Thursday, November 12, 2009
A beautiful donation
By LOIS SWANEY SHIPP
A beautiful Parian marble buttermilk pitcher has been given to the Marshall County Historical Museum by the Billups-Garth Foundation. Carriers were Chip Billups and Rufus Ward from Columbus, who are cousins descended from beautiful Sally Govan Mott Billups of Holly Springs.
The Govan house was on the old Sylvestria Road from Holly Springs to Hudsonville. The name of the house was “Snowdoun.”
The Northern soldiers told the family to evacuate the house and take nothing, then they set fire to it. Only the Parian pitcher was saved. Sally’s father was General Andrew R. Govan; her husband was General Christopher Mott, who was killed in the Battle of Richmond.
After Sally came back to Holly Springs, she decided to go to Columbus to visit a relative. When she went as far as the Tombigbee River, the ferry owner, who was running the ferry, saw Sally and fell madly in love with her at first sight. He was Mr. Billups.
He married her and they lived in Columbus. They named their house in Columbus, “Snowdoun,” after her house here in Marshall County.
In 1969, I went to the Columbus Pilgrimage and there in a house called “Snowdoun” I saw all of these Holly Springs artifacts, all fabulous. I coveted them but I had no place to put them.
When I came home, realizing historic Holly Springs and Marshall County needed a museum, in March of 1970 we created a museum, a place for our own local treasures.
The Parian pitcher is the most beautiful thing you’ll ever see.
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