The Soldini House is the featured site of the 62nd Annual Natchitoches Fall Pilgrimage of Homes scheduled for Oct. 14-16. It was built in 1847 by Soldini and Triscini in the Italian Renaissance Revival style. The home was purchased by J.H. Williams Sr. in 1916 and has remained in his family for five generations. The Williams family will celebrate its 100th anniversary in the home this year and will share several of the family’s Clementine Hunter original paintings.
The largest exhibit of the paintings of Clementine Hunter in history, including many rare pieces from several families’ private collections, will be the focus of the Pilgrimage of Homes. Hunter is the world-renowned Folk Artist who lived and painted at Melrose Plantation.
The Pilgrimage is sponsored annually by the Association for the Preservation of Historic Natchitoches (APHN). This year’s event will provide the only opportunity for most people to ever see the myriad paintings, which are held in private collections and rarely displayed.
Art Shiver, well-known author and former television broadcast news and station manager, will be the featured speaker, hosting the world premier of his new documentary video, “Clementine Hunter’s World.” Shiver will present his program in the David Treen Auditorium of the Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts (LSMSA) at 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 15. Refreshments will follow.
The pilgrimage tour will include a dozen homes, churches, and plantations throughout the City of Natchitoches and Natchitoches Parish. Rare paintings by Hunter will be featured throughout the tour sites as a part of “The Clementine Hunter Biennial,” organized by Tommy Whitehead. Shiver and Whitehead collaborated several years ago in the writing of the book, “Clementine Hunter, Her Life and Art.”
The pilgrimage tour will begin Friday evening, Oct. 14, with visits to three sites in the City: Fair Woods Cottage, Cunningham Law Office and Trinity Episcopal Church.
The event continues Saturday with tours of the Lemee House, Jeanne’s Country Garden, Soldini House, Jefferson Street Townhouse and Shiver’s presentation of “Clementine Hunter’s World” at LSMSA.
Sunday’s tour features four plantation homes and a unique chapel.
The tour also offers free admission Saturdayto the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest Louisiana History Museum. Each ticket serves as admission to the museum.
For information call the Natchitoches Convention and Visitors Bureau at
(800) 259-1714 or go online at melroseplantation.org.