The Historic District
The National Register Woodville Historic District has been a major focus for The Woodville Civic Club for several decades.
Today we have 226 sites listed on our National Register Woodville Historic District. They have been added in four different phases.
In 1982 the first district, with 129 sites, was established by William C. Allen, the then Chief Architectural Historian with the Mississippi Department of Archives and History. A complete inventory of that district was published in November of 1992 in Volume III of THE JOURNAL OF WILKINSON COUNTY HISTORY. The 309 page book contains the complete nomination form along with stories of each of the sites which were written by Stella M. Pitts of Woodville. The stories trace ownership as much as possible but best provide a snapshot of the Historic District, its people, and the history of the structures as it all exists in 1992.
Photographs were by Jim Pitts; it was indexed by Mary Magruder McGehee and Julia Mae Montfort; and it was edited by Ernesto Caldeira.
In the nomination form, the Woodville District is described as follows:
Located between the historic towns of Natchez, Mississippi, and St. Francisville, Louisiana, Woodville, Mississippi, is a small community (population 1,508) which is a classic portrait of a quiet southern town.
The focal point of Woodville is the Courthouse Square where a tree-shaded green is tightly enclosed by dense rows of one- and two-story commercial buildings. Surrounding this "urban core" are residential streets lined with an excellent collection of nineteenth-century residential and ecclesiastical structures situated on spacious lots.
The visual interaction between the Courthouse Square and the residential neighborhoods dovetail the two so successfully that Woodville appears as a single unit rather than as a collection of distinct neighborhoods.
The gently rolling terrain is sharply interrupted by deep bayous at the northern edge of Woodville. Here, development is much more erratic and vegetation appears more wild than in the cultivated areas south, east and west of the square.
The Woodville Historic District encompasses a sizeable portion of the present day town and most of the nineteenth-century village within its limits. District boundaries were drawn around a cohesive historic core leaving out as much recent development as possible. Within the district are approximately 140 buildings representing an architectural range from the Federal style through post World War II revivals. The majority of contributing resources, however, date from 1820 to 1930. Many structures are modest even by Woodville's standards while most are commodious one-and-one-half to two-and one-half-story frame or brick structures. Only a handful could be considered monumental in scale or intent. The vast majority are occupied and reasonably well maintained.
In 1993, when a gift was made to the Woodville Civic Club of the old Depot building by Mr. Richard Watson and Mr. Lamont Rowe , and the Civic Club had entered a contract with the Town of Woodville, and a restoration of the site was planned, the Depot was added to the Register.
Sadly the Depot burned to the ground during a clean-up project in preparation for work to begin..
In 1999, when it was felt the boundaries of the district need to be increased, 85 more sites were added by Jefferson Mansell, then an Architectural Historian with the Mississippi Department of Archives and History. These sites were mostly to the west of downtown
In 2001, 12 more were added and they were mostly north of town along US 61.