Join annual library tour for holiday fun

Published 12:18 am Wednesday, November 23, 2016

No “Bah Humbugs” allowed at Friends of the Library Christmas Tour of Homes from 2-5 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 4. Visit homes seldom open to the public and get in the holiday spirit.

Tickets are $15 each and may be purchased in advance at the Library or Natchez Pilgrimage Tours (Visitor Reception Center) and at any home on the day of the tour. Credit cards may be used at NPT.

The four homes tell rich and varied stories of Natchez, past and present. Thanks to the homeowners for sharing during the busy season.

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Two of the homes are close to each other on Homochitto Street and date back to the early to mid-1800s when Homochitto was still a dirt road. Parking is available in a lot across the street.

Located at 39 Homochitto, the home of Ann and Dempse McMullen, showcases their collection of vintage Christmas ornaments, including Belsnickle Santa figures from Germany dating from the 1870s. Other collections include Blue China, baskets, early clay pipes, and period antiques.  The McMullens purchased the home in 1971 and have done careful restoration.

Magnolia Cottage, 35 Homochitto, is the home of Jackie and Joe Wild, who have renovated the 1831 house into a charming bed and breakfast. While saving the architectural integrity of the home, they fulfilled their dream to own an antebellum house. The Wild’s decorate with ornaments received from her grandmother, aunts, mother, and mother-in-law. The cottage is decorated as it would have been in the 1800s. There are remnants of a diary in the basement.

A Natchez native and member of the NHS Class of 1961,  Katharine Warren Garner returned home several years ago and purchased the house at 310 South Union St. She is a talented artist and her home features much of her original art work as well as her many collections. The house is part of the Natchez-on-the-Top of Hill district on the National Register, locally known as the Natchez Historic District. The house was built circa 1886.

Glen Auburn, once known as the Christian Schwartz House, 300 South Commerce St., is the home of Ann and Dr. Randy Tillman. It is a fine example of the Second Empire style and is symbolic of the rise of the merchant class in the 1870s. Following the death of Christian and his widow, well-known Natchezians, including the Moses and Jones families, owned the property. Buzz Harper changed the name to Glen Auburn and operated it as an antique store there. He sold it to the brother of actor George Hamilton in 1978. After a period of neglect, Dr. and Mrs. Richard Boyer purchased it and began restoration. When the Tillmans acquired the home, they continued to make improvements to restore the mansion to its original glory.

All proceeds support library programs. Get into the holiday spirit and help a good cause. For additional information go to  or 601-445-8862.

Maria Bowser is president of the Friends of the Library.