On May 12, 2021, Carter Burns presented “Early Findings from the Natchez Outbuilding Survey” as part of the History Is Lunch series.
Natchez and Adams County are thought to be the nation’s richest source of nineteenth-century dependency buildings, such as quarters for enslaved workers, kitchens, smoke houses, privies, dairies, barns, and carriage houses. The Natchez Outbuilding Survey, a partnership between the Historic Natchez Foundation, the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, and the Natchez National Historical Park, aims to collect site plans, photographs, and drawings of the estimated 200 such structures.
“These buildings, which also include billiard halls, doctors’ offices, and a ten-pin alley, have not been previously studied in-depth,” said Burns, executive director of the Historic Natchez Foundation. “We expect the project will shed light on the lives of the enslaved people, servants, and laborers who lived and worked in them.”
In the initial phase of the project a general survey will gather such basic information as photographs, floorplans, and narrative histories. The Historic Natchez Foundation will use that information to create a National Register of Historic Places nomination. In the second phase, Tulane University director of Preservation Studies Brent Fortenberry will document the buildings through a variety of methods including 3D laser scans, drone photography, and photogrammetry.
Executive director of the Historic Natchez Foundation, Carter Burns holds a BA in English from Millsaps College, a JD from the University of Mississippi School of Law, and a Master of Historic Preservation from the University of Georgia. A Natchez native, Carter worked part-time for the Historic Natchez Foundation throughout high school and college. He serves on the board of directors of the Mississippi Historical Society and the National Preservation Partners Network and is a former member of the board of directors of the Mississippi Heritage Trust.