I plan on some quality time on my patio, reading and enjoying the Spring weather, so I’m jumping right into this week’s news:
For those of you keeping track of the calendar, you already know that Pilgrimage started this weekend in Natchez. On Friday, the Democrat, ran a story about the “finishing touches” some of the houses had been undergoing the past couple of weeks to prepare for the Spring visitors. Natchez Pilgrimage Tours executive director Marsha Colson told the paper that her organization was “feeling very good about Spring Pilgrimage this year.” Colson also said, “Group numbers are way up from last year for the home tours and the Tableaux, but you never know about individuals. They just show up.”
One of the places getting more than “typical” finishing touches this year was Routhland. In February, the dining room ceiling fell in, so the owners have been repairing the room to make it ready. Friday’s article talked with the owners about their prep work this year.
The Democrat also ran a piece this weekend on Texada, one of the properties open for tours this first weekend, including snippets of the stories that tourists are likely to hear from the house’s history. The bit about the elephant is entertaining.
Also down in Natchez, the Democrat reported on the ongoing repairs on Melrose. The current phase of the restoration is preparing for new paint. The picture accompanying the article disturbs me as the worker looks to be cleaning paint of the columns with a pressure washer. I assume this is part of the work, mentioned before here on MissPres, that will restore the original paint and veining to the facade? But I thought you weren’t supposed to use a pressure washer on old brick?
Caught a story in the Clarion Ledger this week focusing on the circa 1850s Chapel of the Cross up in Madison. As the story points out:
“The Chapel of the Cross is more than just a site on the National Register of Historic Places but a vibrant church with 700 members. It is a parish of the Episcopal Diocese of Mississippi with Sunday morning and evening services and Morning Prayer Monday through Friday.”
And it’s not just the building itself that draws visitors – the grounds and historic cemetery are also popular. The article makes me want to visit – which was likely the point of publishing it.
A report from the Sun Herald says that “The Mississippi Department of Archives & History is trying to help find a buyer who would save and restore a historic military building on William Carey University’s former campus” in Gulfport. The building in question is known as Fairchild Hall. It is a two-story brick building, located near the front of the campus. Constructed in the 1920s, the building features arched windows and, according to the article, is the only structure that remains from the days when the campus was the Gulf Coast Military Academy (early 1900s – 1951 according to the article). However, I’ve heard that the old chapel from the academy is still standing in a somewhat altered state on the grounds of the adjacent Armed Forces Retirement Home
Speaking of MDAH, they were praised in an editorial in the Hattiesburg American that I missed including in the last round-up. The author attended the ribbon cutting for Elizabeth Cottage, the old president’s home on the campus of what was once Whitworth College and is now Mississippi School for the Arts in Brookhaven. Sharon Gerald, the author of the editorial, had lived in the house for about 10 years while her father worked at the school and is pleased to see the house being restored to life.
This Old House put together a collection of “64 timeless neighborhoods in the U.S. and Canada where the historic homes have extraordinary pasts and unarguably promising futures.” Nothing says how they made their selections, but they picked one in each state. Mississippi’s representative on the list is Vicksburg.
MissPres has made an impression on one of the blogs of the Clarion Ledger. Jere Nash linked to (and quoted) E.L. Malvaney’s post on the new federal building in Jackson referring to the post as a “long, very well written review of the building.”