In Partnership with the Southern Weekend

Tour the homes of Steel Magnolias

Natchitoches, Louisiana is the home of the writer, Bobby Harling, author of Steel Magnolias, which chronicles the uniqueness and stability of residence who live in small town America. It is a story that millions have loved, for they, too, have experienced love, loss and redemption. The homes along the Cane in Natchitoches are a story within themselves. On the weekend of October 11-13, you have the opportunity to tour many of the homes of Steel Magnolias and some of the plantations along the Cane River.

The 65th Annual Natchitoches Fall Pilgrimage features tours and a special “Shelby’s Wedding Reception.”

Friday, October 11

  • American Cemetery & Mourning Tour. 4:00pm-7:00pm. Actors will recreate the lives and accomplishments of persons interred. Tour the site from the funeral scene. Tickets can be purchased here.

Saturday, October 12

  • Town Tour. 9:00am-4:00pm. Take a walking tour to see some of the houses filmed for Steel Magnolias. Start off at the Lemee Garden (310 Rue Jefferson) for tickets.
  • Country Tour. 9:00am-4:00pm. Explore some of the Cane River Plantations and the St. Augustine Church where the wedding scene took place. Tickets can be purchased at the Melrose Plantation.
  • Shelby’s Wedding Reception. 7:00pm-9:00pm. Dance to the music of the band that performed in the movie! Enjoy hors d’oeuvers, sparkling wine, Cajun food and more. Tickets are $50 per person at the Lemee Gardens.

Sunday, October 13

  • Country Tour. 9:00am-4:00pm. Explore some of the Cane River Plantations and the St. Augustine Church where the wedding scene took place. Tickets can be purchased at the Melrose Plantation.

Tickets for one tour is $25 per person. Two-tour packages are $40 per person. Tour any one house for $15 for adults and $5 for children.

If you can’t tour the homes of Steel Magnolias in October. there will be an encore tour of homes during the upcoming Blush & Bashful Weekend on November 9, 2019.

While on tour, visit the Ragan House. Originally built in the early 20th century, the Ragan House, was built in Louisiana’s Flora-Cypress area and moved to Natchitoches in the 1940s. It remains today the only pier-and-beam foundation construction home in its’ particular subdivision. It is located close to town and across the river from the old Cotton Gin. Because is was not far from a train stop, boarders could travel to Shreveport, and elsewhere, for it was in close walking proximity.

homes of Steel Magnolias

When the production of Steel Magnolias came to Natchitoches 1988, Tina Ragan, filmmakers asked to come to the production sites and “do the stars nails”. Dolly Parton was Tina’s first client. As the years passed and they continued their home restoration, in 1995 they built their own shop. Through the years it, along with other beauty shops in Natchitoches, have served as a respite for many. Just like Truvy’s home-town shop, “steel magnolias” come there not only to have their “hair done”, but to relax in an environment which is not only serene along the river, but is occupied by people who have personally experienced life’s challenges and have overcome great personal loss. Friends to everyone in town, the Ragans are a beacon of love and sunshine to all who enter their doors: true Steel Magnolias through and through.