Preserve your Saturday for this party

Published 11:57 pm Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The weather is gorgeous, flowers are blooming, the evening air is magical and spring has arrived. This is the time of the year that we all look forward to for the sheer enjoyment of the breaths of fresh air, and wonderful times with friends.

I have an invitation to a perfect spring night for you and your friends on Saturday, as you join us for the seventh-annual Natchez Garden Club Party for Preservation. You will take part in an evening of great food, drink, music and dancing — all of this at the beautiful home Mount Repose, and all for a very worthy cause.

The Preservation Society of Ellicott Hill was chartered in May 1976, in conjunction with The Natchez Garden Club, for the purpose of promoting and encouraging interest in the buildings and sites of historic significance. The main objective of which is to maintain and restore these magnificent properties. We were able to complete the restoration of the exterior of The House on Ellicott Hill in 2002, due largely in part to a matching grant of $150,000 from the Mississippi Department of Archives and History and the generosity of supporters from the Miss-Lou.

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We began the interior renovation and restoration in May of 2004 and we are still hard at work. One of the many projects that are a part of the interior phase work includes electrical rewiring, plaster repairs, repainting and support structures, just to name a few. As one can well imagine, the cost of these repairs is tremendous and our only source of funding is from the continued community support, and from this particular fundraiser, the Party for Preservation. We at this time do not have any grants that are assisting us in this very important endeavor.

The theme for the party this year will be “Preservation Now and Then,” and will be at the beautiful home Mount Repose. This gorgeous home and land was originally occupied by William Bisland and his wife, Mary Louisa Lavinia Witherspoon in 1824. Today, Mount Repose is the country home of the family of William Bisland’s descendant Shields Brown and her husband Larry L. “Butch” Brown.

On Saturday, April 19 from 6 to 8 p.m., this beautiful home and its surrounding grounds will play host to our annual party which is located on 1 Bisland Road. This relaxing and enjoyable evening will include cocktails and impeccable hors d’oeuvres, friends and fabulous music by Art, a fabulous group out of Jackson, and former Natchez native Forrest Gordon.

Please join us for a wonderful evening by purchasing your tickets for $35 each. A cash bar will also be provided. There will be advanced ticket sales available however; there will be no reserved tables. Tickets are available at the Natchez Garden Club office at 601-443-9065 or Kimbrell’s Office Supply at 601-442-1494. Tickets will be available at the gate of Mount Repose.

Marla Farmer is a member of the Natchez Garden Club.