Thank You for a Great Meet and Greet with Chief James Davis

Thank you to everyone who came out Tuesday evening to meet our new police Chief. Thank you to Chief Davis for taking time from his busy schedule to come and meet Greater Belhaven residents and talk about the exciting future of the Jackson Police Department and the City of Jackson.

Historic Christmas at “The Oaks”

The Oaks Museum, 823 North Jefferson Street, is having their 19th century Christmas event this Saturday, December 8 from 10:00am to 2:00pm. Carols will be sung by St. Brigid’s and Victorian style refreshments will be served. There will also be a raffle for a gingerbread house!! Admission is free.

“The Oaks,” is one of Jackson’s oldest dwellings. This Greek Revival-style cottage was built about 1853 on four acres of land located near the center of Mississippi’s capital city. The house is one of few extant structures that survived the burning of Jackson in the Civil War. The Oaks is a Mississippi Landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Oaks House Museum also known as the Boyd House, it was the home of James Hervey Boyd, Eliza Ellis Boyd, their six children, and numerous grandchildren. Mr. Boyd served his community four times as mayor. For more than six terms, he was an alderman of Jackson, his time in office including the year 1863 when Jackson was burned by Union forces.
From 1853 until 1960, various members of the Boyd family – spanning three generations – lived in The Oaks. In 1960, the National Society of The Colonial Dames of America in the State of Mississippi acquired the property.

The Oaks is administered by The Oaks House Museum Corporation, whose mission is to preserve and interpret the circa 1853 Oaks House, its collection, and grounds, to depict the life of a middle-class family on a mid-19th-century urban farmstead through the story of four-term Jackson mayor James Hervey Boyd, his wife Eliza, and their family, focusing on the years 1853 to 1863.

Be sure to stop by Saturday and check out this Greater Belhaven treasure!

You’re Invited to a Neighborhood Meet and Greet With Chief Davis

The Greater Belhaven Foundation would like to invite all of our neighbors to meet newly confirmed Chief James Davis on Tuesday, December 4 from 5:00pm to 7:00pm at The Rickhouse, 717 Poplar Blvd. Chief Davis will be presenting on Jackson Police Department updates and new programs that he will be implementing. Come meet the Chief and your Neighbors!!!

Nation’s First Singing Christmas Tree Celebrates 86 Years at Belhaven University

For the past 85 years, Belhaven students have readied their voices and gathered on a 35-foot tall structure to be part of the first and oldest singing Christmas tree in the United States. This year, students will continue that tradition for the 86th performance of Belhaven’s Singing Christmas Tree.

“It’s not often we get the chance to make history,” said Christopher Phillips, specialty instructor and director of the singing Christmas tree.

“To be a part of Belhaven’s Singing Christmas Tree is the opportunity to do just that. As the oldest event of its kind in the nation, it’s thrilling and humbling to be a part of this special tradition. We are honored to present this gift to our community this year for the 86th time.”

Since its creation in 1933, the tree frame has grown taller, candles were exchanged for LED lights, voices and music were amplified and more singers were added each year. Today, the wood and metal structure holds over 100 men and women. The LED lights change colors in various patterns and sequences according to the character of each Christmas carol, creating a visual spectacle for listeners.

Both performances on November 30 and December 1 are free to the public and will take place at the Belhaven University Bowl Stadium at 7:30 p.m.
Certain traditions have become expected elements to the tree. An auditioned soloist is positioned under the star located at the very top of the tree. This honored soloist performs “O Holy Night” near the Tree’s conclusion. Other traditions include artificial snowfall during “White Christmas” and humorous “insider jokes” interposed into the lyrics of “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” and other Christmas carol favorites.

Mignonne Caldwell, the originator of Belhaven’s tree and music professor, created the event as a way to give back to the surrounding community. Caldwell recruited college engineer Mr. C. V. McLain to construct the first wooden tree frame for the choir to stand on. Caldwell’s concert idea became a reality and debuted to the public in December 1933. After the success of the first performance, it became a yearly tradition.
Ms. Bettye Quinn, Associate Professor of Education and Director of Elementary Education, has attended the event for 78 years and remembers seeing the tree for the first time. Quinn said, “I remember when I was three in 1937 and a family friend brought me to see the Belhaven singing Christmas tree.

