Natchez Scene captures life of Miss-Lou

Published 12:01 am Friday, February 29, 2008

What is Natchez like?

That is probably the number one question I get when I am out of town.

Of course, the first images that come to mind are of white columns, grand staircases, ladies in hoop skirts and all the other images that might be associated with the antebellum South.

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Natchez is only a tiny part of that.

There are the images of barges powering up the Mississippi River, the long shadows of the river bluffs cast along the shore line and who could forget the silhouette of the twin bridges at sunset.

Natchez is a little of that too.

As a newspaper man and a photographer, I also conjure up images of Natchez’s wonderful residents. No other place in the world seems to be filled with as many quirky, fascinating, complex and rich personalities as those in the Miss-Lou.

That is what makes describing where I live to the outsider so complicated.

It is like describing one of those jaw-dropping masterpieces that hangs in the Louvre, the National Gallery of Art or other equally famous museum. No words would ever do it justice.

It is in those instances when I wish I could pull out a big family album and begin flipping through the hundreds of snapshots that I think describe Natchez.

Notice I said hundreds of photographs, because only a kaleidoscope of pictures would begin to describe our town.

Luckily, I think I have discovered that photo album I can show to the next person who is curious about Natchez.

Better yet, instead of lugging around a book of photos I can just send them to Natchez’s newest website —

Since the site was announced on Tuesday, many people have logged on to Natchez Scene to look at and upload photos that are now part Miss-Lou family album.

Of course there are classic Natchez photos. There are spectacular shots of the sunset with all its beautiful shades of orange and gold. There are shots of popular tourist attractions, like the city cemetery, the Great Mississippi River Balloon Race, Mammies Cupboard in the snow and numerous other places.

Then there are also compelling images of nature, from spring flowers to butterflies to spiders. A few travel photos are sprinkled in, as well.

Probably the most descriptive photos in this family album are the photos of the family — the residents of the Miss-Lou.

Nothing can describe what Miss-Lou is like more than its residents. They give it its flavor and richness.

Fortunately, Natchez Scene is filled with a variety of people photographs.

There are snapshots from area schools, churches and other organizations. There are individual shots from those who want show off birthday parties, anniversaries or just a beautiful sunny day in the park.

Photographs from Mardi Gras balls, Christmas parades and many other holiday events that make the area unique fill the site. There are snapshots from this year’s “I Have a Dream” luncheon celebrating Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday and this year’s Junior Auxiliary Fun Run.

What makes Natchez Scene unique is that many of these photos are taken by Natchez Scene photographers. While individual users are uploading their favorite photos from home, Natchez Scene is busy documenting the area’s biggest events.

In the coming weeks, Natchez Scene will be attending numerous events, including the Natchez Spring Pilgrimage, the annual St. Paddy’s day parade and the Natchez Pow Wow.

Who knows, you might get handed one of our Natchez Scene business cards that says “You’ve been scene” by one of our Web site photographers.

If you are then you know you have become part of the area’s biggest family album at

Ben Hillyer is the Web editor at The Natchez Democrat. He can be reached at