Pilgrimage Homes - 2013
Please click on
photos to super size them. Photos of homes by
Dr. John McCown
HOLLIDAY HAVEN - (1850) 609 South Meridian Street -
Mr. & Mrs. Tom Seymer - Holliday Haven, one of the
great mansions of Monroe County, and remarkable for the
beauty of its Greek-Revival facade. The pioneering Hollidays
were people of substance, and this was reflected in the
period furniture and art which graced their townhouse.
Holliday descendants lived in their home until 1993, and
many of the original furnishings remain in place. Of
particular note are the splended gilded valances gracing the
windows of its formal rooms, the "jib" windows which open
like doors to the front porch, and early outbuildings.
Holliday Haven's owners have restored the great house to
antebellum grandeur, and their extraordinary collections of
Sevres and Paris porcelain, Classical and Rococo Revival
furniture, including a magnificent Belter parlor suite and
period silver have made Holliday Haven a Pilgrimage favorite.
(Circa 1853) - 301 High Street - Mr. and Mrs. Lee Turnage - Dr.
William A. Dunkin, who came from South Carolina to Aberdeen,
built his Greek Revival cottage, Dunlee, in 1853. This was a
period of burgeoning prosperity, when several planters'
townhouses and cottages were constructed which stand to this
day. Dunlee's elegant front elevation faces north on High Street
and is noteworthy for the purity of its facade with a
pedimented, pillared porch, and twelve-over-twelve paned windows
flanking a double-door entry with sidelights and transom. The
restrained classical interior woodwork reflects that of many
antebellum homes in Aberdeen. The plan books of Asher Benjamin,
a self-taught New England architect, were widely disseminated
throughout country, and local builders relied on them for
fashionable exterior and interior classical details. The center
hallway and two flanking front rooms are original to the house
as well as the outside kitchen, smokehouse and slave quarters.
Dunlee's owners have done a masterful job of preservation in the
grand old home, decorating and furnishing it to period. Dunlee
and a newly renovated outbuilding will be open to visitors this
MAGNOLIAS - (1850)
- 723 West Commerce Street. - City of Aberdeen
- Built by prominent planter and physician, William Alfred
Sykes, The Magnolias is an excellent example of late
antebellum town houses built in the Upper Tombigbee Region.
Its most impressive features include a sweeping double
staircase, very old curtains of lace appliqué, a
Waterford chandelier on the stair landing, and the restored
detached kitchen. This treasure was deeded to the City of
Aberdeen by philanthropist and native son, Clarence Day. The
house has been furnished to period, and serves as museum
house as well as a venue for weddings and other festive
THE MAGNOLIAS HAS BEEN REMOVED FROM THE
(Circa 1847) 803 West Commerce Street - Dr. & Mrs. John
McCown - For the first time in many years, legendary
Sunset Hill is open to Pilgrimage goers. John Harris purchased
six acres of land on a gentle rise west of Aberdeen just before
or shortly after 1847 and built a cottage there. A wealthy
cotton farmer, William Redd Cunningham, bought the property from
Harris in 1853 and made extensive renovations, resulting in the
imposing Greek Revival townhouse we see today. Encompassing the
front and side elevations, eight massive Doric columns support a
deep entablature, and the influence of Asher Benjamin's
publication, "The Practical House Carpenter," may be seen in the
grand front entrance surround as well as in fire place mantels
of the east wing. Sunset Hill is justly considered to be one of
the premier Greek Revival structures of North Mississippi and
was designated a Mississippi Landmark property in 1987.
General Reuben Davis, a powerful political force in early
Mississippi and author of a well-regarded memoir, "Recollections
of Mississippi and Mississippians," lived here with his second
wife, Sally Garbor. Mrs. Davis, at the time of her death in
1912, requested that her body be laid in state on top of the
grand piano in her parlor and that she be surrounded with roses.
Her wishes were honored!
When they purchased the house, the present owners of Sunset Hill
were faced with massive structural, mechanical and cosmetic
problems. Now, the beautifully resotred house is finally open to
the public, and the result is well worth our wait.
