LOOKING BACK: How 723 Grove St. came out on top
Published 8:00 am Wednesday, July 19, 2023
By Nancy Bell | Vicksburg Foundation for Historic Preservation
As early as 1877, the building at 723 Grove St., at the northwest corner of Walnut Street, was the grocery store and residence of Jacob and Eva Sanguinetti and their family.
Eva died in 1882, leaving five daughters: Annie, Lizzie, Mary, Delia and Lena, and one son, John. John moved to Natchez where he married and raised his son after his wife died following childbirth.
Jacob died in February 1898 while, according to the Daily Commercial Herald, “walking out on the lower cemetery road with Manuel Gomes, Jr., he was suddenly taken ill at the Rigby Bridge and was brought home in a Spring woman (sic). His daughters attended to his sufferings but he died soon, his last words being to his children and the request of a priest.”
In 1891, John moved his sisters to Natchez, but they kept the house on Grove Street. The sisters moved back to the house in April 1893, bringing John Jr. back with them to raise. He attended St. Aloysius and graduated valedictorian of the class of 1908.
Two of the sisters, Lena (Youngblood) and Delia (Lanceskes) eventually married, but Lena’s husband died young and she moved back in with her sisters. The building was their residence, with a couple of the sisters working outside the home as clerks.
In 1908, when the Cumberland Telephone Company erected a pole in front of their home, damaging the property, the sisters sued the company and they were awarded $50.
They and others in Vicksburg were involved in a lawsuit against the Vicksburg Waterworks, which also ended in their favor. Mary died in 1922 and John in 1928.
By 1929, the remaining sisters had moved to Clay Street and the building at 723 was rental property. It housed a number of restaurants, including Smith’s Chicken Box in 1962 and Ruby’s Hot Tamale Hut. The building was returned to residential use a number of years ago and remains an important part of the Grove and Walnut streetscape today.