed and Blommart sought to profit by
providing shelter for the men who were
walking or riding horses on their way home
to the Ohio, Tennessee and Cumberland
River valleys. It was easy enough for them to
float their cargoes of furs and farm products
down to Natchez and New Orleans, but the
trip back home was much more difficult.

Stands like Mount Locust provided welcome
stopping points along the Natchez Trace,
which offered a shorter way home by linking
the Mississippi River city of Natchez with the
growing Cumberland River settlement of
Nashville. Basically a self-supporting farm
and hospitality center in the wilderness,
Mount Locus quickly became a fixture along
the historic roadway.

It did not take long after Spain's reclaiming of
the Mississippi Valley from England at the
end of the American Revolution for schemers
to begin laying plans to wrest the territory
from the fading European power. Blommart
was one of these revolutionaries and he lost
his home and fortune following a failed
rebellion against the Spanish.

Mount Locust, however, survived. Only about
a days walk from Natchez, it was the perfect
stopping point for travelers completing their
first day on the Trace.  After stumbling wearily
up to the inn after walking just over fifteen
miles, they would find a meal and lodging for
a price of only 25 cents.

Even when travel along the Natchez Trace
was at its height, however, the days of the
country's first "superhighway" were already
numbered. The development of steamboats
brought with it the ability for passengers to
travel back upstream to their homes in
relative comfort and without the long journey
over the well-worn road.

By 1825, foot travel on the Trace had all but
ended, although a few inns like Mount Locust
continued to serve visitors with food and
lodging for some years to come.
Mount Locust eventually became the center
of a Mississippi cotton plantation. Five
generations of the Chamberlain family, which
owned the farm, lived in the house.  

The National Park Service acquired the
property as a feature of the Natchez Trace
Parkway. It has been restored to its 1820
appearance and walking paths lead visitors
past past such historic sites as the brick kiln,
family cemetery, slave cemetery and sites of
plantation structures such as the slave
quarters and overseer's house.

Mount Locust is used to interpret life on the
Natchez Trace for not only for early travelers
and the plantation owners, but also for the
enslaved African Americans who worked the
farm during the antebellum era.

Mount Locust is at milepost 15.5 on the
Natchez Trace Parkway and is open every
day from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. from February
through November. There is no cost to visit.
Please click here to view a printable version
of the park service brochure.

The historic site has exhibits, an information
center, bookstore and restrooms. The
walkway to the house is wheelchair
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Copyright 2011 by Dale Cox
All rights reserved.