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Friends of the Armstrong Library

Christmas Tour of Natchez Homes 2015


2 - 5 pm on Sunday, December 6

$15 one ticket
Only $25 two tickets

Tickets can be purchased at:

  • The Armstrong Library
  • The Visitors Center
  • Any of the locations on the day of the Tour
  • May be paid by credit card at the Stout Home

Featured Homes

Austin Home
Elward House
McCullough Home
Stout Home

Click for Google Map to the houses

Click on any house picture for a larger view.

Austin Home

Austin Home

203 Clifton Avenue
Home of Gay & Will Austin

Dr Will and Gay Austin’s home, 203 Clifton Avenue, boasts a beautiful view of the Mississippi River. It is located in the Clifton Heights Historic District on the bluff located 200 feet above the river. The district derives its name from Clifton, the early nineteenth-century mansion that was destroyed in 1863 during the Union occupation of Natchez. Clifton Heights was one of the first corporate subdivisions of Natchez. In 1888, partners Isaac Lowenburg and Henry Frank, prominent Natchez merchants, acquired the land from the Surget family, owners of Clifton. The loess soil eventually caused much erosion and a portion of Clifton Avenue fell into the river. Fortunately, bluff stabilization by the Corps of Engineers saved much of the district.

In 1885, William Howard Pritchartt, a steamboat purser from St Louis, fell in love with a passenger, Miss Anne Mounger, also of St Louis. They married, came to Natchez, and bought two lots on the bluff. In 1900, they completed their home for the sum of $3,700, and it was occupied by Pritchartts until 2011. Their daughter, Miss Annet Pritchartt, was born in 1895 and lived there until her death in 1992. Miss Pritchartt taught mathematics at the old Natchez High for forty years.

The Austins purchased the property in the fall of 2012 and immediately began restoration, using local contractor, Danny Smith. Throughout the restoration, they kept everything that was original to the house - all hardware on doors and windows, the kitchen sink, a footed bathtub, and two bathroom sinks. They searched and found craftsmen who could restore these items. The restoration was completed in the early spring of 2014 (18 months later).

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Elward House

Elward House

612 Washington Street
Home of Meg & Mac Hazlip

Richard Elward began construction on a fashionable Greek Revival brick cottage for his family in 1844. By 1845, Elward had mortgaged the lot, dwelling, and all the household furniture for a total of $5,000. He defaulted in 1846, but managed to save their house, which would become home to members of their family for almost a century.

Richard Elward, born in Ireland, arrived in Natchez prior to 1840 when he began advertising his services as a book binder and stationer. In 1848, he was appointed “Post Master” and, the following year, he purchased the Mississippi Free Trader and became its editor. Elward’s tenure was short and the newspaper announced his retirement in1852. Ill health may have precipitated his retirement, because he died in 1861 at the age of 43 of “softening of the brain.” His widow, Mary, survived until 1880. Ownership of the house then passed to his daughter, Laura, who married Robert Bruce Monteith.

Laura Elward Monteith was a charter member of the Natchez Progressive Study Club, founded in 1890, and she also served as president of the Confederate Memorial Association of Natchez. She owned the home until her death in 1935, after which the house became home to the Abbot family for more than fifty years.

Elward is a sophisticated diminutive house with parapet gable ends typical of Natchez brick houses built between 1835 and 1855. A pedimented Grecian portico shelters the entrance and pedimented dormers light the upper half story. The doorway features a shouldered surround with sidelights and transom filled with hollow sided diamonds.

Today, Mac and Meg Hazlip make their home at Elward, which they have spent several years carefully restoring.

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McCullough Home

McCullough Home

408 South Commerce Street
Home of Marcia & John McCullough

The beautiful home of Marcia and John McCullough was built on a lot purchased in October 1883 by Bette Ullman Benjamin, wife of Samuel L Benjamin. The lot was part of the newly subdivided property of Henrietta Harrison, which created new building lots for the growing town of Natchez and extended Commerce and Union streets south of Orleans Street.

The Benjamins immediately began construction on their late Italianate style house. Details included wide overhanging eaves, cornices, and a balustraded gallery. The house underwent a minor Colonial Revival update in the early 20th century, including an addition of a Palladian window in the attic story and replacement of the original sawn balustrade with turned balusters.

The patriarch was Samuel Lewis Benjamin, born in 1838 in Alsace Loraine. At 17, he sailed to America to join his uncle, Jacob Ullman, a merchant in Natchez. He married his cousin Bette and soon joined the Confederate Army. After being captured, he was freed in a prisoner exchange. He returned to open a successful grocery and liquor business.  The home reflects his post war prosperity.

Historians are grateful for his careful records of Jewish congregational meetings and precise recording of grave sites in the cemetery.

His eldest son Phillip Ullman Benjamin joined him in business. Their businesses were located on North Commerce and included the building which later housed the Ritz Theater. Both  played important civic roles. P U Benjamin served as an Alderman of the City of Natchez and was Chairman of the Natchez Fire Committee. He never married, dying in middle age.   

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Stout Home

Stout Home

415 South Commerce Street
Home of Lou Ellen & Guy Stout

Lou Ellen and Guy Stout turned their 1884 Colonial Revival house at 415 South Commerce into a modern family home without losing its historic exterior. Their home is located on one of the lots that resulted from the sale of the property that belonged to the family of Nathaniel Harrison. It is part of what is now designated as the Downriver Residential Historic District.

The Stouts began the renovation in 2006, and after almost two years of surprises, they completed the renovation that is centered around a 22 foot vaulted ceiling and an open fireplace connecting the den and kitchen.

The surprises included the remains of three outhouses in the backyard (yielding an interesting collection of old bottles) and walls that had originally been insulated with packed leaves. A major surprise came when they discovered that the brick kitchen floor they loved hid a 30- foot cistern below. Many truckloads of dirt and a concrete slab solved that problem, though the brick floor had to go.

With a daughter in college and an active nine year old son Sam, the Stouts have created a warm interior that includes all of their interests. Special collections, including balloon posters, Sam’s soldiers, Guy’s trophy alligator gar, and Lou Ellen’s crosses are displayed throughout. One of their favorite accomplishments is having their home weatherproofed with new wiring, heating, and cooling.

 The neighborhood was a major factor in the Stout’s decision to remodel. A beautiful neighborhood, near downtown, and full of kids convinced them to undertake the project.

Tickets may be paid by credit card here.

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