Location Information
(for the House on Ellicott's Hill "Connelly's Tavern")
Name:House on Ellicott's Hill ("Connelly's Tavern")
Address:215 Canal Street, North
City/County:Natchez, Adams County
Architectural Information
Construction Date:c.1800
No. of Stories:2
Registration Information
NHL Listing Date:30 May 1974
NR Listing Date:30 May 1974
NR District Name:Natchez-On-Top-of-the-Hill
NR Status:Contributing
Element No.:23
View National Register Nomination Form
Mississippi Landmark Information
Designated:07-13-2001
Recorded:02-14-2002
Book/Vol. No.:V. 22H, p. 735
Local Designation Information
Local District Name:Natchez Historic District
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Context/Comments
Built during Spanish rule, this two-story structure with double galleries and canted roof is located on Ellicott's Hill overlooking the Mississippi River. A moat and drawbridges are unique features of the property. [HABS: MS-17-4: measured drawings]

The following was compiled by Mimi Miller, Historic Natchez Foundation, c.1986:

The primary significance of the House on Ellicott's Hill is architectural, but it is important also as the residence of merchant James Moore and of Dr. Frederick Seip, one of the founders of the Natchez Hospital in 1805 and surgeon on the staff of General James Wilkinson in his 1806 expedition to Natchitoches (Claiborne, MISSISSIPPI AS A PROVINCE, TERRITORY, AND STATE, p. 263, 266).

The House on Ellicott's Hill is architecturally important as a sophisticated and grand example of a regional vernacular building type with a two-story façade, one-story rear elevation, and distinctive roof shape of surrounding sheds attached high on a central gable. The gable roof with surrounding shed attachemtns survives only at one other Natchez house, Saragossa, although it was apparently a common regional roof form during the territorial period. Non-extant Adams County examples include Concord, Laurel Hill, and The Hermitage.

The two-story façade, which is fronted by a double-tiered gallery, is created by a basement story dug into the side of the hill. This house form was described by Eliza Baker in a letter from Natchez on November 25, 1805, to her New Jersey family as "the style which prevails in Southern Countries, namely one-story, which this difference--that there is a lower story dug out of the side of the hill presenting two stories in front and but one in the rear . . . [with] a long gallery or Piazza, partly enclosed by Venetian blinds."

The House on Ellicott's Hill was built on property acquired in September 1797 by James Moore, a Natchez merchant (Adams County Deed Book B: 47). Moore probably did not begin construction of the house until after January 1798, when Isaac Guion is recorded as having camped on the same site previously occupied by Andrew Ellicott (Guion to Stephen Minor, Jan 3, 1798, 7th and 8th Annual Report, Miss. Dept. of Archives and History, p. 60). That Ellicott encamped on the present site of the house is well-established by a 1952 report on Ellicott's Hill prepared by Dawson Phelps with the National Park Service. The Moore House was standing by 1801, when it was mentioned in a newspaper article as a point of reference for the location of the doctor's office (GREEN'S IMPARTIAL OBSERVER, Feb 21, 1801, p. 3). In 1816, Moore, having moved to his suburban residence Oaklands, sold the house to Dr. Frederick Seip.

The house was for many years erroneously called Connelly's Tavern due to an incorrect title trace. The real Connelly's Tavern fronted Franklin Street and was located on a neighboring lot.

Restored in 1936 by the Natchez Garden Club, the house was the first restoration project undertaken by an organization in Natchez. A National Historic Landmark, the house is well-maintained and is operated as a house museum by the garden club.

The House on Ellicott's Hill is one of the earliest territorial buildings to exhibit the definitive characteristics of the Federal style with its fanlighted doorways and well-detailed interior millwork. Like other territorial period houses, the protected front wall is finished in horizontal tongue-and-groove boards and is further elaborated by a molded chair rail. The gallery is supported by restored colonnettes on pedestals, which were also a feature of Laurel Hill.