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Adults Ages 13+
Children Ages 12 & under


Bontura is one of Natchez’s most well-documented historic houses. The original owner, Robert Smith, was a free man of color who was born in Maryland. Prohibited by law to operate a grocery in Natchez, Smith went into the livery business and soon became the city’s most successful carriage and dray operator. Robert Smith died in 1858 and his family soon left Natchez.

In 1860, Joseph and Franny Bontura bought the house and the livery business. The Bonturas added a two-story wing with galleries to the rear of the house and expanded their operation to include a boarding house and an inn for river travelers. To accommodate their guests, they also built a two-story brick privy with male and female compartments on each story.

  • In 1863, the Union Army occupied Natchez, and the Bonturas rented rooms to Union officers.
  • Bontura boasts beautiful gardens listed on the Smithsonian Archives of American Gardens
  • Mississippi champion crepe myrtle tree
  • Original two-story privy
  • Private back garden