This week, in honor of the beginning of this year’s Columbus Spring Pilgrimage, Preservation in Mississippi has been writing about the inaugural Columbus Pilgrimage, held April 14-16, 1940. Monday’s post was a short introduction about the inaugural Pilgrimage, and yesterday’s post was the Tour of Homes with descriptions of the twenty-two antebellum homes in the tour. The information and photographs for these posts are from the “Program and Historical Facts” booklet published for the 1940 Pilgrimage.
Today’s post is on what the booklet referred to as “Star Homes.” From the booklet:
“A number of homes not open for the Pilgrimage this year, are of local historic interest or represent architecture characteristic of the pre-war period. Stars, conspicuously placed, have been employed to indicate such homes, and direct the visitors attention to them.”
The “Star Homes” feature of the inaugural Pilgrimage was equivalent to today’s walking or driving tours of historic neighborhoods. There are no photographs in this section of the booklet and shorter descriptions of each house than those that were part of the Pilgrimage. The section is still interesting as thirty-seven houses are included, a number of which have been demolished since 1940.
“Steen Home, built about 1858 by Adam Gass, acquired by William Steen, a merchant sixty-eight years ago, and has been in unbroken possession by the same family. John Steen the present owner, is a merchant and financier. (315—2 Ave. N.)” Still-extant, this house, known today as The Haven, has a much more fascinating history than alluded to in the 1940 Pilgrimage booklet. Adam Gass purchased the house in 1858. It was constructed between 1843 and 1849 by Isaac and Thomas Williams, who were both listed in antebellum records as “free men of color.” The house itself is a frame raised cottage on brick ground floor with later Columbus Eclectic woodwork (likely from the 1850s) and an 1880s addition with typical Victorian gingerbread. It is a rare antebellum building constructed by free blacks and remarkable survivor (surrounded on three sides by commercial development and parking lots). Information on The Haven’s history comes from Reflections: Homes and History of Columbus, Mississippi by the late Sylvia Higginbotham (though as it is not a work of academic history, it does not include notes stating any sources on The Haven’s history). It is listed on the National Register as part of the Factory Hill-Frog Bottom-Burns Bottom Historic District. It is not part of the 2016 Pilgrimage.
“Nash Home built in the early Thirties probably by James Taylor, bought by George Marquess in 1849: now the residence of the family of the late Prof. S. M. Nash, prominent educator. (401—3 Ave. N.)” Still-extant, this house is listed in the MDAH HRI as the Taylor-Nash House. It is interesting as a typical, symmetrical five-bay design but with no center hall; instead, two rooms open onto the front porch with two single doors (one for each room) under a one center entablature. This is an unusual variation on the sidelight with single or double doors, as is usually found on such a house. The Taylor-Nash House is listed on the National Register as part of the Factory Hill-Frog Bottom-Burns Bottom Historic District. It is not part of the 2016 Pilgrimage.
“L. J. Frank home, built by Paschal Wade in 1835. During Reconstruction it was occupied by a Carpet-bagger who hid his gold in the well on the place. Josephine Knapp, a Columbus girl who reached fame as an actress once lived here. (406—3 Ave. N.)” Still-extant, the Frank House was used as offices for many years (and is still owned) by Wilbur and Dorothy Colom, Columbus attorneys who also own Homewood. Thankfully, there are no dryvit-covered additions to the Frank House. It is listed on the National Register as part of the Factory Hill-Frog Bottom-Burns Bottom Historic District. It is not part of the 2016 Pilgrimage.
“J. W. Garth home, the foundation is a log house built by John Moore in 1839, veneered with brick to the present large structure by his grandson, the late Lt. Gov. W. H. Sims, who resided there many years. (603—3 Ave. N.) Non-extant, the Garth House site is now a fenced, empty grass lot on the Franklin Academy campus. While part of the house was an antebellum log structure, by the time of its demolition (which was pre-1980) it was a masonry Queen Anne.
