Fall pilgrims welcomed with smiles

Published 1:50 am Sunday, October 3, 2010

NATCHEZ — The pilgrims who traveled from out of town this weekend to tour old houses made the trip for various reasons.

For one group, it was an opportunity for a girls’ trip.

“We got away from the husbands to have a good time with just the ladies,” Paula Splane said.

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Splane visited from the Glenfield Manion on the pink tour with her daughter, Simone and good friend Halli Polotzola.

The three women left Washington, La., for a day trip right after they stopped by the polls to vote.

George Cantley of Longview, Texas came to Glenfield because it is one of the few houses has not yet seen after attending spring pilgrimage for the past 12 years.

Cantley said he made his first trip to Natchez for pilgrimage in 1998, because it was a less expensive vacation than the Delta Cruise.

But after getting hooked to the tall trees, old houses and nice people of Natchez, Cantley said he never misses a year in his adopted town.

Cantley said he was excited to be at Glenfield for the first time, and liked that it was a departure from the Greek revival style and had a lived-in feel instead of a museum atmosphere.

Linda White drove from Monroe, La. to Natchez to tour Glenfield and the other houses on the pink tour as an excuse to take advantage of the nice weather.

“It was a pretty day,” White said.

Natchez Pilgrimage Tours Executive Director Marsha Colson said sales Saturday day were 5 percent less than Friday, which was the first day of pilgrimage.

Sales Friday were on par with first-day sales from last year, she said.

Colson said a large part of the tickets sold for this weekend were scheduled for today’s tours.

Colson said Saturday’s sales were much better than the second day of pilgrimage compared to last year.

First weekend sales are usually not the strongest, but it will be impossible to predict sales for next weekend because individual ticket sales make a big difference.

Colson said approximately 25 tour bus groups will stop in Natchez for Fall Pilgrimage. She said the same amount of busses stopped through last year, but this year more people are stepping off of each bus.

Colson said she wants to encourage both weekend visitors and locals to go to the Rhythm Nightclub Museum on St. Catherine Street, which recently opened. NPT sells tickets for the museum.

Marjorie Meng said her house, which her grandfather O.K. Field built in 1880, saw more than 120 visitors Saturday.