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Hopeful for best in college’s next chapter

Historic Jefferson College will close another chapter in its long history at the end of the day Sunday.

The school, chartered as a college in 1803 evolved into a military high school during the Civil War and continued in that capacity until 1964.

Then, the Mississippi Department of Archives and History acquired the property in 1971 and later opened it to the public as a museum and hiking grounds.

Earlier this year, MDAH announced they are changing the direction of Historic Jefferson College.

Along with the change in direction for the historic college came layoffs of employees of the museum and grounds.

Also, the site will no longer have regular hours for visitors, but, beginning Monday, the site will only be open for tours by appointment.

MDAH Director Katie Blount said the changes are part of a bigger plan for the three state historic sites in and around Natchez — the Grand Village of the Natchez Indians, Windsor Ruins and Historic Jefferson College.

For Historic Jefferson College, Blount said, plans are to make the historic site the gateway to Natchez for visitors traveling to the area but those plans have been vague at best and when the plan will become a reality has not been determined.

Change is often hard for people to accept, and perhaps none-more so than for the alumni who have enjoyed the status of Historic Jefferson College as a museum and hiking grounds.

We are saddened for the alumni and also for several employees at the college, who will no longer be employed at the site.

We are hopeful, however, that the new plan MDAH has for Historic Jefferson College eventually will be a positive new chapter for the historic site.