Historic U.S. Sites Travel

McRaven in Vicksburg, Mississippi

McRaven House in Vicksburg, Mississippi
McRaven in Vicksburg, Mississippi

McRaven

1797-The Beginning

According to the McRaven website the first section of McRaven was built in 1797 by Andrew Glass. 

The original portion of McRaven was a two-story brick structure, consisting of a kitchen downstairs and one bedroom upstairs.  The bedroom was painted with buttermilk paint with horsehair mixed in and tinted with blueberries. 

Original 1797 bedroom of McRaven was painted with buttermilk paint tinted with blueberries.  

Magnolias on the grounds of McRaven

The second owner of the house was sheriff Stephen Howard. In 1836 Mr. Howard enclosed a patio to create a stairway and added a bedroom, dining room and 2 story covered veranda.

This section of the house was built in the Empire period and reflects the simple but decorative details of that time.


McRaven Hydrangeas

John H. Bobb bought the house in 1840. and added a parlor, master bedroom, men’s changing area and the flying wing staircase. The Bobbs lived in the house during the 47 day-long Siege of Vicksburg.

The house was hit by artillery several times as evident through found cannon balls and bullet holes in the plaster . The damage was patched but evidence still remains of their impact.

Cannon ball damage to McRavenA
Damage to the walls of McRaven from cannon fire during the Civil War.
Civil War cannon balls fired into the McRaven home and grounds

McRaven was used as a hospital and field camp during the war. 

On May 18, 1864, Bobb confronted Union soldiers that were damaging his gardens. Throwing a brick at one of the offenders, he injured a soldier. The rest of the soldiers vowed they would come back and burn his house down. 

Concerned they would fulfill their threat, Bobb went to the commanding officer and explained the situation. The officer shrugged it off and sent Mr. Bobb back to McRaven. 
A group of Union soldiers either (depending upon which side you favored) arrested or ambushed Mr. Bobb  .

Regardless of the circumstances of his capture the final outcome was certain. Bobb was dead from gunshot wounds to the back and face. 
He is buried at Cedar Hill Cemetery in Vicksburg.  

Master bedroom added by John H. Bobb in 1849

John H. Bobb was a wealthy land owner, slave holder and brick manufacturer. 
This section of the McRaven home is decorated in the Greek Revival style.
Bobb added the master bedroom (shown left), a parlor, men’s changing area and the flying wing staircase to McRaven. 

The subsequent owner of McRaven was the William Murray. Murray raised a family at McRaven. After the deaths of Mr. and Mrs. Murray, their two surviving daughters continued to live in the house until 1960. 
The house was not updated during this time period. There was no running water, indoor plumbing or electricity. The sisters were recluses and the house fell into disrepair. 
Because of, or despite their “neglect” the sisters made the home, what National Geographic in July 1963 called, “The Time Capsule of the South”. 

The last surviving sister Annie Murray sold the house to the Bradway family. The Bradways recognized McRaven as a unique historical treasure and undertook its preservation. They were the first to open it as a tour home. 

In 1984 Leyland French purchases the house and accurately restores the furnishing to the proper time periods appropriate to the different sections of the house. 
The house tours continued during his ownership until 2008, when it was closed to the public. 

The year 2015 brought new ownership to the house-Steven and Kendra Reed and it is again open for tours. 

Visit the McRaven website for touring details. 

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