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Friends of the Armstrong Library

Christmas Tour of Natchez Homes 2012


2012 Christmas Tour of Natchez Homes

2 - 5 pm on Sunday, December 2

$15 one ticket 
Only $25 two tickets

Tickets can be purchased at the Library, 
the Visitors Center, 
or at any of the locations on the day of the Tour.
Tickets may be paid by credit card at the Refreshment Center.

Featured Homes

Burns House
Byrd House 
Dale House 
Murray House
Refreshments will be served at Trinity Episcopal Church

Google map for locations

Pictures of the Tour

Burns House

Connie Burns, owner

Connie Burns, owner

Burns House

602 South Union Street
Home of Connie & Pat Burns

(Description coming soon)

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The site of the Colonial Revival home of Pat and Connie Burns was acquired in 1902 for the future residence of William Mounger and his wife, the former Sophie Dix Wright. Sophie had purchased two lots on South Union Street from Rose Postlethwaite. Ownership of the property transferred between the wives. The house was not occupied until 1910. Prior to that the Moungers were listed in the census as "lodgers" in the Merrill House.

Mounger was a member of two distinguished families—Mounger and Millsaps—who made important contributions to Mississippi education, religion, and law. His rise to affluence is reflected in the grandness of the house. William and Sophie died in their fifties, leaving the house to their unmarried daughter, Sophie Mounger.

    In 1931, Sophie sold the house to Anna Scheffy Alexander, wife of banker Hobson Alexander, once president of City and Bank Trust. The house continued to be owned by women, three of whom had husbands at the time of purchase. Anna was Hobson’s second wife. His first wife deserted him, but no one seemed to blame Pearl (who was described as "bright and lively") for not loving Hobson, who was described as "dull”.  Fortunately, his second marriage gave him much happiness. Hobson died in 1954 and Anna lived there until her death in 1977 at age 99. They had no children.

The Burns purchased the house in 1981. Many features characteristic of the Colonial Revival style, including fluted columns, beveled and leaded glass, and millwork have been retained. Especially important are the mid 19th century gasoliers by Cornelius and Baker of Philadelphia.  They predate the house and could have been installed by the original or later owners.  

Byrd House

Coral & Richard Byrd, owners

Coral & Richard Byrd, owners

Byrd House

406 Orleans Street
Home of Coral & Richard Byrd

Lantana Hill is a Greek Revival cottage built on a hill overlooking Orleans Street. The house was originally built by in 1837, and early owners were Bessie Rose and Howard Pritchartt. Bessie Rose, one of the founders of the Natchez Pilgrimage, named the house Lantana Hill because of the large Lantana bush that grew in the front yard. The original house plan included the typical middle hall with two rooms on either side. A basement resulted from the raised cottage style popular at that time. A two story dependency was built sometime after 1837 and was located in the back of the main house. 

After a series of owners, it was in need of extensive repairs and remodeling when John and Valerie Bergeron bought the house in 1992 and began the process of rejuvenating the old cottage. They enlarged the back portion of the hall to make a family sunroom and used one of the other rooms for a kitchen. 

In 2000, Richard and Coral Byrd purchased Lantana Hill from the Bergeron’s. In 2004, they remodeled the lower portion of the dependency and added a door between the two lower rooms. They were fortunate to be able to purchase a lot behind the courtyard. They were able to enlarge the back yard and add extensive landscaping. In 2010, the Byrd’s added a new family room, kitchen, bath, garage, and an elevator. These additions have created an atmosphere that is conducive to both entertaining and family gatherings. 

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Dale House

Cammie & Bill Dale, owners

Cammie & Bill Dale, owners

Dale House

423 South Canal Street
Home of Cammie & Bill Dale

Bill and Cammie Dale's house has a very unique architectural feature—the front wall of the house is curved. It was built in three distinct stages, beginning in 1850. The curved wall reflects the house's evolution into a larger L shaped house with an 1870’s Italianate style gallery. Construction in 1905 included adding additional wood frame rooms, a side porch, and a new front door in the late Queen Anne style. Until 1921, it was owned by the interrelated Hamilton, Field, and Stietenroth families.

Mary Frances Stietenroth, wife of Andrew Stietenroth, a Confederate veteran and gin wright, acquired the property in 1879. After Andrew’s death in 1886, Mary Frances married George Bruner. She lived in the house with her children and their spouses until 1905, when she sold the brick house to her late husband's sister in law, Althea Stietenroth, wife of local architect and builder, William Stietenroth. The Natchez Institute is one of many buildings that he built.

In 1921, Althea sold the house out of the family to Fanny Walters, wife of Charles Walters, a railroad foreman. The Walters enjoyed the location, close to three railroad depots—Briel, North Broadway, and the corner of State and South Canal. In 1959, Charles Jr sold the house to Lillian Lane, whose son sold the property to Gary and Carolyn Guido in 2006. They restored the house and sold it in 2010 to the Dales, who have continued to make improvements to this historic property.

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Murray House

Murray House

309 Washington Street
Home of Yvonne Murray

Due to circumstances beyond our control, this house was NOT available for viewing.

Insurance maps and photos document that Yvonne Murray's house on Washington once stood at 210 South Pearl Street. Built in the 1830s, the house was associated with the Tooley family. Dr Henry Tooley, Methodist minister and medical doctor, was a true intellectual, devoted exclusively to his philosophical and meteorological pursuits and the study of oriental languages, in which he excelled. He kept up meteorological tables, with drawings of the form of every lunar and solar His meteorology tables are still used for research.

Tooley's son James, Mississippi's first native born artist, showed artistic promise early. At 19, he drew a landscape of Natchez that was lithographed in New York. Natchez Historical Society owns one print, as does the New York Public Library. He moved to Philadelphia to study with Thomas Sully, becoming known for his portrait miniatures. His 1844 obituary noted: "He has left behind him, in the hands of a sorrowing father, many rich and splendid specimens of his imperishable genius.”

The last family member to reside in the house was Henry’s daughter Amelia, who died in 1903. She left the house to her friend Callie Gillespie for her life. At her death, Amelia’s estate was divided among Tooley heirs. The house was subsequently moved to Washington and even today exhibits great architectural integrity with original mantelpieces, doors, cypress floors, and staircase.  

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Trinity Church

Trinity Episcopal Church
(Refreshment Center)

305 South Commerce Street
(open until 5:30 pm)

Tickets may be paid by credit card here.

The 1822 church is the oldest in the city and noted for exceptional stained glasses windows by Louis C. Tiffany and John LaFarge

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Click here to see the pictures from the tour

Pictures of the Tour

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