There are older homes in Natchez. But Auburn was the first one to introduce this style to the city, the brick exterior with tall columns that we associate with "antebellum." Architect Levi Weeks, who had just designed the building for the Bank of Mississippi for Auburn's first owner, Director of the Bank, Lyman Harding, went on to incorporate another structure inside the house that is even more impressive than the exterior.
Ask Auburn volunteer Clark Feiser what's the most important reason to see this house, and he will quickly turn, and point and say, "Right here. This stairway. As far as we know, now, there possibly could be other ones we aren't aware of. But this is one of only three totally free-standing wooden spiral staircases in the United States. And we're quite impressed with it. After 200 years that it's still with us."
And that it is still here and in excellent shape is more of a feat than you might think. In the 200 year history of the house, it's had just three owners, the City of Natchez being the latest and longest, getting the house bequeathed to it over a hundred years ago, in 1910. And the house sat pretty well neglected for the next 62 years until 1972. Well, neglected by the city, but not by the children of Natchez. Donna Martello says she knows all about how the kids played in here for years.
"I didn't do it because I wasn't living here then. But, I married a guy who grew up here and he told me all kind of stories," said Martello. "Yeah, riding your bicycle down spiral staircase was a big deal in those days. And my husband Robert actually grew up about two blocks from the house in the neighborhood over here and he learned to roller skate in this main hall."
In 1972, the Town and Country Garden Club leased the house from the city and started a renovation that is still on- going. Next to be put back into original condition will be the kitchen out back, and especially the servant's quarters up above it.
"Because those people who lived up there were very important to that period of time," said Martello.
Funds raised from this fall's 200th birthday party are earmarked for the kitchen renovation.
Auburn in Natchez with its one of a kind staircase for Mississippi is open for tours Tuesday through Saturday.
Tuesday, June 18 2013 4:41 PM EDT2013-06-18 20:41:49 GMT
Ridgeland police officers and Madison County sheriff's deputies have surrounded a house on Bryceland Drive in Ridgeland. Lt. John Neil with the Ridgeland Police Department says a resident called policeMore >>
Ridgeland Chief of Police Jimmy Houston said the standoff in Ridgeland is resolved.More >>
Tuesday, June 18 2013 1:13 PM EDT2013-06-18 17:13:45 GMT
Jackson Police Chief Rebecca Coleman has turned in her resignation to Mayor Harvey Johnson and will retire from the police force in a matter of days. Chief Coleman, who has served with the Jackson PoliceMore >>
Jackson Police Chief Rebecca Coleman has turned in her resignation to Mayor Harvey Johnson and will retire from the police force in a matter of days.More >>
Tuesday, June 18 2013 5:00 PM EDT2013-06-18 21:00:46 GMT
There is no such thing as sacred ground for some thieves. Two men rob at least four people at a Jackson church. Officer Colendula Green tells us around 6:22 Monday evening the group was standing outsideMore >>
There is no such thing as sacred ground for some thieves. Two men robbed at least four people at a Jackson church Monday night.More >>
Monday, June 17 2013 9:37 PM EDT2013-06-18 01:37:58 GMT
An accident that occurred around 3 p.m. Saturday on I-20 W. resulted in at least one fatality. The accident happened between Bovina and Flowers. A bystander told WLBT/WDBD the multi-vehicle accidentMore >>
A second person has died from a multiple-vehicle crash on Interstate 20 in Warren County Saturday.More >>
Tuesday, June 18 2013 1:11 AM EDT2013-06-18 05:11:50 GMT
A two-vehicle accident at the Highway 18 and Springridge Road intersection Saturday, resulted in at least one death. A one-and-a-half year-old died in the accident, according to Hinds County Coroner SharonMore >>
A two-vehicle accident at the Highway 18 and Springridge Road intersection Saturday evening resulted in the death of a toddler. Officials have made an arrest in the death.More >>
Monday, June 17 2013 3:26 PM EDT2013-06-17 19:26:53 GMT
Jackson police are investigating what they believe to be a murder-suicide in south Jackson Monday morning. Few details are being released at this time, but Officer Colendula Green confirms one maleMore >>
Jackson police are investigating what they believe to be a murder-suicide in south Jackson and have identified both victims. More >>
Tuesday, June 18 2013 9:23 AM EDT2013-06-18 13:23:30 GMT
A 5-year-old girl set up a lemonade stand across the street from the Westboro Baptist Church compound, and now the group is targeting her. Jayden Sink raised nearly $200 on Friday while she sold lemonadeMore >>
A 5-year-old girl set up a lemonade stand across the street from the Westboro Baptist Church compound, and now the group is targeting her.More >>
Monday, June 17 2013 9:59 PM EDT2013-06-18 01:59:19 GMT
LYNCHBURG, VA (RNN) – Kimberly Burke is used to capturing emotion. As a wedding photographer, she has an eye for tender moments, like the photo she snapped of a Marine and his bride praying that has goneMore >>
A quiet moment captured before a couple wed has brought collective "awws" by millions on the internet.More >>
Tuesday, June 18 2013 8:49 AM EDT2013-06-18 12:49:53 GMT
Simpson County Sheriff's deputies are looking for two inmates who walked off a work detail crew early Monday morning. According to Simpson County Sheriff Kenneth Lewis, Simpson County Adult Detention CenterMore >>
Two Simpson County inmates who walked off a work detail site Monday morning have been recaptured.More >>
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