December 4, 2008
Cupp home setting for family dinner
Tammy and Billy Cupp hosted their family Thanksgiving dinner. Christopher and Jenny Cupp and daughter, Emma Grace, and Beverly Fitch and daughter, Shelby, all of Olive Branch, and Walker and Heather Cupp and children, Cade and Lexi, all enjoyed the fruits of their labors around the table.
Susie and Harold Murphy and Kathy Clanton, along with their daughters Regan and Olivia, spent the weekend in New York City while the girls performed in the Macy’s Day Thanksgiving Parade.
Ben and Robin Seale spent their Thanksgiving with their first grandchild, Ayden Seale, in Jackson. They enjoyed visiting with Dr. Ben and Ann Seale, Andy Seale and Hamilton Seale. They enjoyed a beautiful Thanksgiving meal in the home of Bea and Drew Tolsdorf.
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Lacey Boyington and Javier Macedo to wed at First Pentecostal Church Dec. 6
Rev. and Mrs. Rick Boyington of Byhalia are pleased to announce the engagement and forthcoming marriage of their daughter, Lacey Nicole Boyington to Javier Reynoso Macedo on Dec. 6 at 2 p.m. at Holly Springs First Pentecostal Church.
Lacey is the granddaughter of Mary Sullivan of Holly Springs, Bobby and Becky Smith of Corinth and Fay Barnes of Lake, and the late Charles Boyington of Bay Minnett, Ala.
Javier is the son of Javier Macedo Silva and Dorotea Reynoso Herrera of Otlatepec Gro., Mexico.
He is the grandson of Jose Macedo Fajardo and Paulina Silva Rodrigues of Mexico and Pedro Reynoso Arce and Ancelma Herrera Aguirre.
The couple will make their home in Byhalia.
All family and friends are invited to attend.
Christmas in Holly Springs to be held December 6 and 7
The annual Christmas in Holly Springs tour, Dec. 6 and 7, features 11 stops that will be exquisitely decorated for the holiday season.
Sponsored by the Marshall County Historical Museum, tickets are available at the museum, 111 Van Dorn Ave., Holly Springs, for $25 each. Tour hours are Sat., Dec. 6, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sun., Dec. 7, 1-5 p.m.
The Marshall County Historical Museum is temporarily located on the Holly Springs square. The museum offers a variety of Mississippi souvenirs, including flags, Civil War memorabilia, dolls, local books, cards and more.
There will also be a Christmas parade on the square, Sat., Dec. 6, beginning at 5 p.m.
The Burton Place ~ David Person is the owner of Burton Place. The Burton Place was built in 1844 by the Burton family from Virginia, and the house was built in the early Virginia style. It boasts of walls two feet thick with double sets of windows and doors.
The house was one of the first mansions built in town. In the backyard is the servants’ quarters with a cantilevered roof. Inside was a kitchen which was also a washroom, and the other rooms were living quarters for servants. The magnificent fence was originally around the courthouse on the square. In 1925, the courthouse was renovated and Bob Tyson, who lived in the house, bought the fence for $800 to go around the yard, and it has been a fantastic attraction for the house. The pieces of the fence that were left over were given to the Bank of Holly Springs on the square.
Polk Place ~ The house called Polk Place was built by Gen. Thomas Polk in the 1830s.
Polk Place was built as a small, L-shaped house facing Craft Street. It was a two-story house, with a full basement used for living as an English, raised-basement style house.
In this style, families would rise with the sun, go down to eat breakfast and stay downstairs, partially underground, where it was cooler and only return upstairs when the sun had set, to go to bed.
Oscar Johnson bought both Polk Place and Featherston Place in 1900, to be used as guest cottages for his hunting buddies that he brought down from St. Louis on his private Pullman train car. He hired architect Theodore Link to create a private park located between the two houses and Walter Place. The park was 40 acres, going from Chulahoma to College Avenue. At the very back, westernmost parcel of the park, there was to be a large, boating lake.
Theodore Link determined to make Polk Place and Featherston match. He had his workmen dig out the dirt around each house so windows could be lowered for more light. He built the entire northernmost, gabled wing at Polk, adding a grand Palladian style porch, parlor and music room, raising the ceiling in this addition to be grand and more formal than the original house.
Link also designed the grand Beaux Art gates that were to be the grand entry to Oscar Johnson’s park. The four iron gates were actually made by neighbor McEwen’s iron foundry for another estate in Holly Springs, before 1860, and were moved to Polk Place by Link.
Walter Place ~ Harvey Washington Walter was very wealthy and newly married when he began what would be the last grand house built in Holly Springs. He worked with local architect Spires Bolling, who at the time was also building the Presbyterian Church.
Both edifices have octagonal towers, which were Bolling’s trademark. The classic Greek Revival columns and pedimented roofline were common in town, so the inclusion of the Gothic towers with castellated battlements made the Walter Place unique in the South.
The bricks for the house were made on site from clay dug from a pit that now serves as the cellar. The east wall and west walls were built first, along with the two interior parallel walls; then, the north and south walls were attached with hollow spaces in them for insulation.
