Minor Street steeped in great history

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 27, 2010

On Saturday, July 31, history will repeat itself. That day will mark the 19th anniversary of the Minorville Jubilee.

The jubilee is the annual celebration for youth and residents of Minor Street and surrounding areas.

Recently, I requested some historical information about my neighborhood. I found it very interesting and would like to share what I found with everyone. I hope it will help to bring you out for our jubilee.

The neighborhood that is historically known as Minorville was carved out of the suburban estate called Concord in the mid to late 19th century. The original area reached approximately from today’s Wilson Road to the bayou between Shadyside Street and East Oak Street.

Concord was the estate of the Minor family. Stephen (Don Esteban) Minor, a native of Pennsylvania, was the last Spanish commandant of Natchez before the United States assumed power in the late 18th century. Minor was the second owner of Concord.

The house was built about 1790 on a rise centrally located on property near the former Titan Tire plant. The builder was Manual Gayosa de Lemos, Minor’s predecessor.

The Minor family lived at Concord until George Malin Davis, who also owned Choctaw, Cherokee and Melrose, bought the property in the 1800s. The house burned in 1901, leaving only its servant quarters as a testament to its long existence. The quarters still exist, an attractive building surrounded by massive oaks standing northwest of the tire plant.

Before 1860, the Minors began selling lots on the edges of the estate. The antebellum house Shadyside and its former gardens on Shadyside Street occupy what probably was one of the first parcels sold. Subsequent sales yielded portions of the Woodlawn neighborhood and Minorville.

Minor Street and its surrounding area probably began to solidify into a neighborhood between 1880 and 1890, slightly after the south end of Woodlawn was formed.

Sanborne insurance maps do not recognize the area as a documented neighborhood between 1880 and 1890, slightly after the south end of Woodlawn was formed.

The area, like its neighbor Woodlawn to the west, has since its beginning been a residential center for the African-American community of Natchez.

We who are involved in the 19th anniversary of the Minorville Jubilee are asking everyone, young and old, to come out and enjoy themselves at the festivities of July 31. Various functions and activities have been planned to make this day a success.

Last year we had a great turnout, and we are looking for an even larger one this year.

So, if you are sitting around wondering what to do on Saturday, come on over and join the Minorville family for a day full of fun and laughter.

Burnett Bridgewater is the organizer of the annual Minorville Jubilee.