Anchuca B&B auctions Saturday and Sunday

Published 12:00 am Friday, December 8, 2000

Anchuca owner Loveta Byrne said she is ready to hand over the reins of her bed and breakfast so she can be closer to her family.

Byrne, a Jefferson County native, purchased Anchuca three years ago from May Burns, who led a 1970s restoration of the 5590 square-foot house.

“I just feel now that someone younger needs this house,” Byrne said.

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An auction is planned for Saturday and Sunday at the 11-room mansion on First East Street. The home itself, which is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places, and the land will be offered for sale through a sealed bid.

Byrne said she would like to move to Birmingham. “I want to be there to help my daughter with my grandchildren.”

But Byrne said she will miss the visitors and the sense of old-world charm the 1830s mansion offers.

“The people that you meet in this business really are special,” she said. “I have a lot of people that leave and say, Bye, Mom.'”

“I love old houses, and that’s all I’ve ever lived in,” Byrne said. “They just don’t make them like they used to.”

Byrne said she thinks tourists are drawn to antebellum homes to experience a bit of the past.

“How many people can say they slept in a house once visited by the president of the Confederacy?” Byrne asked.

Anchuca, which in Choctaw Indian means “happy home,” was once owned by Joseph Davis, brother of Confederate President Jefferson Davis.

Byrne, who moved to Vicksburg from Natchez, said old homes can offer a great escape for tourists, explaining why the number of bed and breakfast inns has grown to at least nine in Vicksburg.

“It is a great place to go if you really want to get away from everything,” she said. “I don’t even keep phones in the rooms.”

Byrne said she has mostly enjoyed the time she’s spent in Vicksburg, but she is ready to move forward.

“There comes that time when you know you need to go, and this is it for me,” she said.