A stay at the Duff Green Mansion in Vicksburg is an experience you’ll never forget.
Sweeping magnolia trees surround the historic three-story antebellum home and overlook the rose garden, courtyard, and swimming pool. The mansion’s wide front porches are enclosed by Italian iron railings and add visible character to the grand facade.
I stayed as a guest of Visit Vicksburg. My opinions are my own.
History of the Duff Green Mansion
Built in 1856, the Duff Green Mansion was the private home of Duff and Mary Lake Green. Thanks to the booming cotton industry, they lived a lavish lifestyle and entertained guests frequently until the onset of the Civil War.
To save their home (and neighborhood) from certain destruction, Duff allowed it to be used as a hospital and convalescent home for Union and Confederate soldiers.
The home later served as a boy’s orphanage and a Salvation Army office before being restored to its former glamour and turned into the magnificent Vicksburg B&B it is today.
Guest Rooms at Duff Green Mansion
There are nine guest rooms, each with its own bathroom, except the nursery, which is primarily used as an add-on space for the Duff-Green room.
There are five rooms at ground level, which is really nice for those with physical limitations (or heavy luggage). All guests receive a key to the second-floor entry to attend breakfast and enjoy the public spaces.
I stayed in the Camellia room, one of the first floor rooms overlooking the rose garden, and it was charming.
The elegant period furnishings accented the sumptuous rosewood king bed, a heavenly place to rest after my 13-hour drive.
Breakfast at Duff Green Mansion
A daily breakfast is served at 8:30 am, and normally, guests would gather around the formal dining room table together, but for now, everyone is seated with their own party and safely spaced from each other.
The three-course breakfast starts with a fruit compote, continues with the main dish, and ends with dessert. The entree changes daily and may include quiche, waffles, a cheese grits souffle, or a traditional American breakfast like I had. Coffee, tea, water, and orange juice are served as well.
Take a history tour of Duff Green Mansion.
Every morning following breakfast, guests can take a complimentary guided tour of the mansion. The tour, given by a costumed interpreter, is also available to the public for $15 a person. It’s an excellent tour, and I highly recommend it.
Our history excursion took us back in time to the lavish events once hosted within the mansion walls.
We began in the entry hall with its massive 15-foot ceilings and learned why it was built that way.
The Greens opened both hallway doors to harness the breezes coming in off of the Mississippi River, but they also needed the high ceilings to collect the coal dust deposits and keep them from settling on their guests as much as possible.
The social gatherings began in the gentleman’s parlor where they’d enjoy cocktails. The ladies would sip on elderberry wine, and the men would enjoy mint juleps and bourbon.
If the men wanted to smoke cigars, they’d do so out on the porch so the smell of tobacco wouldn’t permeate the ladies’ dresses.
Dinner was served in the dining room and consisted of anywhere from 6-13 courses, so dinner lasted for hours.
The ladies with their hoop skirts and corsets barely nibbled the food so as not to become any more uncomfortable than they already were and to maintain their diminutive waists. (A 19-inch waist was considered large.)
If the evening was formal, everyone would move into the ballroom for a night of dancing. Men and women would be on opposite sides of the room, and musicians would play in the corner.
As the ladies’ dance cards were filled, they would swing, turn, hop and twirl around through up to 20 songs in a single dance set.
If the evening’s event was a dinner party rather than a ball, after the grand meal, they’d move into Mary’s parlor for an intimate dinner with music and parlor games.
Their lavish lifestyle lasted seven years before the war changed everything.
The home was converted to a hospital and the living quarters became the surgical unit. Our guide showed us the permanent bloodstains on the wood floor underneath the rug.
We also peeked inside one of the upstairs rooms to see one of the home’s two original marble fireplaces and the cannonball hole in one of the rafter beams.
And then we talked about casket corners… and ghosts.
Is the Duff Green Mansion haunted?
While I personally didn’t experience anything unusual during my stay, tales of active spirits in the Duff Green Mansion abound. I’ll leave it up to you whether you believe the stories or not.
But an unfortunate number of deaths have taken place in the home…
One of the most haunted rooms appears to be the Dixie Room (former kitchen turned operating room), where a Confederate soldier’s ghost is seen regularly.
The ghost of little Annie Green has also been seen in the home, and she sometimes tugs on the back of men’s shirts or coats as they climb the stairs.
And in the Duff Green Room (where amputated limbs were stored all the way up to the ceiling), there have been reports of tapping, windows being opened, and maniacal rocking chair movement in the adjoining Nursery.
Whether you visit the Duff Green Mansion for its southern charm, history, or haunted happenings, you’ll thoroughly enjoy your stay at this magnificent Vicksburg bed and breakfast.
If You Go:
Duff Green Mansion
1114 First East Street
Vicksburg, MS 39180
Parking – Free off-street parking is available.
Check-in – Keys are located in a lockbox with code provided by email. You’ll receive a key to your room and a key to the main house where you’ll enjoy breakfast. The house remains locked at all times. Check-in is at 3 pm, and check-out time is 11 am.
Pets – The Duff Green Mansion is pet-friendly (as is Vicksburg).
WiFi – Free WiFi is available.