Get in spirit with annual Christmas Library Tour of Homes

Published 12:39 am Thursday, November 16, 2017

No “Bah Humbugs” allowed at Friends of the Library Christmas Tour of Homes from 2 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 3. We guarantee to get you in the holiday mood as you visit homes seldom open to the public.

Tickets are $20, which allows entrance to all homes and you may tour in any order. Tickets will have a map included and may be purchased in advance at the library or Natchez Pilgrimage Tours (Visitor’s Center) and at any home on the day of the tour.

The four homes on tour this year tell rich and varied stories of Natchez, past and present.  All are located in areas that have been designated as historic districts. Thanks to the homeowners for sharing during the busy season.

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Three of the homes are located close to each other on South Union Street in what is known as the Downtown Residential Historic District.  Most of the area was part of the antebellum estate of the Nathanial Harrison family, the major portion of which was subdivided into building lots in 1883.  When the subdivision streets were named they became the southern extensions of the grid plan already in place.  This has led to occasional confusion as the streets were sometimes constricted or interrupted by bayous and the railroad tracks of the New Orleans and North West railroad (later the Illinois Central Gulf Railroad.)  The homes in this area are Sweet Olive, home of Carol Bates, Clovernook, home of Missy and Walter Brown,  and Ravennaside, home of Wanda and Ricky Smith.

The other district included in the tour is the Clifton Heights Historic District.  This area, one of the first subdivisions built in Natchez, was developed by Isaac Lowenburg and Henry Frank, prominent Natchez merchants.  The land was acquired from the Surget family, whose magnificent mansion Clifton was destroyed by the Union army during the occupation of Natchez.  This district includes significant examples of Queen Anne and Colonial Revival architecture, as well as the only Natchez examples of Tudor and shingle styles.  The home on tour is Bluff Top Bed and Breakfast, home of Neil Varnell.  It has arguably one of the most spectacular views of the Mississippi River. 

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 the president of the Friends of the Library.