Monday, November 24, 2008

Christmas Tour of Homes: Myrtle Bank

Myrtle Bank
408 North Pearl Street
Home of Barbara & David Haigh

This Spanish Colonial style cottage predates 1817, with later additions through the1870s. Named for the high bank where it stands, it has a raised basement encircled by brick pillars. In 1835, Alfred and Eliza Cochran bought Myrtle Bank from George Overaker for $3000, enlarging it to its present classical one and a half stories with a wide front gallery.

Among later owners were Anna Dunbar Postlewaite and Benjamin Wade. In 1858, The Natchez Young Ladies Institute occupied the house. A gazebo built about 1875 was moved to a neighboring yard but returned in the 1970s. In 1957, Thomas Gandy bought Myrtle Bank, restoring it to its 19th-century state. He designed and built brick patios, walkways, raised flower beds, and a fish pond. He saved thousands of glass negatives of three Natchez photographers, developed and enlarged the pictures in his dark room at Myrtle Bank, and hand tinted the pictures. He and his wife Joan published several books of these images.

Current owners, Barbara Gilbert and David Haigh, have changed little. The cast iron mantels, imposing Cornelius Baker parlor gasolier (originally at Brandon Hall), and traditional punka are significant features. Visitors will see antiques inherited by Barbara from her Peck and Gilbert ancestors. The library showcases the Haigh’s collection of McCarty pottery and Southern images. On the third floor, the boys’ room displays collectibles from the Miller Brothers’ 101 Ranch and Wild West Show, and the girls’ room has a vintage doll house and dolls.

Myrtle Bank will be splendidly decorated for Christmas. Guests may walk the grounds as well.

Christmas Tour of Homes

Sunday, December 7, 2 - 5 pm

$15.00 one ticket ($25 two tickets)

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