“Home of Dr. S. L. Hollingsworth, built soon after the first settlement and has been improved without changing the original lines. (611—3 Ave. N.)” Non-extant, the Hollingsworth House is so non-extant that it is not even listed in the MDAH HRI. The Hollingsworth House site, next door to the Garth House site, is now a parking lot for the Professional Center across the street.
“Home of Miss Joe Estes, built in early Forties by W. H. Craven. Hon. J. M. Dickinson, Sec. of War in Taft’s Cabinet was born here. (221—7 St. N.)” Non-extant, the Craven-Estes House is also so non-extant that it is not listed in the MDAH HRI. The site is now the Professional Center, a substantial but characterless brick box that appears to originally have been a bank of Mid-Century Modern-ish style. Both the 7th Street and 3rd Avenue frontages of that block are entirely taken up by the Professional Center and surface parking lots.
“Stephen D. Lee High School – the property was acquired by the city in 1916 from Hon. Blewett Lee, as a memorial to his father, Gen. Stephen D. Lee. The Senior and the Junior High Schools are built to conform to the Italian influence of the old home erected in the early Forties by T. G. Blewett, who was the grandfather of Gen. Lee’s wife. (7 St. N.)” Still-extant, the Stephen D. Lee House survived forty-three years of use as a high school home economics classroom and cafeteria before the rest of the high school complex burned in 1959. Only good work by firefighters in creating a fire break allowed the house to survive, after which restoration work was performed to turn it into a house museum. More information on the house’s history can be found in its National Register nomination and on the Columbus Lowndes Public Library site. It is listed on the National Register individually and as part of the Columbus Central Commercial Historic District. It is also one of only two antebellum Columbus houses protected as Mississippi Landmarks, the other is Temple Heights. It is a longtime Pilgrimage mainstay and is part of the 2016 Pilgrimage.
“E. S. Jones home. Built by Mrs. Martha Fort in 1844 by slave labor. Two entrances lead to cross halls. Venetian glass surrounds the two doorways. (610—7 St. N.)” Located at 510 7th Street, North, the E. S. Jones Home is has been more widely known throughout its history as the Fort House or Thermerlaine. Thermerlaine is one of five similarly large, columned Columbus Eclectic mansions (Flynnwood, Errolton, and Shadowlawn are some of the others) that once existed. The 1844 date is widely accepted but somewhat problematic; the house may have had multiple periods of construction from the 1830s to the 1850s. The interior has a very vivid decorating scheme created by the DePriest family using designs and materials period to the 1830s to 1850s. It is listed on the National Register, and is not part of the 2016 Pilgrimage.
“W. N. Puckett Home, built in 1854 by Mrs. Martha Askew whose family occupied it many years. In recent years purchased and improved by Mr. Puckett. Original lines preserved. (507—7 St. N.)” Non-extant, the W. N. Puckett House is another unrecorded house not listed in the MDAH HRI. The site is now occupied by the Plaza Building, a somewhat interesting Mid-Century Modern strip mall with a nice (if slightly too uneven) step arrangement in elevation and awning. It would be nice to see if the Plaza Building’s original Mid-Century Modern design included the Ionic columns it currently sports. However, the Plaza Building mostly takes up the Puckett House site with parking lot and is still an incongruous commercial and stylistic intrusion into a historic neighborhood.
“J. B. Love Home, built in 1832 by Rev. George Shaeffer who came to the village in 1819. Mr. and Mrs. Love have improved the house and beautifully landscaped the natural garden. (507—10 St. N.)” Non-extant, the J. B. Love House is another unrecorded house not listed in the MDAH HRI. The site, based on house numbers, appears to be the triangular block bounded by 10th Street, North; 5th Avenue, North; and Military Road, and is now occupied by a cinder block box of no architectural worth that houses a quite sketchy looking “pharmacy.” Surrounding the triangular block are numerous vacant lots, some of recent vacating, including nearly the entire Military Road frontage. The J. B. Love House appears, judging by the construction date given, appears to have been constructed just after Shaeffer converted to the Methodist faith. Shaeffer’s Chapel United Methodist Church is named in honor of Shaeffer’s over fifty-year career as a Methodist minister. Schaeffer was Columbus’s first local historian; his historic writings and his journal, held at the Billups-Garth Archives vault at the Columbus-Lowndes Public Library, are some of the best available information on early Columbus. He was also the father-in-law of Columbus architect W. H. O’Neal, who designed and resided in Dawnview, another lost Columbus house located on Military Road two blocks south from the J. B. Love House (Dawnview was discussed in yesterday’s Tour of Homes post).
