Pilgrimage of Homes set for this weekend

Published 5:00 pm Thursday, March 12, 2009

With just a few days before the kickoff of a slate full of events in Demopolis, organizers are getting excited about this weekend’s activities in conjunction with the Southern Literary Trail.

“The Southern Literary Trail is a collaboration of 18 Southern towns from Natchez to Savannah that celebrate internationally renowned writers and playwrights of the 20th Century who were inspired by their communities,” said Kirk Brooker, president of the Marengo County Historical Society.

“Demopolis and every other Trail community will present plays, movies, tours and discussion panels that explore the masterworks of Southern literature and honor their authors.”

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The events in Demopolis will celebrate the city’s connection to famous playwright Lillian Hellman.

Besides the pilgrimage, the city will host one of Hellman’s plays at the Canebrake Little Theater, The Autumn Garden, along with discussions by writers Bert Hitchcock, William Cobb and Alan Brown.

“The Marengo County Historical Society and the Canebrake Players are putting on the last touches as the date approaches. We are hoping for large crowds at the Spring Pilgrimage of Historic Homes and the production of The Autumn Garden,” said Brooker. “The slate of homes for the pilgrimage includes many that have never been on the pilgrimage. What’s interesting is seeing homes of many different periods and styles, and in different stages of restoration.”

The pilgrimage will be held Saturday, March 14, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, March 15, from 2 to 5 p.m.

Tickets are $20 per person and $10 for children under 12. They will be available at Bluff Hall

The pilgrimage will take those attending to 12 different locations in the course of two days to present them with an assortment of historical venues.

Besides several better-known sites like Gaineswood and Bluff Hall, the pilgrimage will feature homes with lesser-known histories, but just as intriguing.

“We are excited about all the historic homes that will be open and want to thank the homeowners for agreeing to participate in this year’s pilgrimage,” said Kayte Melton, Pilgrimage chairman. “Each home is so unique with its own story that there will be something for everyone!”

Homes and buildings on tour will be the home of: Dr. Judy Travis, 705 N. Main Ave.; Dr. Erik and Rebecca Lessman, 704 N. Main Ave.; Tom and Gayla Culpepper, 510 N. Main Ave.; Carl and Inda Pugh, 501 N. Main Ave.; Jared and Meg Wingfield, 500 N. Main Ave.; Frankie and Virginia Overstreet, 101 W. Pettus St.; Martha Turner and Sarah Chandler Hallmark, 301 W. Pettus St.; Bluff Hall, Lyon Hall, Gaineswood, and Town Hall. For more information, call (334) 289-9644.