Our Family Adventure

Vicksburg, Mississippi To Demopolis, Alabama To Florida

We awoke on Day 7 in Vicksburg, Mississippi

We washed up, packed the car and hit the road. I initially wanted to get in some touring of civil war battlefields when I was planning this trip, but decided against it because I don't think the kids would have enjoyed it. So I had nixed that plan and instead substituted a haunted mansion.

There was not much in Mississippi that I found interesting to do with kids when I was planning, so we jumped on I-20E and zoomed across the whole state. We went past Jackson and jumped onto US Route 80E for awhile, which parallels I-20E, so that we could see some of the real Mississippi and not just a major highway. We got back on I-20E and headed through Meridian, Mississippi.

We approached the Alabama border and once again got onto US Route 80E since it headed across the middle of Alabama and we didn't want to stay on I-20E which started heading more northerly.

Welcome to Alabama

We continued on and ended up after 3 hours at the town of Demopolis, Alabama. Demopolis is on the Tombigbee River and was founded by a group of Frenchmen who followed Napoleon. After awhile they found they couldn't farm there well with what they wanted to grow and abandoned it. The town square is quite incredible and done up in brickwork roads.

Now I had done my research on the Internet and was sure that everything was in order. This was the first downturn in our journey though as far as attractions. We finally got to Gaineswood, a mansion said to be haunted, and it was closed! It was a weekend, but they had apparently decided to cut their hours and didn't update their website.

Gaineswood Gaineswood Locked
As close as we got to Gaineswood. Locked gate on old creepy fence.
After phoning the number, which was on the locked gate several times, and just getting an answering machine, I dug through our trip plan sure that there was another place here as well.

I was right! Bluff Hall, a mansion just down the street with just as interesting a historical past, though not haunted.

Bluff Hall Plaque
Bluff Hall

It was a beautiful mansion. When we got there and entered the tour/gift shop the girl there was very pleasant. We paid the small fee and she gave us a solo tour of the house, which allowed us to linger and ask questions. The kids had just as many questions as I did. I took a ton of pictures and some of them are below.

Bluff Hall Main Room Bluff Hall Main Room Bluff Hall Kitchen Bluff Hall Back Yard
Great Room Kitchen Backyard
Bluff Hall Master Bedroom Bluff Hall Master Bedroom Bluff Hall Womens Room Bluff Hall Womens Room
Master Bedroom Womens Room
Bluff Hall Study Bluff Hall Bedroom
Study Bedroom
Click Images To Enlarge

We completed the tour and thanked the guide for her generous descriptions and time taken to answer our questions and allowing us to linger.

There was nothing else on the slate for us this day other than to drive. We continued along US Route 80 east and went through Selma, Alabama, center of the civil rights movement. From Selma to Montgomery along US Route 80 it is named the Selma-to-Montgomery National Historic Trail. Here's a little history on this from the National Park Service

The Selma-to-Montgomery March for voting rights ended three weeks--and three events--that represented the political and emotional peak of the modern civil rights movement. On "Bloody Sunday," March 7, 1965, some 600 civil rights marchers headed east out of Selma on U.S. Route 80. They got only as far as the Edmund Pettus Bridge six blocks away, where state and local lawmen attacked them with billy clubs and tear gas and drove them back into Selma. Two days later on March 9, Martin Luther King, Jr., led a "symbolic" march to the bridge.


On Sunday, March 21, about 3,200 marchers set out for Montgomery, walking 12 miles a day and sleeping in fields. By the time they reached the capitol on Thursday, March 25, they were 25,000-strong. Less than five months after the last of the three marches, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965--the best possible redress of grievances.

We didn't stop anywhere in Selma, but all along the drive to Montgomery I thought of people walking the whole route. It is quite a journey.

The Original plan was to continue east along 80 to Montgomery and stop for the night. When we got there though I decided I wanted to continue on. Our next destination was Florida and so we went from US Route 80 east onto US Route 231 south. I kept driving for about 125 miles and several hours and entered Florida.

Welcome to Florida

I then took I-10 East for several hours, about 160 miles and passing Tallahassee. Midway through the state I took I-75 south and we stopped soon after for the night. I was pretty exhausted, but happy at our progress for the day.

It was pretty late when we got in and I collapsed on the bed as we had a long day planned for day 8.

  1. Sacramento To Redondo Beach
  2. Redondo Beach To Hollywood To Route 66 And Oatman, AZ
  3. Grand Canyon Caverns To Grand Canyon To Meteor Crater To Wigwam Motel
  4. Wigwam Motel To Petrified Forest To Painted Desert To Albuquerque To Tucumcari, New Mexico
  5. Tucumcari, New Mexico Through Texas Panhandle To Oklahoma City Bombing Memorial
  6. Dealey Plaza In Dallas, TX To Louisiana Downs At Harrah's In Bossier City To Bonnie And Clyde Historic Marker In Gibsland, LA To Vicksburg, MS
  7. Vicksburg, Mississippi To Demopolis, Alabama To Florida
  8. Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom
  9. Orlando, Florida To Daytona Beach To Savannah, Georgia To Myrtle Beach, South Carolina To ???
  10. Ferry To Ocracoke Island And Cape Hatteras Outer Banks, North Carolina To Wright Brothers National Monument At Kitty Hawk To Newport News, Virginia
  11. Newport News, Virginia To Washington DC To Rochester, New York