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Mont Helena: A Dream Revisited Spring 2019 "a love story for all the ages." "an enthralling re-creation in the unmatched setting of Mont Helena." Come join us for an enchanting evening of drama and music as the dream of Helen Johnstone Harris recalls her unending love for Henry Vick. Frozen in time, somewhere between heaven and earth, this remarkable story of love and loss will change a family’s history. The lure of Mont Helena, Helen’s Delta plantation home, famous for its architecture, grace and location on a ceremonial Indian Mound, provides an unforgettable setting for the telling of this legendary love story, ideal for historians and romantics alike.
In 1855 a carriage accident caused a chance meeting between Helen Johnstone of Annandale Plantation (near present day Madison, MS) and Henry Vick of Nitta Yuma, MS. There was an immediate attraction between Helen and Henry. A courtship began and in 1857 they became engaged. Helen’s mother insisted they wait until Helen’s 20th birthday to marry. The wedding date was set for May 21, 1859 (Helen’s birth date.) In 1859 at a bachelor party for Henry an argument ensued between Henry and his best friend, James Stith. Henry had sided with a servant causing James to vow to never speak to Henry again. While Henry was in New Orleans one week before the wedding finalizing plans, Henry and James had a chance encounter. James, still angry with Henry, challenged him to a duel. The next morning the two met on the dueling grounds. During his courtship with Helen, Henry had made a promise to never kill an opponent in a duel. Keeping his promise to Helen Henry shot into the air. But, James shot and killed Henry. Henry’s body was returned to Annandale a little after midnight on May 21, 1859. He was buried in the Johnstone family cemetery that same night. Grief-stricken and wearing her wedding gown and a black veil, Helen leaned over Henry’s grave and pledged her eternal love to him. Having suffered such a great tragedy on her wedding day, Helen became known as the "Bride of Annandale."