John Periander Walworth built The Burn circa 1834. The current and eighth owners of the home are Glenn and Bridget Green. The Burn was first opened as a bed-and-breakfast establishment in the 1970s and continues to be in operation today.
Walworth hired T.J. Hoyt of New York as the architect for The Burn. Originally built on 100 acres, The Burn now sits on approximately two acres.
The house gets its name from the brook that ran through the property. Walworth was of Scottish descent and the Scottish word for brook is “burn.”
The Burn has been referred to as the “transition house of Natchez.” The architecture of The Burn moved from the previous Georgian influence to the new Greek Revival style.
From the front, The Burn appears to be a one-and-a-half story home, but the rear view reveals a full three stories. The main house has approximately 9,000 square feet. It has been said that the house was built in such a manner that it did not appear ostentatious.
The Walworth family lived in The Burn for three generations. Ernestine Walworth sold The Burn in the 1930s. Ernestine was the last of the Walworth family to live in The Burn. Walworth family descendants remained in “Chattawa” next door until about 2003.
The house was sold to the Laub family, who did much to restore the home and the gardens. The Laubs planted many of the camellias and azaleas that remain in the garden today.
The only original furniture that remains in the house is the dining room table. The present owners have purchased the other furnishings.
John Walworth was born in Aurora, N.Y., in 1798 and came to Natchez by way of Cleveland, Ohio.
He took a job as a letter carrier for the postal service, but by 1825, he and his brother, Horace, had opened a mercantile store in Natchez.
During his lifetime he acquired three plantations, served as president of Planters Bank and served as an alderman and mayor of Natchez.
By the year 1860, his real estate holdings totaled $300,000 and his personal property was valued at $26,000, making him one of the wealthiest men in Natchez.
A sales receipt dated January 1861 from his plantation by the name of Fawnwood shows a total of $45,700.
Although John Walworth was born in the North, both of his sons served in the Confederate army under General William T. Martin.
Douglas, the oldest son, served in the Mississippi Senate before the war and voted for Mississippi to secede from the Union. Family legend says that he only cast this vote after making a plea that Mississippi continue to fight for its rights as a part of the Union. Losing the argument, he cast his vote in an effort to establish unity in the decision.
In 1863, after the fall of Vicksburg, Natchez was occupied by Union troops. The Walworth family was given 24 hours to vacate their home. The Union army took The Burn and used it for a hospital and headquarters for Major John P. Coleman. The family was not allowed back into their home until 1866.
Photographs of the Walworth family members remain in the home as well as photographs of Union officers on the front porch of The Burn.