By Leanna Coy
From October 12 to 14, Natchitoches will be hosting its 64th annual Fall Tour of Homes. The tour is held by the Association for the Preservation of Historic Natchitoches, featuring sites in and around Natchitoches.
Friday’s Candlelight Tour will touch on Northwestern State University’s historic sites. The Alumni House, Varnado Hall, Nelson Hall and Russell Hall will each be shown.
Visitors to Russell will be treated to meat pies and dirty rice, made by NSU’s culinary arts students. At Varnado, the play “Cane River Ladies,” directed by Dr. Vicki Parrish, will be performed at 7:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
“It’s a great opportunity for people to see history come to life through the play,” said Eileen Kendrick, one of the heads of the Tour of Homes.
The Country Tour is available on Saturday and Sunday. The Town Tour is available on Saturday only.
“The tours bring a lot of visitors because they get to see the inside of homes not usually open to the public,” said Heather Lockwood, a worker for the Natchitoches Visitor’s Bureau.
Participants have the opportunity to visit with former plantation residents and experience local traditions. There will also be various speakers featured during the tours.
Some of the plantations on tour include Melrose, Magnolia and Oakland.
Oakland Plantation will have a free showing of “The Horse Soldiers,” a John Wayne classic filmed along the Cane River, during the weekend tour at 7:00 p.m. Admission to both Oakland and Magnolia will be free to the public.
Professor Emeritus of Communications at NSU Thomas Whitehead has been involved with coordinating the Tour of Homes.
“The Clementine House will be open for the first time in over forty years,” Whitehead said. “The house will provide an interpretation of her paintings.”
The Friday, Saturday and Sunday tours will each be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. For information about purchasing a ticket, call 318-352-8055 or 800-259-1714.
Photo by Chris Reich.