Location Information
(for the "Texada" Texada Tavern, “Old Spanish House”)
Name:"Texada" (Texada Tavern, “Old Spanish House”)
Address:222 Wall Street, South
City/County:Natchez, Adams County
Architectural Information
Construction Date:c.1799
No. of Stories:2
Registration Information
NR Listing Date:17 Apr 1979
NR District Name:Natchez-On-Top-of-the-Hill
Element No.:626
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Local Designation Information
Local District Name:Natchez Historic District
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Context/Comments
[HABS: MS-162 (1940)]

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

"Texada Tavern was probably built by Manuel Garcia de Texada between 1798 and 1805. According to an 1856 newspaper article, it was believed to be the first brick building constructed in Natchez (NATCHEX DAILY COURIER, March 7, 1856). It is located in an area of town that was dubbed "Spanish Town" during the territorial period (Claiborne, MISSISSIPPI AS A PROVINCE, TERRITORY, AND STATE, p. 527).

"The 1805 city of Natchez tax assessment, the earliest in existence, lists Manuel Texada as owning a 'large brick dwelling' measuring sixty feet by forty fee (the measurements of the present structure). Valued in the assessment at $12,000, it was the most valuable building in Natchez at the time ("City of Natchez, Assessments in Conformity of an Ordinance of the 17th July 1805," bound photostate copy, Armstrong Library, Natchez, MS). Texada acquired the property in 1798 for $1,000, indicating that the house had not been built at that time (Adams County Deed Book D, p. 181).

"In 1817, Texada was purchased by Edward Turner and was used for meetings of the new state legislature (NATCHEZ DAILY COURIER, March 7, 1856, and MISSISSIPPI STATE GAZETTE, January 29, 1825). Edward Turner was one of the most prominent and influential citizens of territorial Natchez. He served as mayor of Natchez from 1815 to 1819, clerk of the territorial House of Representatives, private secretary to Governor Claiborne, delegate to the 1817 state constitutional convention, state attorney general, speaker of the state House of Representatives, and chief justice of the state supreme court (Goodspeed's BIOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL MEMOIRS OF MISSISSIPPI, Vol. 2, p. 929, and James, ANTEBELLUM NATCHEZ, p. 95,97).

"Like other early brick houses in the Mississippi Territory, Texada's bricks are laid in Flemish bond on at least the public elevations. The house has a brick wall extension enclosing the gallery ends that is a common feature of early Natchez architecture. The House on Ellicott Hill originally had such a brick wall extension enclosing the northern end of the first-story gallery, but it was unfortunately removed during the mid-1930s. The house has an unusual roof shape that is gabled at one end and hipped at the other, which is perhaps a reflection of its street corner location.

"Texada was remodled into a duplex in the 1830s, and evidence of the original central entrances was obliterated. During the 1960s restoration of the house, a beautifully detailed doorway from demolished Burling Hill was installed. The intricacy of the detail on this fanlighted doorway, coupled with the name of Levi Weeks' wife on a board in Burling Hill has resulted in the doorway being attributed to architect Levi Weeks. An advertisement for rentin Burling Hill documents that it was standing before the architect's death in 1819 and was probably built during the territorial period (THE MISSISSIPPI STATE GAZETTE, March 21, 1818, p.2).

"The first story of Texada retains original exposed beaded ceiling beams, beaded ceiling board, some early doors, and its original floor plan. Mantel pieces and an interior stairway have been added. The upper stories have greater integrity with more original trim, including a finely detailed cornice.

"A two-story brick dependency in the rear yard could date to the territorial period, but it cannot be dated due to the absence of original detailing. An adjacent frame building, facing State Street and now separately owned, was standing by 1864 and may also have been a Texada outbuilding."