“C. L. Ballentine home, built in 1849 by James Sykes a man of wealth and distinction. Connected with the lot was a piece of ground owned by a northern sympathizer. In 1864 it was “sequestered as property of an alien” and ordered sold by the Confederate Court. Mr. Sykes became the purchaser. (901—7 Ave. N.)” Still-extant and known as Aldan Hall today (named after the current owners’ two sons). In Reflections: Homes and History of Columbus, Mississippi by Sylvia Higginbotham, she writes that the house was constructed circa 1839 by John Topp, one of the first trustees of the Columbus Female Institute, with remodeling and additions in 1854 for James Sykes. The walnut newel post lends some credence to the idea that local builder-architect James S. Lull was responsible for this house. It is not listed on the National Register, though the surrounding neighborhood easily has the historic integrity eligible for listing (it faces another antebellum house, is surrounded by Victorians and Craftsmans, and is a block away from Temple Heights), and is not part of the 2016 Pilgrimage.
“Dunstan Banks Home – built about 1840 by William Dowsing, first clerk of the county court. It was bought about 1850 by Dunstan Banks a pioneer citizen, whose son Robert Webb Banks later owned as his home. Capt. Banks was a prominent editor and writer. For years it was the home of Capt. Henry Foot and the last owner was James Hudson. Now an apartment house.” Still-extant and located at 820 7th Avenue, North (the MDAH HRI states it is at 820 7th Street, North, which is in the middle of Leighcrest’s garden). The house seems to have a rear elevation facing 7th Avenue, but the 9th Street frontage is so obscured by foliage and “stuff” that any views of it are impossible to see with Google Street View. Over seventy-five years after the inaugural Pilgrimage, the Dunstan Banks House is still being used as a five-unit apartment. It is not listed on the National Register and, needless to say, is not part of the 2016 Pilgrimage.
“Magnolia Apts. Built in the Forties by James T. Harrison, later the home Gen. Stephen D. Lee whose marriage to Regina Harrison during the War Between the States was an outstanding event of that period. Now owned by John D. Laws (419—9 St. N.)” Still-extant and generally known as the James T. Harrison House or sometimes as the Harrison-Imes House. The house has some similarity to the Stephen D. Lee House, as both are brick Greek Revival houses with some Italianate details and ironwork. The James T. Harrison House is a much more simplified “box” with fewer interior and exterior decoration. It is not listed on the National Register and is not part of the 2016 Pilgrimage.
“Home of the late Mrs. S. B. Street, built about 1849 by Dr. James Yongue, an early druggist of Columbus. Later acquired by S. B. Street, a prominent druggist, whose family have occupied it many years, and improved it retaining the classic lines. (1121 Main.)” Non-extant, the Yongue-Street House is another unrecorded house not listed in the MDAH HRI. The site is occupied today by the Lowndes County Tax Office and Administration Building, which is a brick box combining the cupola and brackets from Malmaison and New Orleans-style ironwork. Next door are two historic houses, some of the few left on Main Street, and also unrecorded in the MDAH HRI. One is a small antebellum cottage with Columbus Eclectic/Cottage Orne front porch, and the other is a nicely detailed two-story Georgian Revival, likely from the 1910s. Both are worthy of preservation and should be closely monitored due to the development pressure on them from being located in a commercial area.