The porch went from tower to tower as did the cast iron balcony on the second floor. This permitted access to the tower rooms without entering the center rooms. The balcony and the lintels over the windows were made locally at the iron foundry, as was the fence. (All of the iron fences and gates all over town were made locally.)
General Grant and Mrs. Grant, son Jesse and her slave, Julia, were domiciled here in December 1862. When Confederate Gen. Earl Van Dorn made his famous raid on the town, destroying Union supplies and delaying the siege of Vicksburg, they came to the Walter Place with the intention of getting Grant’s campaign papers.
Mrs. Govan, the lady who was keeping the house for the departed Walters, refused him access, saying that it would not be chivalrous to invade Mrs. Grant’s bedroom. They agreed and did not go in. (The papers were there.) When he found out about this, the general issued an order saying the house was to be spared for the duration of the war.
Mrs. Grant talks in her memoir about how Mrs. Govan’s son was a prisoner of the Union army and how she pouted until her husband ordered him released. She also talks about standing on the porch of Walter House and seeing a sea of army tents as far as she could see.
After the war ended, the Walters came home. When Mrs. Walter died in 1899, her daughter Irene and her husband Oscar Johnson bought the old house from the estate.
Oscar was born in the small community of Red Banks in the county and was a merchant with his brother Jack. They moved to St. Louis to make a better living and started a shoe company that would later become Florsheim Shoes. (Johnson Bros., Red Goose, Buster Brown.)
Oscar and Irene decided to renovate the Walter Place and install modern conveniences, such as bathrooms and moving the kitchen into the ballroom.
They hired a noted architect from St. Louis, Theodore Link, to do this work. He designed the Mississippi State capital and the Mississippi Synodical College building that now houses the Marshall County Museum and worked on the restoration and modernization of Vendress Hall at Ole Miss. He was responsible for shortening the porch and balcony and replacing those doors with windows.
Oscar Johnson’s avocation was horticulture and he planned to develop a major park on this then 40-acre property with a large lake, a huge pavilion, carriage trails. He did install two sets of brick and iron gates, a Japanese pond and bridge and brick walkways. He and Link hired a German landscape architect named Kern and 17 Japanese gardeners to do the work. The intention was to develop this park and give it to the city and name it Johnson Park.
Unfortunately, Oscar Johnson, who weighed 350 pounds and was six feet five inches tall, dropped dead of a heart attack when he was 51 years old, without leaving the park to the city in his will. His wife, Irene, sold everything and went back to her home in St. Louis.
At her death, the house was used infrequently by her sons again as a hunting base. They were in their 80s when Mr. and Mrs. Michael Lynn bought the house.
In restoring Walter Place the Lynns worked with the architect and the Department of Archives and History of Mississippi and the National Park Service and the Department of the Interior. The whole town had been placed on the National Register and was listed with it.
In 1995, the Lynns acquired Featherston and in 2000, they acquired Polk Place. In 2004, they started rebuilding the park with trails, a 150-foot waterfall and a small lake. That work is ongoing.
Lismore Cottage ~ is a newcomer to the Christmas tour, as it has never been open to the public before.
It is the home of Mark and Maia Miller, who have the gift of more than the ordinary modes of expression and the house reflects perfect ambience.
The Millers bought the house 28 years ago from Icy and Chester McAlexander, who had lived there 72 years.
The McAlexanders bought the house in 1909 from Fort Daniel, who had built the house the year before. His wife died giving birth to their daughter, Pokie, and he moved back to his boyhood home, Fort Daniel Place. The house is timeless and pervaded with a sense of homey elegance.
Featherston Place ~ Alexander Calvin McEwen, who came here in 1834 when the newly opened territory had started up with the Chickasaw Cession, built the home. He is credited with giving Holly Springs its name. Mr. McEwen surrendered all he owned to the bank’s creditors, when he lost everything. His father-in-law, Colonel Byers of Virginia bought the home from the creditors and deeded it to his daughter, an only child.
Winfield Scott Featherston married the McEwen daughter, Elizabeth in 1858. They lived here and raised a large family until the 1900s, when Oscar Johnson acquired the house.
All the houses were rescued from obscurity as Johnson employed one of the leading architects in the nation, Theodore Link of St. Louis, to put his magic touch on Holly Springs. Theodore Link also put his genius on the St. Louis Zoo, the St. Louis Railway Station, the Mississippi State Capitol, etc.
The house is now owned by Jorja and Michael Lynn.
Hamilton Place ~ was built in 1838 by William F. Mason and was the first mansion built in town. Mr. Mason was the secretary of the Illinois Central Railroad. Originally the house had three floors and six massive Corinthian columns. In 1927 the top of the house was hit by lightning and burned. The columns were never replaced.
In 1868 the Hamilton Place became Bethlehem Academy, a Catholic school. The school remained until 1892, when it became a private residence again. The present owners are Mr. and Mrs. Bobby Clanton.
For more information, please contact 662-252-3669.
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