NATCHEZ, Miss. (WJTV) – The William Johnson House in Natchez will reopen on Friday, September 1, 2023.

Lead Historian Jeff Mansell, of the Natchez National Historical Park, said only the first floor will be open.

“The upper family living quarters will remain closed,” he said. “We have to rebuild the back galleries of both houses (William Johnson and McCallum House). The renovation in that area needs to be completed because structurally, it’s not safe.”

The house will be open seven days a week from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p. m. Tours are free to the public. Space for visitors and the bookstore will be on the first floor. A guide will also be available.

“We are in the process of doing the A and E (architect and engineering) work for the rebuilding of the galleries,” Mansell explained. “We are improving accessibility to the site and to the kitchen. We will install new exhibits in the kitchen downstairs.”

The William Johnson House is located at 210 State St., between South Canal and South Wall streets. It is one of five sites owned and operated by the Natchez National Historical Park.

The house initially closed in 2020 because of COVID-19, and it remained closed temporarily because of the need for property maintenance.

Johnson reportedly built the house in 1842 using bricks taken from buildings destroyed in an 1840 tornado.

Johnson (1809 -1851) was known as “The Barber of Natchez.” According to Mansell, Johnson trained many barbers, and he took in lots of children of mixed race relationships and trained them to become barbers.

Johnson is probably most famous for his 16-year diary, which was discovered in the 1930s in the attic of his house, said Mansell. His family sold the diary to Louisiana State University, and it was published in 1951. It remains in print to this day.