“Home of I. H. Atkins, built by Oscar T. Keeler at an early period. Mr. Keeler was a merchant and writer, who published for many years an Almanac which has been preserved as source material for early history of Columbus. Mrs. Atkins is his grand-daughter. (1112 Main.)” Non-extant, the Keeler-Atkins House is an unrecorded house not listed in the MDAH HRI. The site is now a commercial/office building in the Mid-Century “Mundane” mold. The Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore lists Oscar T. Keeler as a “bookseller, publisher and autograph collector.” Keeler was a New York native, who was Columbus’s commercial agent for various Philadelphia and New York City publishers. He corresponded with Edgar Allan Poe on at least one occasion (hence the Poe Society having information about him). Keeler’s Almanac, which had an 1859 circulation of 10,000 copies, and his 1848 History of Columbus (the first published for the city) are good primary sources about antebellum Columbus.
“George Hazard Home, built in 1858 by James Henry, a pioneer citizen of wealth and prominence. It is now the home of George Hazard who has restored it along the original lines and made improvements to meet modern conditions. (1006 College.)” Still-extant, Sylvia Higginbotham wrote about the house, “Unfortunately for those who are interested in history, there’s not been much written about this wonderful home.” There is not much more available to be written about it, though the Hazard family still owns the house, which has been preserved intact on the interior with the exception of a rear addition and various kitchen remodelings. It is listed on the National Register as part of the South Columbus Historic District and is not part of the 2016 Pilgrimage.
“Home of Birney Imes, Editor of The Commercial Dispatch. Built in 1835 by Samuel Sappington, it was once the home of the parents of J. W. McElroy, M. D., one of the leading diagnosticians in the South. The Columbus Women’s Club occupied it for a number of years. Interesting legends are a part of its history. (803 College.)” Still-extant, this house is basically a Craftsman after various remodelings, with various areas of the house having exposed rafter tails and casement windows. Looking carefully, one can see the original three-bay arrangement, with (formerly) end chimneys and a couple of original windows on the second story. It is still a nice Craftsman house but not much of an antebellum one, listed on the National Register as part of the South Columbus Historic District, and is not part of the 2016 Pilgrimage.
“Beard Apts. Built by Col. George Harris a pioneer citizen. Now owned by the W. C. Beard estate. The original exterior remains much the same. (624 Main.)” Non-extant, the house is listed in the MDAH HRI as the Harry J. Dashiell House with no further information other than it was a two-story house. Dashiell appears to have been a somewhat prominent Columbus resident in the early 1900s, though judging by newspapers of the time, it appears there was nary a social event in Columbus that his wife was not a part of. The site is occupied today by the Merchants and Farmers Bank building (now Trustmark Bank), a New Formalist design constructed in 1972. The bank building is within the boundaries of the Columbus Central Historic District but is a non-contributing resource.
“Home of Mrs. Beverly Matthews, built in 1845 by Hon. Charles R. Crusoe. In 1873 it was sold to Hiram W. Lewis, a carpet-bagger who was elected sheriff under Radical rule during Reconstruction. A surprise visit from the Ku Klux Klan one night soon caused him to leave the state. (612—2 Ave. N.)” Non-extant, the house is listed in the MDAH HRI as “former residence” with the National Register nomination form stating that it was a “Two-story gable-roof frame residence: clapboard siding; flat-arch windows; segmental-arch entrance with transom; one-story full-width porch support by chamfered posts. Ca. 1845.” The house was owned and occupied by Mrs. Sarah L. Vaiden at the time of its inclusion in the Columbus Central Commercial Historic District but was demolished circa 1988 for the YMCA parking lot which the site has been used for ever since. On another note, the U.S. Code of Federal Regulations defines terrorism as “the unlawful use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.” I wonder how many organizers of the inaugural 1940 Columbus Pilgrimage were descended from terrorists, or as they called them, Redeemers.
