Tapestry showcases Vicksburg’s grandeur

Published 10:47 am Sunday, April 15, 2012

Often is the case when living someplace the grandeur of its history and historic homes is lost in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The mansions that dot the city’s landscape, historic churches and homes used as Union and Confederate hospitals are a passing reminder of Vicksburg’s history — and its path forward.

“Tapestry: The Pilgrimage to Vicksburg” began its annual tour of homes a week ago. The program will take today, Easter Sunday, off before continuing the tours throughout April. Nineteen of Vicksburg’s most historic properties will come alive to, as Tapestry hopes, “tell their stories from antebellum grandeur to the Siege of Vicksburg to the turn of the 20th Century. Together these stories were the tapestry of who we are today.”

This season’s Tapestry will focus on life in Vicksburg during the Civil War. Two of the properties were used as Union and Confederate hospitals. Some still have the scars of war — blood-stained floors and damage from Union shelling. Of the 17 properties on the tour, 10 survived the siege and the nearly two years of war after Vicksburg’s surrender.

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Tours through downtown and others in the search of ghosts are incorporated in Tapestry.

Carolyn Stephenson, owner of Annabelle on Speed Street and president of Vicksburg Bed and Breakfast Association, which sponsors the program, said a new wrinkle this year will be to let people pick which houses to tour, unlike in the past when people were told what homes they could visit.

Tickets are $30 for three homes or $15 for one. Revenue from ticket sales is divided among association members.

For most, these historic buildings are seen through the windows of cars, or passing on foot. Rarely are they opened for public viewing, in effect coming alive for all to see and feel.

Tapestry is a Vicksburg staple, a gift, and it should not be missed.