The famous author Eudora Welty took great pride in her writing and equally in her love of gardening. She helped her mother in the Welty gardens that visitors come to see to this day. Many of the plants that are in the garden were planted by Eudora. However, the world knows her for the books that she wrote. Her first short story was published in 1936 when she was twenty seven.
In the years leading up to the Second World War she found literary fame when she won two Guggenheim Fellowships. Miss Welty did extensive traveling in France, England and Italy while writing collections of stories as well as several novels. She became a children's author in 1964 with her first book exclusively for them. After the war Eudora continued to travel, but also stayed at the family home to care for her ailing mother. She wrote two more novels during that time period one of which earned her a Pulitzer Prize, The Optimist's Daughter. Eudora Welty lived until the age of ninety two.
The gardens of the Welty family were originally designed and planted by Eudora's mother, Chestina. They were created in the southern style of the day that included flowers for cutting, a woodland garden area, a perennial garden and a garden filled with camellias. Today the gardens have been restored to the splendor of the period between 1925 to1945. Many of the flowers in the garden found their way into the pages of Eudora's stories and novels.
Eudora became interested in the Mississippi Department of Archives and History and in 1957 donated papers, manuscripts and pictures to the department. She continued her relationship with the department throughout the rest of her life. Many students and scholars have visited the Eudora Welty house from all around the world. She bequeathed her home to the Department of Archives upon her death. Visitors to Jackson, MS can tour the home and garden. There are also year round exhibits and programs. The Mississippi Department of Archives and History sponsors scholarships, awards, and hosts literary events.
The Eudora Welty House is open Tuesday through Friday with tours at 9:00 am, 11:00 am, 1:00 pm and 3:00 pm. Reservations are required for any of the tours. The cost is five dollars for adults, three dollars for students 6 - 18 and children under six are free. Groups of thirteen or more receive a dollar off each ticket and on the thirteenth day of each month the museum is free to the public.
Some general information about visiting the Eudora Welty house include: guests must be able to climb a single flight of stairs to receive the complete tour, the gardens have uneven terrain so visitors must be able to negotiate the paths, service animals are the only ones permitted on the property and no photography is allowed in the home. Large bags, backpacks and strollers aren't allowed in the house and if the weather is inclement guests should check to make sure the tour hasn't been changed.