Spring has sprung especially early this year in Mississippi, and when our thoughts turn to Spring, they automatically turn to the annual rite of Spring Pilgrimage, when historic homes in communities around the state are open for us to tour. Pilgrimages began here in Mississippi in 1932 and many communities other than the core bunch represented this year have participated over the years. For instance, see the many towns included in the 1974 Mississippi Pilgrimage booklet—Meridian! Jackson! Hattiesburg!
I’ve placed the pilgrimages I could find on the MissPres calendar, and below is the information for each (some pilgrimages have better web pages than others, as you will see if you click around to each of these links). Pick one and get out there, y’all!
Natchez Spring Pilgrimage (March 18 – April 18, 2017)
The granddaddy (or in this case, grandmother because it was started by women) of them all, begun in 1932, the Natchez Pilgrimage offers tours of twenty-four historic homes, many of which are designated as National Historic Landmarks, including Longwood, Stanton Hall, Rosalie, House on Ellicott’s Hill and Auburn. Take this opportunity to see private houses too that aren’t open regularly, such as Elms Court, Linden, Richmond, Hawthorne, Twin Oaks, Airlie, Lansdowne, Brandon Hall, and Selma. Tours are packaged in sets of three ($45/adult, $30/children 12+) and are on different days of the week, so plan your trip carefully to be sure you get to see as many houses as you can.
Vicksburg Pilgrimage (March 23 – April 9, 2017)
Visit the historic homes of Vicksburg during Vicksburg Pilgrimage to learn the stories of years past. Each tour includes shuttle service and a guided city tour. The cost is $45.00 for three homes, city tour and transportation. Tickets can be purchased online at www.vicksburgpilgrimage.com.
Columbus Pilgrimage (March 30 – April 8, 2017)
“Columbus Spring Pilgrimage has evolved from a tour of homes in its infancy to today’s delightfully diverse and deeply satisfying 10-day celebration of Southern history, architecture, culture, food and fun. We invite you to join us!” Houses on tour include Rosedale, Temple Heights, Ole Magnolia, Waverley (my personal favorite), Whitehall, Shadowlawn, Errolton, and others. Like Natchez, these tours are divided into three house packages, $30 each for adults, $12 for students, requiring some planning to see them all.
The Columbus Pilgrimage was the subject of one of my early series of posts here on MissPres.
And W. White followed up last year by taking us on a tour of the 1940 Columbus Pilgrimage, via the tour booklet from that year’s pilgrimage.
Aberdeen Pilgrimage (March 31 – April 2, 2017)
Eight magnificent antebellum planters’ townhouses and cottages, and beautifully appointed Victorian homes, along with the historic Elkin Theatre, will be open for touring and the folks in Aberdeen have scheduled a number of exciting related events for your pleasure. Included this year for the first time is Lauri Mundi, a beautifully restored antebellum estate. http://www.aberdeenpilgrimage.com/
Gulf Coast Pilgrimage (April 9-12, 2017)
Our 65th annual pilgrimage features elegant homes, gardens, and historic landmarks along the Mississippi Gulf Coast from Pascagoula to Diamondhead. Experience the treasures in the coastal communities! Hosted by Gulf Coast Council of Garden Clubs. http://springpilgrimage.com/
Holly Springs Pilgrimage (April 21-23, 2017)
Celebrating our 79th year, Pilgrimage is the annual tour of homes and churches in the historic town of Holly Springs, Mississippi. Join us for a weekend of tours of historical homes, churches and museums; a guided tour of Hillcrest Cemetery; luncheons and a great “Southern style” dinner with live music and dancing Saturday night. http://www.hollyspringspilgrimage.com/
And in case you can’t get to any of those, or you’re just on a roll, check out . . .
New Orleans Shotgun Tour (April 22-23, 2017)
Tour seven private homes in beautiful Faubourg St. John that showcase the livability and versatility of New Orleans’ historic architecture and iconic shotgun houses. https://prcno.org/event/shotgun-house-tour-2017/