New angels to take stage this November

Published 7:17 pm Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Natchez City Cemetery Association invites you to join us for the 12th anniversary of our annual fundraiser, Angels on the Bluff on Nov. 11 and 12.

Our beautiful City Cemetery will serve as the stage for dramatic vignettes and musical performances that bring to life some of our city’s most interesting residents from years past.

Your evening begins at the Natchez Visitor Center (640 South Canal St.) where you will board a bus at your reserved ticket time.

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Our enthusiastic and knowledgeable guides will accompany you to your destination where they will share interesting facts about our historic cemetery as they lead you along candlelit avenues to each character’s presentation.

Tickets go on sale Aug. 1, at the Natchez Visitor Center. Plan to purchase your tickets early as they sell out quickly. Please call the Center at 601-446-6345 for tickets or go online to for more information.

And now it is my pleasure to introduce this year’s entertainment:

• The Linton Family — The wealthy Linton family bought “Clifton,” a mansion overlooking the river that was associated with three prominent Natchez families — the Postlethwaites, the Lintons and the Surgets. In 1863 the Union Army blew up the house, ostensibly to make way for the construction of Fort McPherson, but more likely as a result of a social snub. In the later subdivision of the property, Clifton Avenue was named for the house and Linton Avenue was named for the family. Ginger Hyland and John Wesley Forde will be back by popular demand to portray members of the family.

•  Louis Duncan Kastor — In the early 1900s Louis Duncan Kastor greatly impressed a writer traveling the country to document the economic and educational progress of African Americans. He noted that Kastor was the only man of his race to conduct such a large and successful harness business. Kastor began his business on Franklin Street with $65 and by 1902 had annual sales of $22,000. Seasoned performer Roderick Whitley returns to share Kastor’s story with us.

• Veteran’s Day Musical Salute To The “Greatest Generation,” Our World War II Veterans — Delight to the music of our own Terry Trovato and musicians dressed in full WWII uniforms. Louis DeVries on bass and Donna Schaffer on keyboard will join vocalists Diana Glaze and Mary Nell Rushing for this memorable tribute.

• Issac Lowenburg — High on Jewish Hill overlooking the Mississippi River lies one of our city’s most beloved mayors, Isaac Lowenburg, who served two terms of office in the late 1870s and early 1880s. He arrived in Natchez in 1863 with the Union Army and despite this affiliation, his German accent, and his Jewish faith, he rose to great heights in the business and political world of Natchez. Newcomer Jon Shonebarger will tell his story.

• Samuel Abraham Marx — Born in Natchez in 1885 to a prosperous Jewish family, Samuel studied architecture at the prestigious École des Beaux-Arts in Paris and became a nationally recognized architect and furniture designer. He also contributed architecturally to the cemetery by designing the “Shelter House,” one of the city’s most academic expressions of the Craftsman style. Veteran actor Sam Jones will tell Marx’s story as only Sam can.

• Rosalie Beekman — Daughter of a merchant at Natchez Under-the-Hill, 7-year-old Rosalie Beekman was the sole casualty of the bombardment of Natchez by the U.S. Essex in 1862 — the city’s only significant military conflict during the Civil War. Two young actresses, Josie Richardson and Danielle Brown, will narrate her poignant story.

• Andrew Brown — Andrew Brown was a trained architect who emigrated from Scotland to Natchez where he established one of the most successful lumber businesses in the South. His riverfront estate, Magnolia Vale, featured one of the most famous gardens of the 19th-century South. A metal monument with a life-size statue pointing to heaven distinguishes the family plot. Returning to delight cemetery-goers is storyteller Dr. Doug Broome.

• History Of The Jazz Funeral Band — Let our own Rusty Jenkins tell you about this famous and traditional way to honor a loved one with a special send-off.

As you depart the cemetery, we’ll entertain you with our own special version of “When the Saints Go Marching In,” or shall we sing, “Out.”

Annette Holder is a co-chairmen of Angels on the Bluff.