‘Living with History’ event is tonight

Published 12:01 am Thursday, November 29, 2018

Join us for “Living with History, Natchez Style” at 5 tonight at Co-Lin’s Carolyn Vance Smith Natchez Literary Research Center in the Willie Mae Dunn Library.

I remember the feeling of awe I experienced while driving or walking by the many beautiful old houses in Natchez when I first moved here over 20 years ago.

That sense of wonder was inspired not just by the beautiful mansions but also by the charming cottages and bungalows with their own bit of history. Living in Natchez, to me, is like residing in a living, functioning museum where we are all called to be curators and owners of older houses, large or small, and helping preserve their piece of Natchez history.

Email newsletter signup

Some of those curators open their doors every year during the Natchez Pilgrimage for visitors. Those special houses are the living museums featured in the newly published book, “Natchez Style.”

Browsing through the 370-page book gives readers an intimate glance behind the doors of those Natchez houses. The “Natchez Style” authors, William Bradley, Regina Charboneau and Bridget Green, had the shared goal of creating a “book to welcome readers into our lives, not just in our homes.”  Beyond the usual scope of the many books written about these houses that cover architectural design or history, this book also includes over 100 recipes for food and drink shared by the owners of the pilgrimage homes. The many stunning photographs by Manny Rodriguez breathe life into both the homes and the food featured in the book.

The Carolyn Vance Smith Natchez Literary Research Center housed in the Copiah Lincoln Community College’s Willie Mae Dunn Library is pleased to host “Living with History, ‘Natchez Style.’” This special event at 5 tonight celebrates this latest book about Natchez.

The Center named for its founder, Carolyn Vance Smith, is sponsoring this event as part of its ongoing mission to collect, preserve and make available a comprehensive collection of resources focused on the rich and extensive literary history related to Natchez.

“Natchez Style” is a beautiful addition to our special collection. The Center is also excited to partner with the Pilgrimage Garden Club by helping promote the sale of this book, giving 100 percent of the proceeds to fund the ongoing preservation of Stanton Hall and Longwood, two National Historic Landmarks that are among Natchez’s greatest treasures.

All are invited to the Co-Lin library and the Center for a “Natchez Style” evening featuring remarks by one of the book’s authors, Regina Charboneau along with featured homeowners Marsha Colson of Lansdowne and Deborah Cosey of Concord Quarters.

They will share their stories about life in a landmark home. Carter Burns, executive director of the Historic Natchez Foundation, will also share insight on what commitment to preservation really means.

The open house begins at 5 tonight in the lobby of the Tom Reed Academic Building, 11 Co-Lin Circle with refreshments and book signing.  Remarks by the speakers will follow at 5:30 p.m. in the adjacent library.

Copies of “Natchez Style” will be available for purchase at a special discounted event price of $50 plus tax. This beautiful book with over 350 photographs and 100 recipes will make a winning Christmas gift for anyone who enjoys history, architecture, entertaining and most of all loves Natchez.

Beth Richard is library director at Copiah Lincoln Community College.