Thursday, October 19, 2006
Annual “Christmas in Holly Springs” tour
Holiday time is drawing near. Our 18th annual “Christmas in Holly Springs” tour will be celebrated December 2 and 3.
We will have six delightful holiday houses for you to see and enjoy. We will have two cantatas. The Holly Springs High School Choir will be enjoyed on Saturday afternoon under the direction of Barbara Anderson. The Marshall Academy choir under the direction of Chris Mirante will be enjoyed on Sunday afternoon. Both will be held at the beautiful St. Joseph Catholic Church on Van Dorn Avenue at 2 o’clock both days.
Majestic Montrose, with beautiful Greek revival architecture, was built in 1858 by Alfred Brooks as a wedding gift for his daughter, Margaret, when she married Robert McGowan. The young couple didn’t live here long because after the war, Margaret died after the birth of her fifth child and the house was sold to Judge James T. Fant.
Dr. Robert H. Peel, his wife and daughter were the next owners. Dr. Peel had been a war hero. In the first battle of the war, Manassas, in Virginia, Dr. Peel was a surgeon of the 19th Mississippi Regiment and he operated on wounded Confederates and Federals in the old stone house on the battlefield. In his efforts to soothe and encourage the wounded, one of the Federal officers exclaimed, “My God, why are we fighting such men as this?”
When I was growing up in Holly Springs in the 1930s, Dr. Peel’s daughter, Mamie Crawford, lived in Montrose in its crumpled splendor. When her granddaughter would visit from the state of Washington, Mrs. Crawford would invite the local girls to meet her. I remember when she had a birthday party there and I thought the house was really old!
In 1938, Minnie Wooten Johnson, widow of Jackson Johnson bought the house and restored it to its former grandeur plus a little. She embellished its magnificence by adding wings on each side. At her death, she willed the house to the Holly Spring Garden Club completely furnished even down to the soap in the soap dishes.
In 1981, the Montrose Arboretum was designated as the site of the Mississippi Statewide Arboretum. Fifty different specimens of native trees are labeled with common and botanical names in the yard. Montrose has been the setting of several Hollywood movies, “Cookies Fortune,” “Heart of Dixie,” and “Third of July.”
Before November 25, tickets will cost in advance $25 each. In groups of ten or more, tickets will cost in advance $22 each. The week of the tour and tour days, tickets will cost $30 each.
We are tax deductible. The money goes to support the Marshall County Historical Museum. We are located at 111 Van Dorn Avenue. We accept credit cards, checks and cash. Our phone number is 662 252-3669. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our website at www.marshallcountyhistoricalmuseum.org.
(662) 252-4261 or email@example.com
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