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Christmas time at Merrehope

By Staff
GETTING READY Irene Traunick, a member of the Mississippi Homemakers Volunteers Association, arranges gift items at Merrehope. Photo by Steve Swogetinsky/The Meridian Star
Special to The Star
Nov. 25, 2001
It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas at Merrehope.
Volunteers of the Meridian Restorations Foundation are gearing up for the 2001 Trees of Christmas tour, which will feature beautiful Christmas trees at Merrehope and F.W. Williams House.
The tour begins Sunday, Dec. 2, and will run through Dec. 8. Merrehope is located at 905 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. For more information, call 483-8439. Adult tickets are $8 and student tickets are $2.
A little history
Merrehope's gift shop is open 9 a.m.-4 p.m. You do not have to tour the homes to visit the gift shop. This quaint shop's inventory includes many one-of-a-kind items.
The gift shop is in the "Morning Room" at Merrehope.
Over the years, Merrehope has been bought and sold many times. When the wealthy homeowners occupied the house, the woman of the house would have her breakfast in this room and issue the day's instructions to her staff. The gaslight fixture in the room is original to the house, but has been converted to use electric power.
Fred Ragsdale donated two antique display cases to the foundation. A large armoire donated by a family from Philadelphia also houses beautiful gift items.
Many were made in Mississippi and feature Merrehope. There are mugs, glasses, stationery, Afghans and more all featuring Merrehope.
Volunteers say it is expensive to main the the F.W. Williams House and Merrehope, and the gift shop is one of the ways the foundation pays the bills. Tours, Trees of Christmas, renting Merrehope for special occasions and events sponsored by the foundation are the only sources of income. Donations to the Meridian Restorations Foundation Inc., a non-profit organization, are always appreciated and are tax- deductible.
Christmas is less than a month away. Stop by Monday and you will see the Shipmates from the Meridian Naval Air Station working hard putting up the trees for the Trees of Christmas. These young men and women are not from Meridian, but from all over the United States. They always try lend a helping hand whenever they can.
The Mississippi Homemaker Volunteers also will help out in the Bakes Shop and Craft Shop during the Trees of Christmas. They have made many craft items that are on sale and will put in volunteer hours as do the volunteers from the Retired Senior Volunteer Program.