April 10, 2014
The 76th Pilgrimage will take place in historic Holly Springs this weekend, April 11-13.
Set in the Antebellum Capital of the Mid-South, the tour features selected antebellum homes hosted by costumed guides, local storytellers, organ recitals in the town’s historic churches, horse-drawn carriage rides, Civil War re-enactors, luncheons, a character-guided cemetery tour, arts and crafts and a Southern supper in the antebellum Montrose mansion.
Guests are invited to enjoy an authentic, pre-Civil War experience. Homes on tour this year include the palatial Walter Place Estates, built by Harvey W. Walter in 1858-59 and combining Gothic and classic Greek Revival styles, making them architecturally unique in the South. In December 1862 Gen. and Mrs. Ulysses S. Grant lived there during the Union encampment in Holly Springs during the Civil War.
Also included on the tour is Burton Place (1848), a totally restored Federal-style home that features many original furnishings.
The Terrace (1842) will make a comeback to the tour after many years of absence. This home was built as a townhouse close to the avenue and features an inviting sunroom and a broad front porch.
The tour also features Montrose (1858), headquarters of the Holly Springs Garden Club, sponsor of the Pilgrimage, which houses an arboretum featuring trees and plants native to Mississippi.
Hedge Farm (1842) made its Pilgrimage debut last year and will be featured again by popular demand. Hedge Farm, one of the best examples of a planter’s cottage in the state, sits on 175 acres of original farmland which was once part of a 2,000-acre plantation. Guests last year could not get enough of the many original furnishings and portraits and beautifully landscaped gardens.
According to Holly Springs Garden Club President Elizabeth Smith, “This is one of the finest events Mississippi has to offer. It is just as vital and special to our community now as it was 76 years ago. This year, we hope to entertain former Pilgrimage royalty, guests who return year after year, and hopefully, many new guests who have never attended this extraordinary event before.”
Attractions this year include the Church of the Yellow Fever Martyrs (1841), First Presbyterian Church (1860), Christ Episcopal Church (1858), and First United Methodist Church (1849), with organ recitals to be held throughout the weekend.
On Friday and Saturday, guests may make plans to enjoy the Plant it Pink Luncheon at the Kate Freeman Clark Art Gallery to benefit the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation, and the arts and crafts fair on the historic Holly Springs square. At the Friday luncheon, Hotty Toddy food columnist Laurie Triplette will be sharing recipes from her book “Gimme Some Sugar, Darlin.’”
On Friday evening this year, guests may take part in the annual “Killer Kudzu 5K” to benefit the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life project. Afterwards, guests will enjoy the fourth annual “Screen on the Green,” on the stately grounds of Montrose. The feature film will be “Smokey and the Bandit.” Admission is free and dinner and concessions will be available for purchase. Guests can participate in a costume/mustache contest, trivia and prizes and photo ops.
Saturday will also feature “A Walk Through Time,” the celebrated guided tour through historic Hill Crest Cemetery and more arts and crafts on the square. That evening, the Holly Springs Garden Club will host Montrose Under the Moonlight, a dinner dance featuring a Southern supper under the stars at one of the town’s finest antebellum homes with tunes by The Bouffants.
Sunday’s guests are invited to a Southern brunch on the grounds of Montrose with a tour of the home.
For tickets to this year’s festivities, visitors should call 662-252-4015 or visit www.hollyspringspilgrimage.com. The days of the Pilgrimage, tickets may be purchased at the Marshall County Library.
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