Saturday, January 22, 2011

Jo-Anna Motel, North Washington Street, Vicksburg

North Washington Street runs from downtown Vicksburg to the junction with 61 bypass. On the east side of Washington Street, near the turnoff at Haining Road, which leads to the Port of Vicksburg, sat the Jo-Anna Motel (address 1750 Washington St.). The brick rooms were arranged in an en echelon pattern with a two-floor unit at the north end. A friend told me she remembered when it was built in the late 1940s or early 1950s. According to the Preservation in Mississippi blog, the architect was N.D. Galo, presumably of Vicksburg.

The Jo-Anna was typical of the American trailer court, catering to a post-war generation on the move. With flowers in the planters out front, it was probably a cheerful place in its prime. But since the 1980s, it was nasty-looking, and I recall seeing equally rough cars parked there. However, some renovations had been made, and the asbestos tile roof was replaced with a new metal roof in the 1990s.

The Jo-Anna once had an attached restaurant. My friend said she remembered going there with her parents for Sunday dinner. But as you can see, the restaurant had converted into a beer joint of seedy disposition.

At least they asked patrons to not bring their weapons. Maybe the establishment provided them. All the buildings were purchased by the Park Service and demolished around 2005 or 2006. The land is now part of the Vicksburg Military Park but is not being used.

This scan of a post card is courtesy of a friend who writes the Preservation in Mississippi blog. Notice this shows the units to have flat roofs. Also, the artist took some geological liberty when drafting the post card: the hill behind does not exist. Maybe tectonics since the 1950s resulted in some orogeny (mountain-building).....
Update August 20, 2014. I found the origin of the postcard. It is from the Tichnor Collection at the Boston Public Library. Some 25,000 post cards are posted on flickr.


  1. I remember this place as I was growing up in the 40's and 50's. I've seen a lot of buildings demolished in my hometown of Vicksburg. So sad!

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