Pilgrimage comes to cloudy close

Published 12:00 am Saturday, October 9, 1999

Cloudy skies marked the close Saturday of the last day of the Natchez Fall Pilgrimage.

This year’s pilgrimage lasted from Sept. 22 to Oct. 9 with 18 antebellum houses open for tour.

&uot;The last day of pilgrimage has been very busy,&uot; said Sherry Steele, customer service supervisor at Natchez Pilgrimage Tours.

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Although this year’s fall pilgrimage was slightly shorter than in past years, Steele was impressed with the crowd. &uot;Overall we have had a very steady pilgrimage,&uot; she said.

Dr. George Moss and his wife, Margaret, owners of the antebellum house Texada had a busy Saturday morning welcoming guests.

&uot;Things are going very nicely,&uot; Margaret Moss said. &uot;We’ve had a steady stream of people coming in.&uot;

Margaret Moss, dressed in a hoop skirt, gave tours of the main house.

&uot;We’ve had a great many people who have come to Natchez for the second or third time,&uot;&160;she said.

Dr. Moss greeted guests at an adjacent brick building, which originally was a kitchen until the Mosses turned it into living quarters.

&uot;I call this the little house,&uot; Dr. Moss told the guests. &uot;We moved in here and lived here for eight years while we fixed up the (main) house.&uot;

He and his wife have restored six houses, he said.

Business owners at the Canal Street Depot had mixed feelings about this year’s pilgrimage.

&uot;We’ve had good traffic, but I think it would have been better if it had been later,&uot;&160;said Clydeene Lackey, the owner of Southern Traditions.

Lackey, who has seen 16 pilgrimages, thought the crowds were down this fall. &uot;September is not a good travel month,&uot;&160;she said.

Hank Smith the owner of Hullabaloo Gifts, Books and Fancies said he thought numbers were slightly lower than last year but still adequate.

&uot;It’s been good. I’ve been pleased with the number of people that have (been through),&uot; he said. &uot;It’s been worth it.&uot;

He also thought changes in the date may have played a factor.