Historic Natchez Foundation celebrates 40 years

Published 12:04 am Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Historic Natchez Foundation turns 40 this year and invites the Natchez community to celebrate this milestone at a birthday party Thursday at our annual meeting.

Please join us for cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, birthday cake and champagne, beginning at 5:30 p.m. at foundation headquarters in the Natchez Institute at 108 South Commerce St.

We invite not only members but the general public to attend, and we hope that you will bring along a friend or two.

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The foundation staff has been taking trips down memory lane by scanning dozens of slides and photographs that document our 40-year history. These images, which will be showcased during the event,  include photographs of foundation members, before and after pictures of restorations and numerous special events, including the 1982 grand reopening of the Eola Hotel.

Through pictures you will be able to experience the thrill of the first balloon launch in 1986 when James Biglane soared aloft in his United Mississippi Bank balloon at the inaugural Great Mississippi River Balloon Race.

In addition to highlighting the past, the foundation wants to introduce its vision for the future — a restored Natchez Institute with archival and museum storage in the basement and museum exhibits on the first story.

If you have ever wondered what lurks in the foundation’s basement, we intend to show you.

We hope that our unfinished catacombs of Natchez history will inspire you to dream big dreams with us.

The birthday celebration will include a short business meeting for the election of board members and the presentation of awards for accomplishments in history and preservation during 2013.

Our 40th birthday party is also a way for the foundation to show its appreciation to the community for four decades of support and encouragement.

Please consider this your personal invitation to celebrate with us on Thursday night.

Trevor Brown is deputy director of The Historic Natchez Foundation.