43rd Annual Trees of Christmas

A magical Christmas tree tour is available now through Dec. 31 at Meridian's historic Merrehope and the F.W. Williams House.

"Over twenty trees are decorated to depict an artist, a painting, or an artistic movement," said Betty Lou Jones, president of the Meridian Restorations Foundation.

'The Touch of the Brush' theme this year has made way for creativity to flow from the many different participants.

"We have a tree that has been done by the first grade at Lamar School, and they studied Walter Anderson, the famous Mississippian," said Jones.

Other local school children and businesses took the opportunity to express themselves as well.

"The MSU Riley Center has a tree this year in the bridal room," said Dr. Charlotte Tabereaux, education director of the MSU Riley Center. "And we did actually choose a picture called Pinky. That is why we used the different tints and shades of pink along with the ribbons and the flowing like the girls' dress."

The Annual Trees of Christmas tour began as an effort to preserve the F.W. Williams House, as well as Merrehope.

"In 1968, when Merrehope was acquired by the Federation Woman's Club of Meridian, they knew they had to have a fundraiser in order to buy the furniture, and to restore the home," said Jones. "And they searched for an opportunity that was different."

Forty-three years later, this fundraiser continues to keep the history alive in Meridian.

"If these fundraiser were not done every year, the houses would close, and we would lose these treasures for Meridian and Mississippi," Jones said. "Without these fundraisers and without the support of the community, we just couldn't do it."

Merrehope and the F.W. Williams House are located at 905 Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Drive. For tour information, call 601-483-8439, or visit merrehope.com. The cost is $10 per person.


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