At the time the tree was a group of 50 girls on a platform between the columns, they had on white robes and held bright lights that reflected into the lagoon. It was just a glorious sight for a little child to see. I have come every year since to see the Belhaven Singing Christmas Tree.”
Belhaven’s Singing Christmas Tree was named one of the top 20 events in the Southeast by the Southeast Tourism Society, and it continually draws in thousands of people each year. The Singing Christmas Tree tradition continues serving the Jackson community by providing a spiritually edifying, fun-filled event of visual and musical splendor.

Greater Belhaven Foundation Hosting Re-Zoning Information Meeting

Join the Greater Belhaven Foundation on Wednesday, November 28 at 5:00 pm for a Q and A Session regarding two upcoming Rezoning requests. If you have questions or would like additional information regarding the rezoning request for 836 North Jefferson Street or 1704 North State Street please join us. This meeting will take place at the Foundation office located at 954 E. Fortification Street, please park in the Froogel’s Parking lot and walk up.

Come Celebrate 12 Years in Business and 8 Years with Mo at Old House Depot

Old House Depot is inviting everyone to come celebrate with them this Friday, November 23 from 2:00 to 4:00 pm!! Come on down to 639 Monroe Street, there will be live music and birthday cake and of course shopping!! Free T-shirts while they last!!

GBF Releases Plans for New Belhaven Park Stage

The Greater Belhaven Foundation released their plans to begin a capital campaign to construct a stage in Belhaven Park at their Annual Party on November 6. The Greater Belhaven Foundation slated Belhaven Park as one of its main projects in regards to long term planning in 2006.

The park had been neglected for the 30 years prior and had become a blight on the community. Within a short period of time with hard work and a collaborative effort between the GBF, the City of Jackson, residents and business owners the park has become a wonderful gathering place and a remarkable venue for the arts.

The Greater Belhaven Foundation is preparing to embark on the final phase of improvement of Belhaven Park, the Belhaven Park Stage. Studies have shown that Parks do not only serve to make areas “pretty” they are a driving force of economic development.

The addition of the stage will make Belhaven Park an even more appealing venue for outdoor performing arts, bringing additional visitors to our neighborhood and welcoming them to explore all that Greater Belhaven has to offer.

The Foundation would like to thank Mississippi Sports Medicine and Orthopeadic Center for providing the seed money for the project.

Heart of Greater Belhaven Award Recipients

The Greater Belhaven Foundation presented the First “Heart of Greater Belhaven” Award to Bill and Nan Harvey at the Annual Party on November 6. This award goes to a neighbor and resident who truly represents the “Heart “of Greater Belhaven.

Bill and Nan Harvey wrote a complete history of both Belhaven and Belhaven Heights which will be treasured for many years to comes. They are long time supporters of the Foundation. Thank you Bill and Nan for loving Greater Belhaven and helping to preserve her history and embodying the “Heart” of Belhaven. The Harveys’ issued the following statement:

“We appreciated the kind remarks made at the Foundation’s Annual Meeting regarding the our articles on the Belhaven and Belhaven Heights neighborhoods. I do wish the neighborhood to know that Nan and I are a team, deserving equal credit. I do the writing. Nan does the research, the editing, the photography, corrects my spelling and punctuation and keeps me focused. I could not do these projects without her steady hand. Jesse Yancy publishes our work in his blog and does an excellent job with layout and design and the neighborhood itself contributes greatly through interviews, suggestions and contacts. Success has many fathers. Thank all of you so very much.”

Celebrate Greater Belhaven at our Annual Party!

Come join the Greater Belhaven Foundation on Tuesday, November 6 from 6:00-8:00pm at The Rickhouse. The Foundation will have renderings of upcoming projects available for viewing and will be updating the neighborhood on where we are going in 2019! Come help celebrate our donors and all the things that they are making possible!!