Pilgrimage welcomes visitors

Published 10:01 pm Friday, March 17, 2017

The 42nd annual Historic Selma Pilgrimage kicked off Friday with hundreds of people touring homes and museums in and around Selma.

A reception was held Friday night at the Hain-Harrelson Home in Sardis, which was part of the Pilgrimage last in 2005.

Owners of the home, Ray and Angie Harrelson, opened their doors and invited the public in to see the 1913 Neo-Classical Revival house.

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“It’s just nice to open up your home to everybody because not everybody gets to see it on a day-to-day basis,” Angie said. “I enjoy being able to open up the home for everyone to enjoy as much as we enjoy it.”

Angie was tour guide in the home several years ago for the Pilgrimage. She and her husband decided to purchase the home in 2015. After some renovations, the couple moved into the house in February 2016.

Junior hostesses Kenzie Horton and Kinsley Mott are shown at the Hain-Harrelson home in Sardis during the start of the Historic Selma Pilgrimage.

“It’s nice to open it up and let everybody see the things you’ve done to it and the changes being made and the decorations and our art collection,” Angie said. “We’re real proud of our art collection. I’ve been collecting for years. I just like all kids of art.”

The walls are lined with many different styles of art, and a lot of the visitors were quick to point out some of their favorite pieces.

Shelly Wilkerson and her group were quick to point out some of the artwork in the home. Wilkinson, who was a junior hostess for the Pilgrimage in 1977, said she enjoys touring the homes and seeing the different antiques and looking at the architecture from different time periods.

“It’s really wonderful for these people to open their homes for this and you learn so much about the past,” Wilkerson said. “It’s part of our history here, and that’s the main reason [to go].”

Kenzie Horton and Kinsley Mott were the two hostesses at the Hain-Harrelson home Friday night, both had on pastel green period dresses.

Amy Johnston, Mott’s mother, said the dress was originally worn by her grandmother in 1976 for her aunt’s wedding.

“I went to her house to pick something up one day and it was right after the Pilgrimage meeting and I asked her if she still had any old dresses,” Johnston said. “So I went plundering through her closets and found that one and it fits Kinsley absolutely perfectly.”

Mott, who has participated in the Pilgrimage for five years, said she enjoys coming back year after year.

“The reason I started doing the Pilgrimage is because my grandmother and her children were born in the Vaughan Smitherman building,” Mott said.

“I really enjoyed learning the history and seeing how some of it tied back to my family, so I came back every year to learn more.”

Horton has been a junior hostess for six years, and said it’s something that she looks forward to each year.

“It’s really cool because you actually get to be part of the history and see people look at you and how you tell the story is taking them back in time,” Horton said.

The Pilgrimage will continue Saturday with various homes, museums and a church. Tickets can be purchased at the tour headquarters, the Vaughan-Smitherman Museum, located at 109 Union Street. Tickets are $35 for the day pass, $10 for an individual home, $5 for Heritage Village, Kenan’s Mill and museums and the church and art show at the Selma Art Guild are free.