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Natchez life captured in historic photographs

The Natchez in Historic Photographs exhibit has been in the Stratton Chapel of the First Presbyterian Church since 1995.

The exhibit began as a hobby and passion for Dr. Thomas Gandy, a Natchez physician who acquired the historic negatives in 1960 and spent years perfecting the craft of restoring the negatives and making prints to share not only with Natchez but with the rest of the world. The photo collection traveled across the globe, and in 1995 an exhibit opened in Natchez.

The photos, the result of Dr. Gandy’s great passion for history and great love for Natchez, became a labor of love for the volunteer docents who have graciously taken visitors through the exhibit throughout the years. The photos – glimpses of Natchez residents, streetscapes and events taken by father and son photographers – have given tourists a great Natchez history lesson, but they have also served to tie our residents to their past. The 525 photos show Natchez from the Civil War period through the beginning of the 20th century.

The exhibit has been valuable to our study of Natchez history, to the future of tourism efforts and to the understanding of the Natchez community.

Dr. Gandy and his wife, Joan, who together published several books of the photos before Dr. Gandy’s death, donated the negatives to Louisiana State University Special Collections. But the exhibit remains at Stratton Chapel for residents and tourists to see.

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