Celebrating 200 years

Published 12:01 am Monday, December 12, 2011

Ben Hillyer | The Natchez Democrat — Sandra Wells samples some of the delectable morsels that surrounded a 200th anniversary cake at the Auburn open house Sunday afternoon. The city’s antebellum house celebrated its 200th birthday.

NATCHEZ — Auburn kicked off its 200th birthday celebration in style with an open house party Sunday that took visitors a step back in time to the 1800s.

Clark Feiser, president of Auburn Antebellum Home, greeted guests at the door wearing a top hat and a 1800s-style suit, while guides in period costumes provided tours throughout the historic house.

Party goers enjoyed festive period holiday treats, such as pecan pie squares and apple pie bundles, prepared by Terri DeShong, a friend of the Feisers who traveled from Pennsylvania to help with the celebration.

“It’s really been neat to look up all these foods and research the history,” DeShong said.

Ben Hillyer | The Natchez Democrat — Kaye Harris gives a tour of the antebellum house Auburn during its holiday open house Sunday afternoon.

Natchez native Sandra Wells enjoyed a piece of Auburn’s birthday cake in the dining room and said she believed the celebration was important to remind Natchez of its history.

“Sometimes we forget (our history),” she said. “This needs to continue because it’s important to remember our roots and see how far we’ve come.”

Feiser said the open house was only the beginning of celebrations for Auburn’s 200th birthday and other celebratory events are planned for next year.

Feiser said he thinks the people of Natchez should come and see what is their very own.

“It’s everybody’s house, and I think everyone in the city should come see what we’re all about.”

Auburn is owned by the City of Natchez.

Mayor Jake Middleton joined the celebration at Auburn and said it was important to recognize Auburn’s milestone.

“There’s probably some people in Natchez that don’t even know it’s 200 years old,” Middleton said.

Middleton said the city helps Auburn with whatever it can to maintain the house.

“It’s our treasure, and it’s our responsibility to take care of it,” he said.

Former Auburn Garden Club members Robin Cain and Ruby Dickerson came out to celebrate the house to which they dedicated so much of their time.

“It takes so much work of all these volunteers,” Dickerson said. “Your love (for Auburn) truly has to run deep to put in as many hours as you have to.”

Cain said she thought the open house was a wonderful way to show Natchezians the beauty of Auburn.

“Some people don’t realize what a jewel they have here,” she said.