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Historic Natchez Foundation doing critical work for us all

Natchez’s most valiant protector of history — and sometimes most controversial — celebrates four decades of existence this month.

Imagining Natchez without the Historic Natchez Foundation is like imagining America without baseball, mom or apple pie.

Imagining the Historic Natchez Foundation without Ron and Mimi Miller is also nearly impossible. Both have been instrumental in HNF’s success and longevity.

We cannot image a block in downtown Natchez that hasn’t been touched in some ways by the Millers and the HNF, either directly or indirectly.

The beautiful part of the Historic Natchez Foundation is that it sees all of Natchez’s history as important — history of the rich and the poor, the stories of whites and blacks and all other differentiators.

To HNF what most of us view as a rundown shack may represent the kind of houses a cotton mill worker may have lived in more than 100 years ago. That common mill worker’s life and history are important — perhaps more important than the history of the people who dwelled in the enormous mansions for which Natchez is so well known.

In many ways the history of Natchez’s most wealthy individuals is well documented, but stories of the everyday citizen of the past are also important threads in the fabric of Natchez’s history.

Sometimes the HNF’s desire to hold onto and preserve that history has drawn fire from some, but most people who do important work draw harsh critics. Fortunately, HNF has weathered the occasional storms of public opinion through four decades.

We offer a hearty thank you for all their work and well wishes on another 40 years to the HNF’s staff and volunteers.

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