Annual tour shows how modern life blends with historic houses

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 10, 2002

[11/02/02]Bobby and Dannie Weatherly have lived in their home at 1414 Chambers St. for only 11 years but family ties to the house reach back nearly 100 years.

Edward McGregor Durham, a distant relative of Dannie Weatherly’s, built a house at the site in 1903. But it burned down only a few years later, she said. Durham built a replica on the site and covered it in stucco.

Then Weatherly’s grandmother lived in the house until 1954, when it was sold outside the family. Two other families occupied the house until the Weatherlys bought it in 1991.

“We love living here,” Dannie Weatherly said. “I can’t imagine living anywhere else.”

The Weatherlys’ home is one of four that will be open for the the 21st annual Tour of Homes sponsored by the Vicksburg Foundation for Historical Preservation.

“The tour gives us the opportunity to educate the public,” Weatherly said. “This shows them that you can take an older home and adapt it to modern life.”

The foundation’s director, Nancy Bell, said the tour gives people an opportunity to see historic houses that are lived in everyday.

Board member Anna Thames said some of the homeowners have put a lot of work into their homes but have preserved the history.

“These are older homes that have a great history behind them,” she said. “So the owners have improved on what was already there.”

Weatherly said she and her husband have hesitated to open their house for the tour in previous years because of renovations.

“People can see what we have done and what we still have to do,” Weatherly said. “It’s a work in progress.”

In addition to the Weatherly home, those on tour will be the home of Allen and Candy Derivaux, 1328 Chambers St.; David and Lee Johnson at 2506 Cherry St.; and John and Lucille Ridges at 2002 Cherry St.

The tour is from 1:30 to 5 p.m. Sunday, and the $10 tickets can be purchased beginning at 1:30 at the Derivaux home.

Bell said the foundation is expecting about 200 to tour the homes.

Weatherly said volunteer guides at the homes will explain architectual features, significant furniture and historical artifacts.