Jeff Busby, United States Congressman from Houston, Mississippi, was approached by the DAR to write a bill to survey the original Natchez Trace and start a federal parkway. He wrote the bill and it passed in the house and senate. He heard that President Roosevelt had doubts about signing the bill into law so Mr. Busby made a hurried trip from Houston, MS to Washington to meet with Roosevelt. Roosevelt said, “Jeff, if you say it’s the thing to do, I’ll sign the bill.” He signed the bill into law and thus the Natchez Trace Parkway was born. I was married to Jeff Busby’s son, Charles Winston Busby. Charles was Mississippi’s first full-time bankruptcy judge we had three children, Donna, Charles, Jr. and Jeff, IV. Charles passed away in 1972.
There’s an eight mile section of the ‘Old Trace’, known primarily only to the locals, just north of Highway 43, in Madison County, Mississippi. I took this photo from a point on Old Trace Road, looking toward the current ‘new Trace’ at approximately Mile Post 118.5. Old Trace Road runs north from Mississippi Highway 43 to Ratliff Ferry Road and parallels the current Natchez Trace. Less than the distance of a football field separate the old and new trace. The current Trace is at the midpoint of the photo, just above the old weathered bridge. I didn’t see Mr. Turtle or Mr. Gator but I’m sure they saw me.