The Burrus House, also known as “Hollywood” or “Baby Doll House,” is listed on the National Register, and the MDAH Historic Resources Database has this to say about it:
Construction began on “Hollywood” in 1858, for John C. Burrus, who was among the first to settle in Bolivar County, Mississippi, when lands were opened by the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek in 1830. The house is the only extant “mansion type” structure remaining in the county.
The once-grand mansion was in a precarious condition in 1936 when our old friend James Butters took two photos of the building for the Historic American Building Survey, one from the front and one from the back, which was already missing its original double gallery.
Already consigned to tenancy by the time HABS documented the building, the house declined even more through the 20th century, propped up with replacement Corinthian “Temple of the Winds” columns for the filming of the 1956 movie “Baby Doll,” but falling back into decay thereafter. The Bolivar County Historical Society tried to take it on in the 1970s. When it was listed on the National Register in 1975, only two of the replacement columns supported the massive front gable.
But the society’s energies fizzled out, and they eventually gave the house back to the Burrus family. The Burrus House website picks up the story, which is a preservation-by-one-family story to rival the Snows at Waverley:
It was in 2001 that a close call with a tornado caused the collapse of the front gable and columns. After that, one of the Burrus heirs, the late Dr. E. H. Winn Jr., of Greenville, had a tin roof put on the house to “mothball” it, saving it from further deterioration. Dr. Winn would say the house “was on his watch”, and in 2005 he established the Burrus Foundation. He then donated to the Foundation which funded the entire restoration of the home. The project was managed by the Foundation’s board and directed by his daughter Barry Foster. The home is now restored to its former splendor, with a few new amenities like electricity, plumbing, and central heat and air. The home is now under management of Hollywood Plantation, LLC, and is available to rent for special events. In June of 2012 the home was host to a beautiful wedding reception, which was the first of many to come.
MDAH Historic Resources Database record: http://www.apps.mdah.ms.gov/Public/prop.aspx?id=3061&view=facts&y=728
National Register nomination (1975): http://www.apps.mdah.ms.gov/nom/prop/3061.pdf
HABS Library of Congress online record: http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/ms0070
More HABS? Yes, please!