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Duff Green Mansion History

For over 145 years the Duff Green Mansion has stood majestically in the center of the historic district of Vicksburg, Mississippi. Built in 1856 as a wedding gift by successful businessman Duff Green for his bride Mary Lake, the mansion was designed for entertaining. Prior to the siege of Vicksburg, the home was well known for the many lavish parties that set the standard for hospitality and good taste.

In 1863, the home was hit at least five times by Union cannonball. The Greens hastily offered the Mansion for use as a hospital as a means to try and save their new home, and retreated to two caves built in the side yard. In one of these caves, Mrs. Green gave birth to her son and named him William Siege Green.

Both Union and Confederate wounded were moved to the Mansion. The Union troops were placed on the top floor with Confederates housed on the main floor. The kitchen on the bottom floor was converted to an operating room where hundreds of soldiers were treated.

After the surrender of Vicksburg on July 4, 1863, the Mansion was leased to the United States Government for use as a Soldiers Home where wounded soldiers could recuperate before their respective journeys home.

In 1866 after all soldiers had left, the Greens moved back in their home where they continued to live until Mr. Green’s death in 1880. Mrs. Green sold the mansion that same year to the Peatross family who maintained it as their family residence until 1910. The property was then sold to Fannie Vick Willis Johnston, a great-granddaughter of Vicksburg’s founder Rev. Newitt Vick. Mrs. Johnston lived in the Mansion until her new home Oak Hall (The Stained Glass Manor) was completed around 1913.

Mrs. Johnston, a generous philanthropist, donated the Mansion for use as a boy’s orphanage and later as a retirement home for elderly widows. When she died in 1931, her estate sold the property to the Salvation Army for $3,000.00.

The Salvation Army ministered to the needy from their mansion headquarters with weekly church services, daily meals, and a safe place for transients to stay for fifty-four years. In 1985, the property was sold to Mr. & Mrs. Harry Carter Sharp of Coral Gables, Florida. This sale enabled the Salvation Army to move to a larger and more suitable site and the Sharps to embark on a new adventure.

The Sharps completely restored the Mansion to her former glory over a two and one half year period with the professional expertise of local architect Skip Tuminello. The combined efforts of The U.S. Department of the Interior, The Mississippi Department of Archives and History, and Tuminello insured the accuracy of the restoration. As many as twenty-seven layers of paint were removed, thirteen fireplaces restored, and fifteen bathrooms added. Magnificent chandeliers grace the fifteen and one-half foot tall public reception rooms painted in vivid historic colors. The entire mansion is decorated with period antiques and accented with works of art.

Four luxurious guest rooms, each with private bath and working fireplace, invite overnight guests to a memorable stay in one of the South’s finest Bed & Breakfast Inns. The Duff Green Mansion is the perfect location for Weddings, Receptions, Rehearsal Dinners, Bridal showers, and functions for all occasions large or small.

 

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