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Friends of the Armstrong Library

Christmas Tour of Natchez Homes 2010

2 - 5 pm on Sunday, December 5, 2010

$15 one ticket 
Only $25 two tickets 

Tickets can be purchased at the Library, 
the Visitors Center, 
or at the homes on the day of the Tour.

See article in the Natchez Democrat

See pictures of the Tour

Featured Locations

Perkins Adams House 
Cavin House 
Stahlman Condominium 
Wilbourn House

Adams Perkins House

Perkins Adams House
(The Stockton House)

307 North Wall Street
Home of Margaret Perkins and Rene Adams

The lovely home of Margaret Perkins and Rene Adams on the corner of Wall and Jefferson was once the home of the widow Ann Stockton. The simple Greek Revival house derives significance from its architectural integrity and its well documented construction. In March 1849, Ann Stockton acquired her 50’ x 130’ lot for $250. Mrs. Stockton began charging building materials that April from the Andrew Brown sawmill. The contractor may have been Nathaniel Carpenter, the Natchez builder who sold her the lot and was the patriarch of the influential Carpenter family.

Ann was the widow of Joseph M. Stockton, a Natchez merchant and tailor who died in October 1848. According to Stockton’s probate papers, he possessed $5,000 worth of goods at his death . They had six children, all under 14. He apparently left enough money for his wife to build a new house. Within a decade or so of building the house, Ann Stockton updated the façade with a fancy Italianate cornice with decorative brackets. The house remained in the Stockton family until 1893.

Margaret Perkins acquired the house in 2003 and has made substantial improvements. She and Rene have carefully preserved and restored the original portions of the house, while accommodating their modern lifestyle by remodeling existing rear additions and building a new, multi-purpose garage building that complements the historic character of the main house.

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Cavin House

Cavin House
(formerly King's Daughters Home)

32 Cemetery Road 
Home of Renee and Kenny Cavin

The King's Daughters Home was built in 1911 as a home for unwed mothers. One of the nation's oldest Christian service organizations, the King's Daughters was founded in 1886 in New York City. The organization is associated with charitable undertakings such as hospitals and educational facilities.

The King’s Daughters Home is residential in form though institutional in original use. The house is an architectural hybrid of the waning Colonial Revival style and the newly popular Craftman and Prairie styles. Initially, babies were delivered at the home. Later Natchez Charity Hospital provided maternity services. The King’s Daughters Home operated as a home for unwed mothers until the 1970s, when demand for its services had greatly diminished. Disabled adults resided there until about 1980. before standing vacant for 25 years.

The King's Daughters Home was donated to the Historic Natchez Foundation in 2004. Located on a high bluff overlooking the Mississippi River, the building's 4-acre site was more valuable to some potential purchasers for its river view than for the building itself. The Foundation sold the property with a preservation easement to insure that the building would be preserved. In 2007, Kenny and Renee Cavin purchased the building for rehabilitation as a bed-and-breakfast. Despite years of vacancy and neglect, the house was in good structural condition. The Cavins approached the project with enthusiasm and respect for the building’s historic character and completed the restoraton in 2008. 

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Stahlman Condominium 

Stahlman Condominium

205 North Commerce Street 
Home of Judy and Cappy Stahlman

The building at 503 Franklin Street is one of a few buildings on Franklin built before the Civil War. Its antebellum origins are apparent in its scale and detailing. Prominent occupants were partners Cassius Tillman and Isaac Lowenburg, pictured in a late 19th century photograph in front of the building.  

Cassius Tillman’s family came during a wave of Jewish immigration in the early 1840s. Tillman served the community as a school trustee and county treasurer. His grandson, Dr. Clifford Tillman, was long a member of the Armstrong Library Board of Trustees. Isaac Lowenburg arrived with the Union Army in 1863. Despite his German accent, his Jewish faith, his affiliation with the Union Army, and his unprepossessing appearance, Lowenburg became one of the community’s most successful businessmen and popular elected officials. He served two terms as mayor before ill health kept him from a third term.

In February 1998, straight-line winds severely damaged the building and destroyed its rear addition. The Franklin Street façade was boarded in for a decade. Also damaged was a furniture warehouse that abutted the rear and had a façade on Franklin Street. Cappy and Judy Stahlman acquired both properties and first rehabilitated the warehouse into two apartments. They then rehabilitated the other property into a first-story commercial space and luxurious second-story apartment with an entrance on North Commerce. The area of the former rear addition is now a unique and spacious courtyard.

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Wilbourn House

Wilbourn House

411 North Commerce Street
Home of Dr Linda Wilbourn 
(Refreshment Center)

The house at 411 North Commerce was built in the 1880s in the waning years of the Italianate style. It exhibits such typical Italianate features as chamfered posts with dropped capitals atop pedestals, paneled frieze board, brackets, and jigsawn balustrade. The house was built for the Crothers family, also associated with neighboring 407 North Commerce Street, built earlier and also in the Italianate style.

When Dr. Linda Wilbourn acquired the house approximately fifteen years ago, its original full-width gallery had been reduced to a portico with its floor-length front windows opening into space. At one time, the Mississippi author and historian, Edith Wyatt Moore, lived here. The neighboring house to the south was out of character with the historic neighborhood. Dr. Wilbourn first restored the gallery of the house to its original size, which involved recreating the missing posts and other millwork. Next, she acquired the property to the south and found someone to relocate the existing house to a new site. On the newly vacant lot, Dr. Wilbourn added a new addition that, on the exterior, tastefully echoes the design of the original house. On the interior, the new addition offers a contemporary approach to living with an enclosed courtyard with a walled garden as its interior focal point. The house is richly decorated throughout with her collection of antique furnishings.

Desserts and punch will be served at this location.

Click here for pictures from the Tour.

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