Rhett Butler of Natchez joins former garden club

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The ladies of Auburn Antebellum Home call him the Rhett Butler of Auburn, but Clark Feiser just considers himself a man who loves history and loves to meet new people.

When tourists arrive at Auburn during Pilgrimage they are greeted on the porch by Feiser, who is the first male member of Auburn Antebellum Home.

Adorned in his period-style white suit and straw brimmed hat, Feiser enchants the visitors with history of the house, allowing them a small glimpse into what life was like back in the mid to late 1800s.

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“The women just love it,” Feiser said, commenting about his outfit. “They come and take pictures.”

Feiser began volunteering at the house about three years ago when he and his wife Phyllis moved to Natchez from Pennsylvania. He started doing light maintenance work and filling in when needed with tours. But, it wasn’t until the official change of the house’s name from the Auburn Garden Club to the Auburn Antebellum Home in September that Feiser was allowed to be a member.

“Clark has done so much since they first moved here,” Auburn Antebellum Home member Donna Martello said. “So it’s fitting that he became a member.”

Since becoming a member, Feiser carries slightly more of the same duties as he did when he was a volunteer.

He still does light maintenance, like changing light bulbs and air filters, but now he is required to do tours.

During Pilgrimage he does tours on the porch and during the rest of the year he is required to do four tours a month.

“I just enjoy the house,” Feiser said. “It’s a fun house.”

Auburn is owned by the City of Natchez but managed by Feiser’s group. It was open for tours during Fall Pilgrimage and is open year round Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.