Long ago, Mr. Samuel Gibson acquired about 800 acres of land from the Spanish, and by 1788, a settlement known as Gibson's Port was established. In 1811, the town's name was officially changed to Port Gibson. Samuel Gibson's home still stands today, and now houses the Chamber of Commerce.
During the Civil War, Port Gibson is said to have spared destruction because General Grant felt it was "too beautiful to burn." Whether this was said or not, there is no doubt that the small town of Port Gibson offers a certain, undeniable charm. Many antebellum homes are open year round for touring. Port Gibson's Main Street Heritage Festival, held annually in March, brings music, dance, children's activities, and a magnificent walking tour that includes over forty structures- and even a few very old cemeteries.
Visitors should make a special stop at the ruins of Windsor, which was once one of the most impressive homes in the South. Even Mark Twain noticed its grandeur, and wrote about it. Just fourteen miles southwest of Port Gibson, this magnificent home, built in the mid 1800s, served as a Union hospital during the Civil War. Unfortunately, the home succumbed to fire in 1890. Today, twenty-three of the original twenty-nine stately columns remain.
A stroll through this small downtown promises to be both relaxing and appealing. Visitors will discover friendly people, ready to share their Port Gibson pride. This is a fine venue for antique shopping.
Grand Gulf Military Park, just a short eight-mile drive from Port Gibson, promises an interesting visit. The site marks the former town of Grand Gulf. During the mid 1800s, extensive flooding of the Mississippi destroyed the town. During the Civil War, Grand Gulf saw fighting between Union ships and Confederate batteries. The park includes a variety of unique items, including an observation tower, a cemetery, and a carriage house complete with vehicles used by the Confederates.
Port Gibson is located in the western region of Mississippi, at the intersection of Highways 61 and 18. It is approximately 60 miles west of Jackson.