Living the dream: Houston native fell in love with Natchez charm

Published 2:26 pm Wednesday, January 26, 2022

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NATCHEZ — Tables with white table cloths, wooden chairs and fine china take residence in the living room of the Beaumont on 815 Main St. owner Oleta Forse sits in a red recliner with a smile on her face close to where The Dart landed recently.

She is living her dream.

Thirty-five years ago, she first visited Natchez with her friend from church Sue Jackson, Forse said. On the trip, she fell in love with the town’s charm. Compared to her home in Houston, Texas, everything moved at a slower pace.

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A realtor, she set up her phone to give her notifications every time a home was put up for sale in Natchez. When the Beaumont was put up this past spring, she called within three minutes of getting the notification. 

“I had always wanted to live in Natchez. To me it is a vision of beautiful tapestries throughout the town,” Forse said. “During COVID, the isolation made me realize it was time to make the dream come true. I can’t imagine being a bigger fan of Natchez. It is an awesome town with extremely friendly people.” 

For 35 years she had not visited Natchez until this April when she brought her mother, sister and best friend Ed Haley. June 17th, she moved to Natchez and opened the Beaumont as a bed and breakfast on August 28th. 

Additionally, she has a tea room, which will soon allow people to walk in without a reservation starting Dec. 7th from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. In Texas, she had a tea room for 10 years which was a success, she said. 

Along one of the walls in the living room are hats waiting to be worn. In Texas, she said she had a room with over 100 hats. If a group of ladies needed a good ice breaker she would send them to the “hat room.” 

“It is something about the hats which brings out the little girl in us,” Forse said. “You could hear them laughing and taking pictures whenever they went into the hat room.”

Her interests in bed and breakfasts came from traveling across Texas and the US. Her experiences as a guest helped shape the way she wants to treat her guests, she said. 

As guests visit the bed and breakfast, it is like a new chapter in a book, she said. They all have a different story like the Hogshead family who were Ivy League graduates and were so friendly, she said. Once she had a couple where the man asked her to help wow his wife. 

“I made a chocolate ganache cake and bought two dozen balloons. I bought bundles of rose petals and champagne bottles,” Forse said. “I placed the bottles in the room with the balloons and put rose petals on the bed in the shape of a heart with the cake in the middle. The wife was wowed and started crying. He was so excited.” 

Every guest has their own story and it is what she enjoys the most about her bed and breakfast.. Her one day off a week is spent buying groceries to take care of her guests. She said she enjoys entertaining and giving hospitality to people

“I want the guests to feel better when they leave here,” she said.