“Home of Mrs. Adair Marshall, built about 1840, and acquired in the Fifties by John Sykes, who added the east and west wings. (623—2 Ave. N.)” Non-extant, the Sykes-Marshall House is another non-extant house that it is not listed in the MDAH HRI. The site is now a city-owned surface parking used by First Baptist Church, the Professional Center, and Court Square Towers. It is one of five houses in this small area of Second and Third Avenues and Seventh Street featured in this Star Homes section, all of which have been demolished. Thankfully, Tom Locke Mayfield wrote a nice article, “The Sykes Homes of Columbus & Aberdeen,” chronicling the numerous Sykes family houses dotted around the city. This house is on pages 10-11 with a 1950s photograph of the house, showing a columned, two-story, three bay house with arched fanlight front entrance and later galleried, one-story side wings, with mature trees and landscaping complementing the house. Mayfield states that the house was demolished in the 1960s, which fits with the current general look of the area.
“Built by Daniel Williams in 1853 as a home, now owned by J. T. Searcy. Mr. Williams was clerk of the Chancery Court in the early days. There are descendants now living in Columbus. (519—2 Ave. N.)” Non-extant, this house (not listed in the MDAH HRI) was likely demolished for the Lowndes County Courthouse annex, which is what occupies the site today. The house was likely a townhouse-type residence, matching in scale and materials Lawyers’ Row across the street. A 1936 HABS photograph of the Lowndes County Courthouse does not include any adjacent buildings in the frame.
“Weaver Apts. Built by William B. Weaver in 1856, now owned by the Blanche Weaver estate. The beautiful architecture of the original still in evidence. One apartment is occupied by the fourth generation, Miss Lulah Kennedy and Walter Kennedy. (216—3 Ave. S.)” Still-extant, this house is better known as Errolton, one of the great Columbus Eclectic mansions. The construction date is today considered to be 1854. It is listed on the National Register individually and as part of the South Columbus Historic District. It has at various points been a Pilgrimage landmark, including in 2009 (profiled on Preservation in Mississippi) and 2013, but is “resting” this year and is not part of the 2016 Pilgrimage.
“Betts Home, built by Hon. Richard Evans about 1856. It is now the home of Mrs. Robert C. Betts, who is a grand-daughter of Col. George Young of Waverly, and much of the furniture from the historic mansion is in this residence. (206—4 Ave. S.)” Still-extant, this house is known today as Belle Bridge, a name given to it in 1979. Belle Bridge’s address today is 200 4th Avenue, South. The house is another attributed to James S. Lull. It is also one of many in Columbus used as a hospital during the Civil War. The Laws family purchased it in 1979, restoring the front portico (which had been lost to Victorian alterations), but “gutting the inside” then “restoring it” (according to an article on the house). It is listed on the National Register as part of the South Columbus Historic District. It is not part of the 2016 Pilgrimage.
“Home of Ira L. Gaston, was built by E. B. Mason in 1835. At that time, there was a bridge across the river just at this point which made the house a stopping place for friends who came from the prairie section. (108—4 Ave. S.)” Still-extant, this house is listed in the MDAH HRI as the Gaston-Frasier House, with an early construction date of 1829 given. It is listed on the National Register as part of the South Columbus Historic District. It is not part of the 2016 Pilgrimage.
“Home of Mrs. J. L. Walker, built in 1869 by Schuyler B. Steers. It is a replica of a house on the Hudson River of a mid-Victorian period. Formerly the home of the late Gen. E. T. Sykes, a prominent lawyer and Adjutant-General of the United Confederate Veterans. (420—3 St. S.)” Still-extant, this house is listed in the MDAH HRI as the Steers-Sykes-Locke House and has also been known as Azalea Place. The Star Homes section of the inaugural Pilgrimage included just a few postbellum houses, but this is one of the best, a towered Italianate villa with Second Empire mansard roof. It is listed on the National Register as part of the South Columbus Historic District. It is not part of the 2016 Pilgrimage.
“Edward Randolph Hopkins Home, built in 1866 by W. G. Gibbs and purchased by Mr. Hopkins, who is an authority on local history and traditions. His wife is a grand-daughter of Col. George Young of Waverly. (224—4 Ave. S.)” Still-extant, this house is a nice Italianate cottage next door to Belle Bridge. It is listed on the National Register as part of the South Columbus Historic District. It is not part of the 2016 Pilgrimage.
