Jefferson Cemetery

The public cemetery on the edge of Jefferson is one of the busiest places in Faulkner's imagination. Both his first Yoknapatawpha novel, Flags in the Dust, and (almost three decades later) the second volume in the Snopes Trilogy, The Town, basically end there. This is the cemetery to which Benjy Compson is being taken - though he does not get there - at the end of Faulkner's second Yoknapatawpha novel, The Sound and the Fury, and to which the Bundren family are taking the body of Addie through most of the third one, As I Lay Dying.

Hightower House

The house that Hightower buys in Light in August when he is forced to give up the church with its parsonage is a "dead and empty small house" on a "dead and empty little street" (310): "unpainted, small, obscure, poorly lighted, mansmelling, manstale" (48). Maples, crepe myrtle, syringea, and althea grow in the small yard. On the corner of the yard is an old sign, "three feet long and eighteen inches high," which advertises art lessons, hand-painted greeting cards, and photograph developing (58).

Burden Place

Although in Light in August the Burdens are abolitionists who come to Yoknapatawpha during Reconstruction to work for the rights of newly emancipated slaves, the large house they move into is an "old colonial plantation house" at the center of what was an antebellum slave plantation two miles from Jefferson (36). Now Joanna, the last surviving member of the family, lives there alone, "in a lonely house in a neighborhood populated, when at all, by negroes" (258). The entire property has fallen into decay even before the big house burns to the ground.

Coldfield House

The Coldfield residence in Jefferson is small, with "two storeys" (6) and one of the more famous attics in American fiction. During Rosa's childhood in the 1850s it was a "dim grim tight little house" (55), but doubtless well-maintained, with its "brick walk" (36) and "small, grimly middleclass yard or lawn" (15).

Compson Place

Best known as decaying, haunted mansion from The Sound and the Fury, the Compson place began as a prosperous antebellum slave plantation on a square mile of land so near the settlement of Jefferson that the property is eventually incorporated into the town. The "Appendix" that Faulkner wrote sixteen years after the novel notes the plantation's "slavequarters and stables and kitchengardens," "formal lawns and promenades and pavilions," and a "columned porticoed house" designed by an architect and furnished from France (328).

Holston House

Along with the jail, the Holston House is the oldest continuously standing building in Jefferson. It began as a tavern, founded by Alexander Holston, one of the town's original three white inhabitants. As Requiem for a Nun notes, it is "still" exists in mid-20th century Jefferson, with its "original log walls and puncheon floors and hand-mortised joints . . . still buried somewhere beneath the modern pressed glass and brick veneer and neon tubes" of the "hotel" owned and managed by descendants of the first Holston (7, 167).

County Jail

The jail in Jefferson appears in 16 different texts. In Flags in the Dust, the first Yoknapatawpha fiction, it's Bayard Sartoris who spends a night there; although he has been drinking, the jailer treats him as a guest rather than an inmate. In the other instances its inmates are lower class characters and, especially, Negroes. Jabbo Gatewood, for example, in The Town, is a black man who is regularly jailed for drunkenness.

Benbow House

In Flags in the Dust the ancestral home where Horace and Narcissa live is one of the oldest houses in one of Jefferson's oldest and most aristocratic neighborhoods. It was built in the 1840s by an English architect in what the narrator calls "the funereal light tudor which the young Victoria had sanctioned" (163). It is set well back from the street, with extensive, well-landscaped front grounds. To Horace Benbow, seeing it again for the first time after experiencing the Great War in France, the house expresses "the meaning of peace" (163).

Mitchell House

The narrator of Flags in the Dust calls this "huge brick house set well up onto the street" (24) a "majestic monstrosity" (180). Built on the site of a "fine old colonial house" by "a hillman who had moved in [to Jefferson] from a small settlement called Frenchman's Bend," it is described as "an architectual garbling so imposingly terrific as to possess a kind of majesty" (24).

Sartoris Plantation

First appearing in the first Yoknapatawpha fiction, Flags in the Dust, as the antebellum plantation "that John Sartoris built and rebuilt" (8), the Sartoris place four miles north of Jefferson is one of the most frequently visited locations in the Yoknapatawpha fictions. How it survived the challenges of the Civil War - including Yankee soldiers and emancipationist ideas - is dramatized in The Unvanquished stories.


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