Restoring Hope, indeed

Published 9:51 am Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Hats off to Laine and Kevin Berry and all involved in this weekend’s Restoring Hope event in Natchez.

For those who don’t know, Laine and Kevin Berry, who have for the last 20 years been involved in restoring old homes in the southeast United States, have created a business that has truly a nationwide following — Our Restoration Nation. It is a community of others who are interested in historic preservation and are willing to become a “Citizen” of the nation to support and follow the work of the Berrys through YouTube videos and other social media.

The city has contracted with the Historic Natchez Foundation to oversee and manage the city-owned Auburn. The Historic Natchez Foundation, with the approval of the Mayor and Board of Aldermen, has contracted with the Berrys to lead the restoration of the city-owned Auburn.

Email newsletter signup

Originally of Conway, Arkansas, the Berrys are Natchez residents now. They have also restored a home on Linton Avenue, which they call Pearl. It is being offered for sale.

Recently, the Berrys purchased what remains of Hope Farm, which burned on March 23, tragically taking the life of its owner, beloved Natchezian Ethel Banta.

Restoring Hope Weekend was about kicking off and celebrating the coming restoration of Hope Farm, one of the three oldest houses in Natchez.

The weekend was filled with tours of historic Natchez homes, brunches and dinners and cocktail parties, and even a ghost tour. It culminated Saturday night with a reception at Hope Farm.

It was also an opportunity to introduce Citizens of Our Restoration Nation to Natchez, and that it did. Friends and followers of the Berrys from Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Florida, Wisconsin, Washington State, Georgia, Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, California, New York, Pennsylvania, Oregon, Massachusetts, Ohio, New Hampshire, Indiana and Vancouver, British Columbia.

If you want to follow the Berrys and their work in Natchez, head over to and find out more.