OUTLOOK: Vicksburg Spring Pilgrimage highlights notable historic homes

Published 4:00 am Sunday, February 27, 2022

Whether small or grand, homes are where families live, friends gather and parties are thrown.

They are a place of safety and retreat, and in the case of historical homes, they are a look into the past.

For those interested in history and seeing what’s behind the doors of some of Vicksburg’s notable homes, opportunities will be available during the Vicksburg Spring Pilgrimage.

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Beginning March 1 and continuing through May 31, five homes are set to be on tour, Oak Hall owner Elizabeth Nelson said.

And this year, in addition to promoting the Vicksburg Spring Pilgrimage locally, Nelson said, those involved are also partnering with Explore While Driving/Little Easy Tours, the group that promotes the Natchez Pilgrimage.

“Kendra Reed (owner of Belle of the Bends and McRaven) and Harley Caldwell (owner of Duff Green Mansion) reached out to the owners of this company and collaborated with them and came up with this idea to work as a team,” Nelson said.

The Road to Pilgrimage, as it is being promoted regionally, is set to highlight the tour homes between Vicksburg and Natchez.

“They are trying to draw people to Vicksburg because they (Natchez) have such a great following already with their pilgrimage and are encouraging people to come here before or after,” Nelson said.

“We have felt for years and years that Natchez and Vicksburg should be combined because people take day trips from one town to the other,” Explore While Driving co-owner Eugenie Cates said.

Through the company’s website, Cates said, they are connecting with people who are day-trippers or weekenders and are marketing both towns.

“They can stop in the middle and see the beautiful church in Port Gibson or have lunch in Lorman. We are just trying to tie the two together so people can have a plan and maybe stay another night and stay in a hotel in Vicksburg or in Natchez,” Cates said.

The collaboration with Explore While Driving/Little Easy Tours, Nelson said, promoted those involved with the Vicksburg Spring Pilgrimage to offer an extended schedule.

“It’s not just four weeks this year. It’s a three-month tour,” she said.

Cates said they found that people were still traveling to Natchez after pilgrimage had ended, therefore, to continue to offer attractions, it was extended.

Homes participating in the Vicksburg Spring Pilgrimage are Duff Green Mansion, 1114 First East St., Belle of the Bends, 508 Klein St., McRaven, 1445 Harrison St., Oak Hall, 2430 Drummond St., and the Martha Vick Home, 1300 Grove St.

Nelson said there are a couple of other homeowners who have expressed interest in becoming part of the Vicksburg Spring Pilgrimage, and she is hoping they will join the tour.

Throughout the course of the Vicksburg Spring Pilgrimage, Nelson said, drawings and giveaways will be held.

Also, for those interested in serving as a tour guide or greeter, email info@oakhallbnb.com.

The tour schedule for the Vicksburg Spring Pilgrimage:

Duff Green – 9 a.m. daily

Belle of the Bends – 11 a.m. Tuesday-Saturday

McRaven – 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily

Oak Hall – 2 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday

Martha Vick House – 3 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday

Tickets for the tours will be on sale beginning March 1 at Lorelei Books, 1103 Washington St., The Old Depot Museum, 1010 Levee St. and online at littleeasytours.com.

For a complete list of offerings in both Vicksburg and Natchez, visit explorewhiledriving.com.

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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