The Melrose Plantation is one of the locations on the 62nd Annual Natchitoches Fall Pilgrimage of Homes, which isscheduled for Oct. 14-16.
Melrose was established in 1796 and is recognized as a National Historic Landmark. During the first half of the 20th century, Melrose was the focal point of a Modern Renaissance when Cammie Henry hosted artists, authors, and historians to live, work, and collaborate at the plantation. Clementine Hunter lived much of her life as a servant at Melrose and taught herself to paint using paints and brushes discarded by other artists.
Melrose plantation features several well-preserved historic buildings which are a part of the tour. 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 Saturday to 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.