Library tour of homes a success

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 9, 2003

NATCHEZ &045; It was beginning to look, feel and smell a lot like Christmas Sunday as many people gathered around to tour three extravagantly decorated homes.

The Friends of the Library hosted their annual Christmas Tour of Homes Sunday from 2 to 5 p.m. and people wandered around downtown from the three homes &045; The Mellen House, the Merrill House and Twin Oaks.

With tall, ornate trees, wreaths, lights and garland hung and tables finely set, the three homes showed their history along with their beauty all to benefit the George W. Armstrong Library downtown with this major fundraiser.

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&uot;We think it was very successful,&uot; said Virginia O’Beirne of the fundraiser, president of the Friends of the Library.

&uot;They’re (the homes) all very different from one another but that’s what makes it great.

&uot;It’s been delightful,&uot; she said, with the &uot;exquisite&uot; decorations and the happy tourists at the homes.

The Merrill House, just a stone’s throw from the library itself, welcomed visitors with a greeter at the bottom of the steps, John Williams and his wonderful &uot;welcome&uot; and small Christmas trees and wreaths at the door.

After entering, much of the talk was about the restoring of the old home. Walking through, there was a touch of Christmas in each and every room and a punch of color with the yellow calla lilies and red rose centerpieces.

&uot;We’ve had a good time,&uot; owner Gwen Ball said.

&uot;It was fun, for us, to see people come through the door that we haven’t seen in a while.&uot;

At Twin Oaks, there was a homey feel with the stocking hung on the chimney and the semi-edible Christmas ornaments on the tree. But the gumdrops, gingerbread men and chocolate were only for decoration and the attention they received from tourists, not really to eat.

&uot;I think people like to see it lived in,&uot; said Twin Oaks owner Regina Charboneau. &uot;It was like having a Christmas party Š and I just had to decorate.&uot;

And that she did with not only the tree but the dining room table, with the centerpiece made out of stuff from her own garden.

At the Mellen House, which was bustling with conversation in the back because of the refreshment area, the signs of Christmas hung around every corner, even with wreaths hanging at the windows. The fireplaces were elegantly framed with decorations.

Overall, the owners and the guests seemed pleased with the entire tour.

&uot;It was wonderful,&uot; said Dunbar Flinn of Natchez. &uot;I do it every year, I enjoy it so much.&uot;