The Windsor Ruins is located 12 miles southwest of Port Gibson on highway 552. Construction on the mansion began in 1859 and was completed in 1861. The house was lived in for only two weeks by the original owner Smith Coffee Daniell II. Daniel was born and raised in Mississippi by an Indian turned farmer and landowner. He was married with three children at the time of his passing only aged 34. It has been said that Mark Twain used to compare the house to a college due to the size of the house.
Slave labor was used to build the house which was a large four storey home and furnished elaborately and with a wrought iron staircase. The house reflected Southern life at the time. Tanks were installed in the attic for supplying water to the interior baths. There were twenty five rooms, twenty five fireplaces, a basement that contained a school room, a dairy and supply rooms. A commissary and doctors office was located on the first floor of the house. The roof of the house was used to signal Confederate troops of Yankee advances.
During the Civil War the house was used as a Union hospital and observation post. This is what saved the house from being burned by the Union troops.
Windsor burned on February 17, 1890 during a house party when a guest left a lit cigar on the upper balcony. Only 23 of the 29, 45-foot columns remain of the grand home that supported the roof line.
The wrought iron staircase is now part of the Alcorn State University. The ruins of Windsor have made cameos in several films such as Raintree County with Elizabeth Taylor. The columns of the house have appeared in the movie Ghosts of Mississippi. These columns are thirty fee high Corinthian columns are a reminder of the grand existence the Windsor House was.