Congratulations, Historic Natchez Foundation, and thank you

Published 11:50 pm Wednesday, January 10, 2024

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This year is the 50th anniversary of the Historic Natchez Foundation. It is frightening to imagine what Natchez would be today without the vision, direction and hard work of this foundation.

Formed in 1974 by a committee of the Natchez Historical Society, the mission of the foundation has been to do all in its power to foster, encourage and engage in the preservation, restoration and development of historic or important buildings, sites and personal property, said Carter Burns, executive director of the HNF.

In so many ways, the Historic Natchez Foundation and the late Ron Miller are one in the same. While so many have contributed in so many ways to its many successes, the Historic Natchez Foundation is what it is today because of the late Ron Miller. And many times, the work he was charged to do and did so passionately did not make him popular.

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What Miller and HNF did was save Natchez, said Natchez Mayor Dan Gibson when Miller died on Sept. 2, 2022. Miller’s often difficult work led the way for the beauty of our city we enjoy today, the preservation of its rich history and tourism dollars from which we all benefit.

When that group of people from the Natchez Historical Society got together in 1974, our city’s historic structures were in real danger of being taken down and lost forever. Some were lost, but thanks to Ron Miller and the Historic Natchez Foundation, so many were saved, preserved and restored, making our city one of the most historic in the nation.

The Historic Natchez Foundation’s annual meeting is Thursday from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at its headquarters at 108 S. Commerce St. All are encouraged to attend free of charge and learn more about the work of this group. An exhibit by The Democrat’s own Ben Hillyer will highlight the many accomplishments of the Foundation over the last 50 years will be unveiled at Thursday’s meeting.

Join us this year in thanking and celebrating the Historic Natchez Foundation as it continues its work here for the enjoyment and benefit of future generations.