Come tour wonderful Natchez homes

Published 12:05 am Friday, November 28, 2014

No “Bah Humbugs” will be allowed at Friends of the Library Christmas Tour of Homes on Sunday, Dec. 7, from 2 to 5 p.m.

We guarantee to get you in the mood to “deck the halls” as you tour homes seldom open to the public.

Tickets are $15 for one or $25 for two and and may be purchased in advance at the Library or Natchez Pilgrimage Tours at the Visitor’s Center and at any home on Dec. 7.

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The three homes on tour this year, as always, tell rich and varied stories of Natchez, past and present. A huge thank-you goes to Mimi Miller for assistance with historical background.

The Callon House, 104 Old Plantation Road, is an example of the “suburbs” built in the early 1960s as Natchez grew beyond downtown. Karen and Fred Callon have a long tradition of collecting Christmas decor and decorating their beautiful homethroughout. Their home sits on six acres that was part of the Grand Village of the Natchez Indians. During the 1800s, the area was part of Fatherland plantation, home to some of the wealthiest members of the planter society. During the time of Adam L. Bingaman, it was famous for training throughbred race horses, a passion that ultimately lead to the loss of his fortunes. During his heyday, Adam was a gifted orator and served as both Speaker of the House and president of the Senate in the Mississippi Legislature.

Highpoint, home of Fran and Wilton Nolan, at 215 Linton Ave., houses amazing collections from their world travels. It is hard to decide what to look at next as you move from room to room. Baskets, china, pipes, belt buckles, pottery (Roseville, Van Briggle, salt glaze, crocks, churns, pitchers, authentic reproductions from Greece, Korean Celadon), glassware (Fenton, crystal, American Fostoria, doeskin), German steins and mugs, wooden boxes and bowls, wood carvings, butter molds, Hummel figurines, bronzes, and Andrea birds. There are more than 40 original paintings or drawings.

The Jackson House at 606 N. Union St., is a significant example of the Colonial Revival style built in the old northern suburbs.  Despite conversion to apartments in the mid-20th century, the house retains most of its original millwork and parquet floors.

Earnest Jackson, a merchant and planter, was also involved in civic and commercial enterprises.  In 1901, he was elected to the Board of Directors of the Natchez Electric Street Railway Company. In 1902, Jackson was on the board that organized the Natchez Delinter Company, a textile manufacturing operation.  In 1914, Jackson and T. R. Barber incorporated the Jackson Construction Company.  In 1916, “Earth Mover and Road Builder” magazine noted that “Mr. E. H. Jackson, Natchez, is recovering from quite a siege of sickness.”

The Jacksons resided there until their deaths.  Pearl died in 1938 and Earnest in 1946.  The house was divided into apartments and used as rental property until its restoration by Dan and Jan Shiells, residents of Santa Barbara, California and Natchez.  Dan first came to Natchez as an archival intern in a program of the Historic Natchez Foundation and California State University, Northridge.  Thanks to them for restoring Natchez treasures.

Unfortunately, the Pate House will not be open for this year’s tour but they are already signed up for next year.

All proceeds support library programs. Get into the holiday spirit and help a good cause.

There are many things going on this weekend so put on your track shoes and support all the groups. Get in the holiday spirit.

For additional information, see websites at, or or call 601-445-8862.


Maria Bowser is president of the Friends of the Library.