“Hatchett Home, built in 1837 by James Jones. Several prominent families have occupied it. The present owners and occupants, Mr. and Mrs. L. E. Hatchett and Mrs. Addie Evans Hatchett are from pioneer families prominent in the historical background of the city. (304—4 Ave. S.)” Still-extant, this house is a vernacular Late Federal Style two-story frame house across 3rd Street, South from the Edward Randolph Hopkins Home. Since 1938, the house has been known as Corner Cottage. The MDAH HRI has the house listed as the Symons House. Sylvia Higginbotham writes that former owner Legrande Sullivan consulted with the MDAH for the house’s 1980s restoration, with Sullivan saying “that if you want a house to be correctly restored, you must make the effort and consult with experts.” Original windows were uncovered and the narrow concealed staircase was repaired during the restoration. The staircase makes it nearly impossible for large pieces of furniture to be brought upstairs through the house; they must be hoisted through second floor windows. Corner Cottage is listed on the National Register as part of the South Columbus Historic District. It is not part of the 2016 Pilgrimage.
“Mrs. Augusta Murdock Sykes Cox home, built in the late seventies, on the site of the home of Abram Murdock, father of Mrs. Cox. She was the young widow of Dr. Williams E. Sykes, who was killed during battle in 1864, and it was she who suggested on that first Decoration Day, in 1866 that the Federal soldiers be honored as well as the Southern. This incident inspired the poem by Judge Frances Miles Finch, “The Blue & the Gray.” (122—3 St. S.)” Still-extant, this house is one of Columbus’s (and Mississippi’s) best towered Italianate/Second Empire houses, like Azalea Place. While the exterior design was somewhat conservative, compared to National trends, for a house constructed circa 1880, it has Eastlake interior details that were in vogue. It is listed on the National Register as part of the South Columbus Historic District. It is not part of the 2016 Pilgrimage.
“The Cady Home, built about 1849 by Colonel William M. Cady, now owned by the fourth generation in successive line. One of the earliest brick homes of that period. (College St.)” Still-extant and located at 518 College Street, this house is now known as Arbor House, though after a 1992 restoration, it was called Arcady. Before then, it was simply the Cady House. The present Italianate appearance is the result of mid-1850s renovations to an 1840s house. Some further additions and alterations occurred in the 1870s. The Cady House is listed on the National Register as part of the Columbus Central Commercial Historic District. It is not part of the 2016 Pilgrimage.
“Clopton Home, built by Dr. Frank Ervin, and was the home for many years of Dr. P. J. Maxwell, a prominent physician of the city. Now restored and owned by A. L. Clopton. (520—5 Ave. S.)” Still-extant, this circa 1850 Greek Revival is now known as Ashlawn. The design is attributed to James S. Lull and is scaled-down one-story version of his two story, porticoed Greek Revivals. It is listed on the National Register as part of the South Columbus Historic District. It is not part of the 2016 Pilgrimage.
“Reeves Home, built in 1856 by Mrs. Maria Chandler whose husband Gray Chandler was a large property owner of early days. It is now owned by Haley Reeves, president of the Merchants and Famers Bank. (505—7 St. S.)” Still-extant, this vernacular late Federal house received a Craftsman-influenced porch in the early Twentieth Century. It is listed on the National Register as part of the South Columbus Historic District. It is not part of the 2016 Pilgrimage.
“C. L. Lincoln Home, built in 1844 by B. B. Lincoln whose son Col. C. L. Lincoln lived his whole life in this house and died in 1938 at the age of ninety-four. He had the distinction of serving the Confederacy in the War Between the States and later commanded a company in the Spanish-American War. (714—3 Ave. S.)” Still-extant, the Lincoln family lived in the house for well over a century. The house is now used as a bed and breakfast associated with the adjacent Amzi Love House. Malvaney stayed at the Lincoln House during the 2009 Columbus Spring Pilgrimage. The Caradine family, the current owners, received a Restoration Heritage Award from the Mississippi Heritage Trust for their Lincoln House work. It is listed on the National Register as part of the South Columbus Historic District. It is not part of the 2016 Pilgrimage.
