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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Mammy's Cupboard, Natchez, MS, USA

Mammy's Cupboard, Natchez, MS, USA
Dating from the American Civil War era and originating in the southern US The "mammy archetype" is one of the best-known archetypes of African American women. The Merriam Webster Dictionary defines "mammy" as "a black woman serving as a nurse to white children especially formerly in the southern United States". Given that while there may be a more "politically incorrect" building than Mammy's Cupboard somewhere out there I for one have not come across it. Located in Natchez, MS ...


555 Hwy 61 S., Natchez, MS, USA

31°28'41.17"N 91°22'16.03"W

... Mammy's Cupboard dates from 1940 when it was constructed for Mr. and Mrs. Henry Gaude. Interestingly along with now being the embodiment of political incorrectness the building is also unusual in that its architect was female; in 1940 in rural Mississippi that was definitely not the norm. Annie Davis Bost was the wife of prolific local architect and builder Robert E Bost and the couple worked together on many local projects with Annie most often working as draftsman for her husband but also on occasion acting as architect in her own right and, at least in the case of Mammy's Cupboard, making something of a "statement" in the process.

Though primarily built as a compliment to the already existing service station on the site Mrs. Gaude operated a restaurant from beneath "Mammy's" bright red brick skirts for many years and often catered to tourists attracted to the area by the Natchez Pilgrimage of Homes. The "Pilgrimage"; a tour of the antebellum mansions of Natchez operates to this day and is likely still responsible for some of the business done by Mammy's.

Not unlike many buildings that have endured for many decades Mammy's has seen cycles of decline and decay followed by restoration. The latest information out on the internet suggests Mammy's has been repaired and given a shiny new coat of paint and as our image of the advertising board indicates currently operates again as a restaurant open for lunch Tuesdays through Saturdays. The majority of the reviews on Trip Advisor are positive and suggest "Mammy" has still got it.

The 2004 Rick Sebak hosted PBS documentary "A Program About Unusual Buildings & Other Roadside Stuff" featured a segment on Mammy's Cupboard along with a host of other strange and unusual buildings. You can find the relevant section of the documentary on the video tab.

Mammy's Cupboard, Natchez, MS, USAClick For Image Source

Mammy's Cupboard, Natchez, MS, USA - Alt 1Click For Image Source

Mammy's Cupboard, Natchez, MS, USA - Alt 2Click For Image Source

Mammy's Cupboard, Natchez, MS, USA - Alt 3Click For Image Source

1 comment:

  1. I was just in Natchez .... did not know about this house.