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 email@example.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.