“Richards Home, built about 1845 by Green T. Hill, who operated the stage coach line, and housed his coaches on this lot. Mrs. Hill was one of the founders of Decoration Day. Now owned by the D. M. Richards estate. (403—9 St. S.)” Still-extant, it is now generally known as the Max Andrews House, for a longtime Twentieth Century owner. It is an unusual board and batten sided house with exuberant Eclectic woodwork, bringing a high level of architectural interest to what is a center-hall cottage with a rear wing and various rear additions. It is listed on the National Register as part of the South Columbus Historic District. It is not part of the 2016 Pilgrimage.
“Barrow Memorial School, built in 1908 and named for the late Prof. J. M. Barrow, who introduced McGuffey Readers and Spellers into the county schools in 1876. The site was an early pleasure park known as Rabb’s Garden. (815—6 Ave. S.)” Still-extant, the school is now used as the Plant Engineering Building for MUW, housing the physical plant department, campus landscape, and custodial services. That is ironic because the school has landscaping consisting of gravel lots and bare patches of grass; the physical condition of the school is poor with boarded up windows and deteriorating brickwork; and the lot is generally pretty clean. One out of three right fails any course, including historic building stewardship for university administrators. The school was constructed in 1907 and is a design of P. J. Krouse, who is a favorite architect here on Preservation in Mississippi. It is listed on the National Register as part of the South Columbus Historic District. It is certainly not part of the 2016 Pilgrimage.
“Rosedale, home of W. V. Grace, was built in 1855 by Dr. William Topp, whose father John Topp was a pioneer settler and landowner. Several acres surround it and the grove forms a lovely setting for the mansion, unchanged in lines. (9 St. S.)” Still-extant as Columbus’s best antebellum Italianate villa. The interior was restored by Volz O’Connell Hutson architects and interior designers based on analysis of remaining original interior elements with historic restoration companies such as John Canning & Co., Ltd. recreating the graining and marbleizing throughout the house. It is listed on the National Register. It is a longtime Pilgrimage mainstay and part of the 2016 Pilgrimage.
“Home of the late Harrison Johnston, built in 1840 where Mr. Johnston lived and reared a large family, many of his descendants became prominent as lawyers, scientists and merchants. Mr. Johnston was a capitalist who organized on of the earliest banks, built and established the first cotton mill in the state. He fought in early Indian wars and died at the age of 101 years. (404 Third Ave. South).” Still-extant, this house has had almost nothing written about it. The Johnston House, known as the Cotton House on the sign out front, is nearly identical to Leighcrest and Wisteria Place, making it a likely James S. Lull design. However, the house has the finest dentilled entablature in Columbus, with three rows of dentils, increasing in fineness in each level down from the top. Although, similarly arranged, the exterior detail is superior to its more well-known doppelgängers. The circa 1880 rear wing addition is Second Empire, matching the original section of the house in detail and quality with brackets below a polychrome slate mansard roof. It is listed on the National Register as part of the South Columbus Historic District. It is not part of the 2016 Pilgrimage.
“Amzi Love Home, built in 1850, has been occupied by four generations of the family, and now the home of Mrs. Annie Love McGeorge and Miss Gladys McGeorge. Mr. Love was a distinguished lawyer of Columbus for many years. (305 7th St. S.).” Still-extant, family ownership of the Amzi Love House is up to seven generations with current owner Sid Caradine. It is listed on the National Register as part of the South Columbus Historic District. It is a longtime Pilgrimage mainstay and part of the 2016 Pilgrimage.
That is the end of the Star Homes tour and Preservation in Mississippi’s series on the inaugural 1940 Columbus Pilgrimage.