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Annual forum showcases antiques, free events and Jackson's Military Road


Jan Swoope



Have you ever wondered how Military Road in Columbus got its name? The upcoming Decorative Arts and Preservation Forum and Antiques Show and Sale Oct. 31 through Nov. 2 will answer that and offer much more.  


"Andrew Jackson's Military Road: Nashville to New Orleans" is the theme of this year's forum that features free presentations by a roster of experts, an opening reception, floral seminar, brunch, elegant dinners and, of course, remarkable antiques. Many of the events are free. 


With the exception of two Grand Patron Dinners, all forum sessions will take place at the Columbus Arts Council's Rosenzweig Arts Center at 501 Main St., a new venue for the forum. 


"We're very grateful to Tina Sweeten and the Columbus Arts Council board and staff for working with us on a venue we feel will be not only inviting, but delightful," said Nancy Carpenter, director of the Columbus Cultural Heritage Foundation, which is presenting the forum. 




Things to do 


The weekend begins with a free antiques show opening reception Thursday from 7-9 p.m.  


On Friday, a ticketed brunch followed by a "Flowers for the Holidays" seminar with Lynette McDougald of Mississippi State University begins at 9 a.m. Tickets are $25. Seating is limited; advance reservations are strongly recommended. 


Free Saturday seminars open with complimentary coffee and pastries at 8:30 a.m., followed by a 9:15 a.m. talk by Marsha Mullin, chief curator of The Hermitage, Jackson's historic home in Nashville, Tenn. 


"We'll focus on furnishings the Jacksons purchased for The Hermitage through the years and how, as styles and their circumstances changed, that influenced them," said Mullin, who will highlight her talk with Power Point images. As transportation improved, the Jackson family acquired items from farther afield, first from Nashville, then New Orleans and later Philadelphia, Pa. "It's about the Jacksons, but it's also about the changing styles of the times." 


Dr. Judith Ridner, associate professor of history at Mississippi State, will speak on "The Market Revolution and Material Goods in Jacksonian America" at 10:40 a.m. 


Following a ticketed lunch, area historian Rufus Ward and Mississippi Department of Archives Deputy Preservation Officer Ken P'Pool will discuss "Military Road: Where Did It Go and What Did It Look Like?" at 1 p.m. Jackson was officially in charge of the construction of Military Road, a route from Nashville to New Orleans. The road was completed in 1820. In Columbus, it still bears the name. 


Events are free, with the exception of Friday's brunch and floral seminar, Saturday's lunch and two grand patron dinners. Dixie's Butler's circa 1837 home Temple Heights will be the setting of Friday's patron dinner. Saturday's event will be hosted at Bryn Belle, the circa 1848 home of Keith and Chrissy Heard. Grand Patron tickets are $150 and admit the holder to all forum events. 




Antiques show and sale 


The antiques show will be open Thursday evening during the 7-9 p.m. reception, and Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. There is no admission charge.  


"We hope everyone will come in to see the beautiful antiques, glassware, silver and so many more items dealers are bringing," said Carpenter, adding that this year's show will include a skilled glass and antiques restorer. 


Angela Boudreaux of Southaven will be able to polish chips out of stemware and other glass and crystal items no wider than 7-inches in diameter. She'll also be able to do some on-site gluing repairs.  


"I'll start collecting work on Thursday and start the chip removal process on Friday and continue Saturday," said Boudreaux.  


Antiques dealers at the show will include Beard's Antiquities on Fifth of Columbus; Dianne Currie Antiques of Pensacola, Fla.; Emma's Antiques of Bowling Green, Ky.; Fincher's Antiques of Greenwood; Heritage Jewelry of Germantown, Tenn.; Sprott Antiques of Memphis, Tenn.; Cynthia Stovall Antiques of Gallatin, Tenn.; and Sunnyside Antiques of West Point. 


The vast variety of finds includes porcelain, sterling silver, antique books, jewelry, oriental rugs, furniture, baby items and more.  




How to go 


Tickets for those events that require them may be purchased at the Tennessee Williams Home Welcome Center at 300 Main St. in Columbus, and at the Columbus Convention and Visitors Bureau, 117 Third St. S. (behind the Welcome Center).  


For more information, contact the Columbus Cultural Heritage Foundation at 877-462-8439, extension 7151, or the CVB, 800-920-3533.


Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.


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