To get your name in a drawing for the KINDLE Pam Hillman is giving away to celebrate the release of her ebook, click the picture above and obey. But go there, and then COME BACK HERE to learn more about Pam’s exciting new western romance. Pam is also giving away an ebook copy of Stealing Jake to P & P readers today. You do NOT have to have a Kindle or other reading device to win, but read on to find out details.
Now here is Pam Hillman talking about her visit to:
The Natchez Trace
I called my mother and said, “I’m going on a research trip. Wanna come along?”
She jumped at the chance, and the two of us spent a couple of days in Natchez, Mississippi, established in 1716 and one of the oldest European settlements in the lower Mississippi River Valley. We traveled down the Natchez Trace, stopping at some of the sites along the way. I video-taped much of what we saw, and have this long-running commentary in my Southern drawl that definitely needs editing!
Here are a few of the stops along the way with pictures, and part of my running monologue, with a few of my mother’s thoughts on our adventure thrown in.
This is part of the old Sunken Trace, also known as the Natchez Trace and The Devil’s Backbone. This spot is about 40 miles North of Natchez. In one area, the trace forked, then came back together. I can only assume that at some point the road had become so bad that travelers carved out another route, then merged back into the original road.
The trace began as a series of paths for hunters. By 1733 the French had mapped the land showing an Indian trail linking Natchez to the northeast. Ohio River Valley farmers floated their crops and products down the Mississippi river to Natchez and New Orleans, sold the flatboats for lumber, then returned via the trace.
To give you a better idea of how worn this trail had become before falling into disuse in the early 1900’s, here is a picture of my mother standing at a distance on the trail itself. You can see where the road merges back together on the left of this picture.
We were there about nine in the morning on July 9. It was very still, and the temperature was still fairly comfortable, but getting a little steamy. There were no birds, no squirrels, or other animals out and about at that time of day. Mama informed me that if we had gotten there earlier, we would have heard the birds chirping, possibly seen squirrels running around, so I bow to her wisdom. But deep in those canyon walls of the trace, the crickets and grasshoppers created a constant chirping like the muted roar of a distant stream.
I can just imagine all sorts of trouble on that trail. Can’t you?
Our next stop was Mount Locust. It is one of the only inns left standing that dotted the old trace along the 500 mile route between 1785-1830. It has been restored to its 1810 appearance when travel on the trace was at its peak. Mount Locust is about 15 miles north of Natchez and was the first stand on the road toward Nashville. We arrived at Mount Locust about 10 in morning and the temperature had climbed with the sun. It was hot and muggy, and you could cut the humidity with a knife.
Ranger Rick was on duty at the gift shop, and he and I had a great time chatting about the area. My poor mother had to put up with me traipsing all over the grounds taking pictures and videotaping. Her self-guided tour ended before mine, and she high-tailed it back to the gift shop to wait me out with Ranger Rick and the AC!
Mount Locust was considered lavish for a frontier home of the time period since most homes were crude one room log cabins. A couple of things I’d like to point out. The beautiful green fields surrounding Mount Locust were probably filled with crops when it was a working plantation and a stop for weary travelers.
I also included the picture of the table setting. The small table in the back is set with horn cups. Little things like horn cups seem to get lost in the big picture when writing historicals. But just as little foxes can spoil the vine, little details can make your story shine.
And my favorite picture of the entire trip is this one that I took of the arbor. I fell in love with the arbor. The canopy of trees plus the greenery over the arbor created a cool breeze even on such a steamy hot day. This picture is now my wallpaper on my laptop.
And when I get a chance to work on my wip
set in the area, all I have to do is look at that picture and I am IN Connor and Marie’s world.
I could go on and on, but I’m afraid this has gone too long already.
My mother and I enjoyed the rest of the trip immensely, touring King’s Tavern, Ellicott Hill (1797), Natchez Under-the-Hill, and a host of other places.
Mary, thank you for inviting me to Petticoats and Pistols. I’ve had a blast transcribing my video footage for the P&P readers. Just wish I could have shared more, but y’all meet me under the arbor.
We’ll share a cool glass of lemonade chilled in the nearby well and chew the fat until the sun goes down.
When Livy O’Brien spies a young boy jostling a man walking along the boardwalk, she recognizes the act for what it is. After all, she used to be known as Light-fingered Livy. But that was before she put her past behind her and moved to the growing town of Chestnut, Illinois, where she’s helping to run an orphanage. Now she’ll do almost anything to protect the street kids like herself.
Sheriff’s deputy Jake Russell had no idea what he was in for when he ran into Livy–literally–while chasing down a pickpocket. With a rash of robberies and a growing number of street kids in town–as well as a loan on the family farm that needs to be paid off–Jake doesn’t have time to pursue a girl. Still, he can’t seem to get Livy out of his mind. He wants to get to know her better . . . but Livy isn’t willing to trust any man, especially not a lawman.
Award-winning author Pam Hillman writes inspirational fiction set in the turbulent times of the American West and the Gilded Age. Her debut book, Stealing Jake, won the American Christian Fiction Writer’s Genesis contest and was a finalist in Romance Writers of America’s prestigious Golden Heart contest. She lives in Mississippi with her husband and family.
Pam on the web:
My website: www.pamhillman.com
My blog: www.calicotrails.blogspot.com
Group blog: www.seekerville.blogspot.com
Stealing Jake is an ebook ONLY. But, you do NOT have to have a Kindle or Nook or device like that to get it. It will download to your computer if you get the Kindle/Nook/etc app for your PC, MAC, iPad or cell phone. Leave a comment to get your name in the drawing for a ecopy of Stealing Jake.
Or…click the cover below to buy.