Auburn has open house

Published 12:00 am Monday, December 15, 2008

NATCHEZ — The doors to Auburn were wide open Sunday afternoon.

Donated to the City of Natchez in 1911, the antebellum home has been operated by the Auburn Garden Club since 1972.

And on Sunday the club had their annual open house and free tours at Auburn.

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The club started hosting the annual open houses three years ago.

“The people of Natchez — this is their home,” Garden Club President Phyllis Feiser said.

In the past year, the club has undertaken the project of restoring previously walled-off window in the upstairs music room.

The window could be seen from the outside, but in the room itself it had been covered with plywood and then wallpapered over, Feiser said.

The window had been closed since 1972, and after getting permission from the city — from whom the garden club leases the house — and the Department of Archives and History, the club hired Concordia Millwork to restore the window.

Garden club member Dottie McGehee said before the window was restored the music room had been used as a bedroom and the window space had a bed in front of it.

Restoring the window, “opened up the whole room,” McGehee said. “It didn’t have balance when the window was walled off.”

The garden club has not settled on their next project for the house, but it may be to get curtains for the window or to get heating and air-conditioning for the upstairs rooms, Feiser said.

“Right now we have window units, and they don’t work all that well for these rooms,” she said.

Garden club member Robin Cain said she would like to see more people join the club and work with them on the house.

“We meet some wonderful people,” she said. “It’s a lot of fun.”