Get in the spirit with library tour of homes

Published 12:00am Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Enjoy another highlight of the Natchez holiday celebration and attend the Friends of the Library Christmas Tour of Homes from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Tickets are $15 for one or $25 for two and may be purchased in advance at the library or Natchez Pilgrimage Tours at the visitors’ center and at any home on Sunday. These properties are seldom open to the public and will be beautifully decorated for the holidays.

Once again, in addition to the homes, we will have a historic building as the refreshment center. This year’s site is Trinity Episcopal Church, Kuehnle Hall.

Your ticket will include a tour of the beautiful sanctuary and its beautiful stained glass windows by Louis Comfort Tiffany and John LaFarge as well as all four homes.

If you have never seen these windows,  especially the restoration and lighting of the LaFarge window at the front of the sanctuary, you are in for a rare treat.

A huge thank you goes to Mimi Miller for her assistance in providing detailed histories and descriptions of these houses.

The houses this year have rich and varied stories of Natchez from the 1830s through the early 1900s and bring memories of many well-known Natchez families.

Lantana Hill, home of Richard and Coral Byrd, on Orleans has undergone many “face lifts” since 1837, including major renovations by John and Valerie Bergeron, and culminating in wonderful additions and landscaping by the Byrds.

Yvonne Murray’s house on Washington is still a work in progress, as she is redoing this 1830s house which originally stood on Pearl Street. An early owner, Dr. Henry Tooley,  is still known for his work on meteorology.

Natchezians have probably passed the Canal Street home of Cammie and Bill Dale many, many times without noticing its most unique feature — a curved front wall. It was built in three distinct stages between 1850 and 1905, and has been associated with many well-known families.

The beautiful Colonial Revival home of Connie and Pat Burns has also been home to several prominent Natchez families.

Quite unusual for the period of the early 1900s and not ending until 1977, the property was always owned by women, three of whom had husbands at the time of purchase.

All proceeds support library programs and are especially important in this time of tight budget.

Get into the holiday spirit and help a good cause.

Tour the homes, have dinner downtown, and enjoy the Alcorn choir that night at St. Mary.

For additional information, visit the library website at or call 601-445-8862.


Maria Bowser is the president of the Friends of the Library.


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