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Old 04-14-2009, 08:12 AM
Keith Norrington Keith Norrington is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: On the "Beautiful Ohio" at New Albany, Indiana, opposite Louisville, Kentucky
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Ed: The three chandeliers from the Str. ROBT. E. LEE which hang in the First Presbyterian Church, built in 1860, at Port Gibson, Mississippi were a gift to the church in the 1880's from the William Parker family. The LEE, famous for the race with the NATCHEZ in 1870, was built at New Albany, Indiana in 1866 and dismantled at the Howard Shipyard in Jeffersonville in 1876, at which time a second boat of the same name was built. Unfortunately, no photo of the cabin interior of the racer LEE is known to exist, but at the Howard Steamboat Museum we do have some of the cabin arches. According to the church records, the Parker family owned an interest in the LEE and acquired the chandeliers when they were replaced with new ones. Although there is some controversy as to whether the figure on horseback in the center of each chandelier represents General Robert E. Lee, it certainly stands to reason that it is the famous military man.

If you get a chance to visit Port Gibson, the church is open daily from about 8:00 AM until dusk. Aside from the nearby ruins of Windsor Plantation, the church is probably the most photographed antebellum structure in Claiborne County, owing to the large hand pointing to heaven atop the steeple. When Gen. Grant marched through Port Gibson, he decreed the town "too beautiful to burn". It is a very picturesque place and well worth visiting. The old train depot reopened last year after undergoing an extensive restoration by the Townsend family as a new restaurant, "Georgia's at the Depot". The food is great! The depot now also contains four shops offering antiques, clothing, collectibles, etc.

Herewith are several photos I have taken at various times of the chandeliers in the church sanctuary. The view from the rear gallery, taken in 1983, shows the handsome plaster archway which frames the grillework for the Henry Pilcher's Sons pipe organ, installed in 1930 and built here in Louisville.
Attached Thumbnails
When did natural gas/propane come to steamboats?-fpc-port-gibson-ms-robt-e.-chandelier-3.jpg   When did natural gas/propane come to steamboats?-fpc-port-gibson-ms-robt.-e.-lee-chandeliers-1.jpg   When did natural gas/propane come to steamboats?-fpc-port-gibson-ms-robt-e.-lee-chandelier-2.jpg  

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