You”re never too old for a field trip — it just has to be the right kind of trip.
That”s what the 31 mostly middle- to older-age members of the non-credit antiques class at Samford University in Birmingham, Ala., decided. Along with teacher Dan Brooks, the class has spent most of this week touring the historic homes of Columbus as part of Spring Pilgrimage 2011.
Although each of the 13 historic homes are “beautiful in their own way,” student Suzie Dickinson said, Bryn Bella was a personal favorite.
The former cotton plantation home, which was built in 1848 by the William Cox family, has heart pine floors, jib windows and antique furniture throughout.
“It”s really interesting seeing the things we”ve been reading about and studying,” Dickinson said as she walked through the garden behind Rosewood Manor off Seventh Street North. “It puts it in perspective.”
After the class, which is called “Samford After Sundown,” passed through the homes, several of the guides said they actually learned something.
Jane Ellis, who has been taking the non-graded, six-week class for years, said she had loved the tours, which gave her access to some rare antiques.
“They”ve all been very nice to us,” she added. “The only thing is, we haven”t had time to shop.”
As she stood outside the Rosedale home, built about 1856 and since restored, she marveled at the intricacies of the antique furniture.
“It was nice that we had so much access into the house,” said classmate Patty Natter.
Although the tours had slow days, a variety of people explored the homes, including Pensacola, Fla., librarian Shirley Korinchak.
Her family, of Caledonia, had asked her for months to come up and tour the historic homes of Columbus.
When it worked out for her to come, Korinchak said she was glad she did.
“The craftsmanship of the furniture was just beautiful,” she said of Rosedale. “It”s wonderful learning the history of the places, of the progression from owner to owner and the restorations on the way.”
Her daughter-in-law, Marsha Granen, had grown up with the tours and had participated in them as a young girl.
“I just thought she would love it,” Granen said of Korinchak. “I”d always enjoyed it.”
The tours, which are just one of the events during Spring Pilgrimage, run through April 9. Tickets per person per tour are $18 for adults, $10 for K-12 students and $16 for senior citizens and military. There is a 10 percent discount for a group of 20 or more.
For more information, contact the Columbus Cultural Heritage Foundation at 1-800-920-3533.
71st Spring Pilgrimage events
· Home and church tours, tickets and general info: Columbus Cultural Heritage Foundation antebellum home, garden and church tours, plus special events, March 28-April 9. Tickets and more info: Tennessee Williams Welcome Center, 300 Main St.; 662-328-0222, 662-920-3533, or columbus-ms.org.
· Tales from the Crypt: April 1, 4, 6, 8 nightly 7-10 p.m. at Friendship Cemetery. Bring the family to these dramatic re-enactments by Mississippi School for Math and Science students. $4 adults; $2 children. (Please arrive no later than 9 p.m. for the last walking tour.) n Noon Tunes: March 31 and April 7, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Welcome Center. Relax with live music and lunch available for purchase.
· 10K run: April 2, 8 a.m., departing from the Welcome Center. Register at runcyclegtr.org.
· Artisans Alley: April 2, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Welcome Center. Handmade period crafts and food available for purchase.
· Mayor”s Unity Picnic: April 2, 4-8 p.m. at the Columbus Riverwalk; free.
· Carriage rides: April 1, 2, 3, 8, 9. See the historic district from a different perspective.
· Book signings: April 2, 10 a.m. at the Welcome Center, with Barbara Sillery, author of “Hauntings of Mississippi,” and April 9, 10 a.m., with Lynne Bryant, author of “Catfish Alley.”
· Grilling on the River: April 8 (4-11 p.m.), April 9 (10 a.m.-6 p.m.) Kansas City Barbeque Society-sanctioned competition, food fair, vendors, family fun; free. Donations benefit the Columbus-Lowndes Humane Society.
· Tour of Kitchens: April 9, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Tour three Columbus kitchens, complete with craftsmen on hand and tastings from local restaurants, to benefit the Columbus Girlchoir ($20).
· Antique jewelry show: At White Arches during Pilgrimage tours, presented by Carlton Gorman.
· Double decker bus tours: Inquire at Welcome Center for times. $5 with purchase of a tour ticket; $8 without.
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