Stratton Chapel Gallery is situated in State Street at the back of the First Presbyterian Church and across the road from the town hall in Natchez, Mississippi. The gallery is open from 10am to 4pm Monday to Saturday and visitors are asked to make a donation when they enter the building. More information about visiting times and making donations can be obtained by contacting the First Presbyterian Church office.
The gallery exhibits a collection of over 500 photographs taken from as early as 1840, and provides an insight into life in Natchez over the course of its early history and through to the mid 20th century. The collection includes photographs of steamboat activities along the river and views of downtown Natchez as it once looked back in the 19th century.
There are also portraits of the residents of Natchez from over 100 years ago, showing them in their day to day life and their houses. This collection includes the works of Henry and Earl Norman and was restored over many years by Dr. Thomas Gandy and his wife Joan. There are other pictures by well known photographers such as J.M White, Henry D. Gurney and Henry C. Norman.
The photographs are supported by captions to give visitors an understanding of what they are looking at and there are helpful guides at the front door too. The pictures were apparently all developed from glass negatives that had been sitting on a Natchez patio in cardboard boxes. Reviews by people who have visited the gallery recently all speak very highly of the pictures, with an appreciation of the time and effort made in putting the collection together.
Stratton Chapel was built in the Romanesque Revival style in 1901 as an extension to the First Presbyterian Church, and early Sunday and smaller services are still held here. The main services and ceremonies are held in the main church, which was built in the early 19th century. Visitors can take a tour around the main church too, whilst across the street is the Fellowship Hall where a playschool is held as well as a full service kitchen, gymnasium, offices and a library.
There are a number of eateries and restaurants nearby including the Pig Out Inn Barbeque about 200 meters away from the gallery in S. Canal Street. The Carriage House Restaurant in High Street offers various types of fare but specializes in seafood and is just 300 meters away. Other top rated restaurants in Natchez include Castle Restaurant serving Cajun and Creole food in Homochitto Street or Mammy's Cupboard, which provides homemade lunches.
Natchez is filled with great history and guests may like to take a trip to some of the historic buildings featured here such as Rosalie Mansion. Visitors can also make a trip to the Historic Natchez Cemetery, which features some fine architecture as well interesting guided tours. In Lower Woodville Road is the largest octagonal house in the country called Longwood, and although construction started in 1860, the build was delayed by the Civil War and remains unfinished to this day.