Weekend Ticket: Ellicott Hill to host flag raising reenactment in honor of bicentennial

Published 11:39 pm Wednesday, October 4, 2017


NATCHEZ — This Saturday the Natchez Garden Club will hoist a 1790s-era flag at the House on Ellicott Hill in honor of Mississippi’s bicentennial.

The event, which starts at 5 p.m. Saturday, will include a reenactment of Andrew Ellicott’s raising of the American Flag, basket weaving and living vignettes in the open house as well as refreshments and a cash bar.

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Christine Bartha, chairman of the House on Ellicott Hill, said the reenactment will portray a moment in American history wherein Ellicott drew a “line in the sand” concerning the Spanish encampment on Natchez Territory.

In 1797, President George Washington sent Ellicott to claim the Natchez territory, despite Spanish forces occupying it.

“When Andrew Ellicott was here it was just a hill, but it was a vantage point for him,” Bartha said. “He could see the river and the Spanish fort.”

More importantly, the Spanish could see him raising the flag.

The flag used in this year’s reenactment, Bartha said, will be the Star Spangled Banner — the flag in use in 1797 — which only has 15 stars and 15 stripes.

“We’ve never done this event per say,” Bartha said. “We’ve done a raising of the flag, but it was a one-off thing. We wanted to do it this year to celebrate the bicentennial.”

Bartha said she would like for the raising of the flag to become an annual event.

Finley Hootsell, owner of Natchez Pawn Shop and other local businesses, will organize the reenactors for the ceremony.

Bartha said Hootsell led the last reenactment at Ellicott Hill and that she was excited to see all the actors in regalia again.

All proceeds from the event, Bartha said, will go toward a much-needed coat of paint for the exterior of the House on Ellicott Hill.

Though a full restoration was undertaken 10 years ago, Bartha said the paint has begun to peel.

“Houses need to be repainted,” she said. “Restoration is an ongoing process.”

Tickets for the commemorative Raising of the Flag event are $15 and free for children 12 and under.

Tickets are available at the Natchez Visitor Reception Center and will be available at 4:30 p.m. Saturday in the Ellicott Gift Shop.