Join us for annual Angels on the Bluff

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 31, 2016

Once again the Natchez City Cemetery Association invites you to join us for an entertaining and educational evening with a few of our most interesting “residents.” On the evenings of Nov. 10, 11 and 12, we will share their stories at the ever popular “Angels on the Bluff,” our 17th production of this major fundraiser for our city cemetery, considered by many to be one of the most beautiful cemeteries in the South.

Your evening begins at the Natchez Visitor Center at 640 South Canal St. where you will board a bus at your reserved ticket time. 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 and among our moonlighted oaks to each character’s presentation.

-Veterans’ Tribute:  Vice Admiral Tip Merrill, portrayed by Charlie Vess, and local musician Curt Smith have a special treat planned for visitors to this year’s Angels tour. As you enter the cemetery gates, your first stop will be their wonderful musical tribute in honor of our veterans from all wars and conflicts.

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-Rufus Learned:  Popular Angels on the Bluff presenter Sam Jones joins us once again to share the colorful story of Rufus Frederick Learned — pioneer lumber merchant, world traveler and Confederate veteran. Learned and many of his relatives, including members of the Brown and Peabody families, are buried in one of the most magnificent mausoleums in our cemetery. After you’ve heard his story, you’ll understand why historian Dunbar Rowland in 1907 named Learned one of the most influential citizens in Natchez.

-Leon Cahn: Dr. Doug Broome returns to Angels on the Bluff this year to portray Alsace native Leon Cahn. Mr. Cahn ran a successful upholstery shop in New York City for many years before retiring to Natchez. You won’t want to miss the dramatic story of his immigration from France and the heroic act he performed when the local synagogue caught fire in 1903.

-William St. John Elliott Parker: When William St. John Elliot, builder of D’Evereux, one of the most beautiful Greek Revival mansions in Natchez, died in 1855, he left a will making his nephew, William St. John Elliot Parker, an offer he couldn’t refuse. Or did he? Learn the answer by joining us for this year’s Angels tour as veteran presenter Rusty Jenkins shares Mr. Parker’s story.

-Anna Johnson: Anna L. Johnson was a prominent Natchez educator who taught for many years at the Union School. Upon her retirement she moved to the country to live and farm at Peachland Plantation. Beverly Adams will share the inspiring story of Miss Johnson, the oldest daughter of William Johnson, the most prominent free man of color in antebellum Natchez. The Johnson family home still stands on State Street where it is open to the public as part of the Natchez National Historic Park.

-Joseph Quegles: Veteran actor and director Layne Taylor will portray Joseph Quegles, who once lived in an elegant townhouse on Washington Street. Quegles, born on the Spanish island of Majorca, immigrated to New Orleans in the late 19th century, where he married local belle Louise Melanie Adam. Taylor will share the Quegles family’s connections to famous naturalist and painter John James Audubon as well as Emile Profilet, an early Natchez silversmith and jewelry merchant.

-Edith Wyatt Moore: Many Natchez residents know Edith Wyatt Moore as the author of Natchez Under-the-Hill and historic house sketches for The Natchez Democrat’s “Pink Edition.”  But how many know about the amazing discovery she made in a Natchez attic in 1938—which is still an invaluable resource for any student of Natchez history? Judy Wiggins will join us this year to share the story of Edith Wyatt Moore’s fascinating career.

We look forward to seeing you at this year’s Angels tour. Tickets are still available for Thursday evening’s performance. Reserve yours today by calling the Natchez Visitor Reception Center at 601-446-6345 or 1-800-647-6724.

Teri Tillman is a member of the Natchez Cemetery Association Board.