By Natalie Covher
The Association for the Preservation of Historic Natchitoches held its Fall Tour of Homes this past weekend Oct. 14-16. It featured the largest Clementine Hunter exhibition in history with over 100 original paintings on display in the homes on the tour.
“The Fall Pilgrimage was very successful and we attribute some of that success to the addition of the documentary premiere and the Clementine Hunter exhibition,” said organizer Barbara Bailey.
The events began with Friday night’s Candle Light Tour that included the Fair Woods Cottage, Cunningham Law Office and Trinity Episcopal Church. Guests munched on the tastes of old Natchitoches recipes in the church courtyard and explored.
Saturday was busy with both the Town and Country Tours available for guests. The Town Tour consisted of the Lemee House, Jeanne’s Country Garden, Jefferson Street Townhouse and the tours featured home, the Soldini House. Nine family members gathered at the featured home to take part in the tour. Celebrating the 100th year of the family continually occupying the Soldini House they shared the history of the home and memories. After the tours were completed, 135 people including additional family members, friends and APHN members enjoyed a decadent meal in the back gardens of the historical property.
Saturday night ended with the world premiere of Art Shiver’s documentary “Clementine Hunter’s World” at Treen Auditorium. The film used Hunter’s paintings as portals to explore her art and life on Cane River. The moving film ended with Hunter’s voice leaving a lasting impression on the crowd.
The Country Tour continued Sunday with tours of Murphy-Pratt Place, Cherokee Plantation, St. Charles Borromeo Chapel, Oakland Plantation and Melrose Plantation.
“We were looking to offer something new to attract people that had visited before and it definitely worked because we had a banner year,” said Melrose Plantation Facility Manager Molly Dickerson.