NATCHEZ, Miss. (WJTV) – The Natchez Pilgrimage is back on this fall, and it’s underway right now. The spring pilgrimage was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The ones of us who were there got a treat one afternoon in Natchez when a teenage member of a tourist family from Holland plopped down at the keyboard of the piano in the double parlor of Stanton Hall and banged out a Jerry Lee Lewis rock and roll riff for us.
The family was on a musical tour up Highway 61 from New Orleans to Memphis, with stopovers in Natchez for the pilgrimage. I don’t know if he knew he wasn’t any more than 10 miles from where Lewis lived when he was younger, just across the Mississippi River in Ferriday, Louisiana.
But those are the kinds of pleasant surprises you get sometimes in Natchez during the pilgrimage. It’s not so much the chance of surprise that brings people to Natchez. It’s the sure thing of getting to see some of the most architecturally unique and elegant homes in America.
The economics of the nation 175 years ago allowed Natchez to become home to more millionaires than any other city in the nation. All of those fortunes were lost in the Civil War, but the homes that were build then are still here. Every spring and fall, people from across the nation and the world come to Natchez to take a peek inside.
COVID-19 has changed the rules this year. Many of the homes that only open in the spring are open this fall. So there’s more homes available than usual right now. Masks and social distancing and lots of hand sanitizing stations are part of the ambiance this fall, but Natchez is open again.
The fall pilgrimage runs through October 23 in Natchez. Go to its website for more details.
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