- (circa 1905) 510 South Franklin Street - Mr. & Mrs. Mark
Fielding - Around the turn of the century, Robert Alexis Neville
came to Aberdeen and built a fine home on fashionable Silk
Stocking Row. The vernacular Queen Anne house was one of the
earliest dwellings in the city constructed with indoor plumbing
and may have been the first to connect with the city's water
system which dates to 1904. It is, perhaps, the most elaborate
vernacular cottage of that era extant in Aberdeen, with
generous, high-ceilinged rooms, original woodwork, and lovely
leaded glass. Neville Place is notable for its period
architectural integrity and detail. Many homes from that time
have fallen prey to the vagaries of fashion and been altered,
but in the case of Neville Place, benign neglect has proved to
be a blessing. The present owners embarked on a sensitive
conservation program, preserving the treasures of the past while
including the amenities necessary for contemporary life. Elegant
Neville Place is new to Pilgrimage and we think that our guests
will find a visit here to be most rewarding!
THE HARRISON-PHELAN HOUSE
(Circa 1839) 519 West Monroe Street - Mr. and Mrs. Jan H.
Krummrich - This Greek Revival planter's cottage is believed
to be the oldest house now standing in Aberdeen. A two-room
"saddlebag" cabin facing Franklin Street, built sometime in
the 1830's, was given a classical facade facing Monroe
Street and greatly expanded circa 1858 by Richard Harrison.
A physician and planter, Harrison became a Confederate
Colonel and later a Brigadier General in command of
Mississippi's famous "Camel Regiment." During the Civil War,
Judge James Phelan lived here. He was a distinguished
statesman and jurist, and, at the time of the war was one of
two senators from Mississippi to serve the Confederate
government at Richmond.
Replete with Asher Benjamin-influenced interior and exterior
architectural details, The Harrison-Phelan House has been
named a Mississippi Landmark. The home's carefully chosen
Federal and Classical period furniture, décor, and
decorative arts are faithful to the antebellum period.
Antiques and history buffs will enjoy touring here.
GREGG-HAMILTON HOUSE (Circa 1850) 410
South Meridian Street - Mr. & Mrs.
Lynwood Kent - An
interesting and eclectic mix of
mid-nineteenth century building styles,
The Gregg-Hamilton House blends Greek
Revival architecture with Italianate
millwork, interior Gothic details, and
interesting lozenge-shaped "eyebrow"
windows. The home is named for Mary
Frances Garth Gregg, widow of the heroic
Confederate General, John Gregg. A woman
of great determination and character,
she resided in the home for thirty three
years. Charles Granville Hamilton, an
Episcopal clergyman, lived here until
his death in 1984. This Renaissance man
was a prolific author, historian,
politican, and host of a popular radio
program. He even ran for the office of
President of the United States!
Gregg-Hamilton, a certified Mississippi
Landmark, has recently been restored and
is a charming evocation of life in early
THE OLD HOMESTEAD
(1852) 503 West Commerce Street - Mr. and Mrs. Caius V.
Dodd, III - Among the antebellum town houses of Aberdeen,
The Old Homestead is the unique example of an architectural
ecleciticism developed in Columbus, Mississippi, during the
1850's. Dr. George Augustus Sykes, an emigrant from
Virginia, built this fine mansion for his family. Seven
generations of his descendants lived there; The Old
Homestead passed from family ownership in 2006. Directly to
the rear of the house stands the imposing red and white
"Sykes Barn." It is the only Gothic-Revival outbuilding in
the area, and has a separate listing on The National
Register of Historic Places in America.
The venerable townhouse's owners are committed
preservationists and have restored it beautifully. The lady
of the house, an antiques dealer, has filled The Old
Homestead with sumptuous furnishings and decorative arts. A
visit to this place, steeped in history and Aberdeen legend,
is an unforgettable experience.
THE ADAMS-FRENCH HOUSE
(1856) 301 North Meridian Street -
Mr. John Dwight Stevens - One of the most important
planter's townhouses of Northeast Mississippi, The
Adams-French House was built by Colonel John C. Cox for his
daughter, Mrs. Robert Adams, and the architectural
refinement of the elegant home is without peer in Aberdeen.
Recently ravaged by fire, Adams-French has been meticulously
restored by its owner, a well-known antiques auctioneer. The
property is steeped in history, and the décor and
furnishings reflect the luxurious life-style of the
antebellum planter class.
In the summer of 2011, John Dwight Stevens moved James Creek
Missionary Baptist Church, one of the oldest
African-American houses of worship in Monroe County, dating
from 1905, to the grounds of The Adams-French House. Time
had taken its toll on the country chapel, and the
civic-minded Mr. Stevens had it completely restored. Now,
weddings, meetings, and civic events are held here. The
chapel is open to Pilgrimage-goers at the same times as the