MHGC tours pre-antebellum home

By Dottie Dewberry

For the WPT


The Gallivanting Gals of the Maben Home and Garden Club were on the road again Oct. 15, as they caravanned across Oktibbeha County to Starkville for a gala luncheon at The Grill, where they conducted their monthly business meeting.

Soon afterwards they continued on traveling out to Oktoc, where they had a private tour of The Cedars, which was posted to the National Register of Historic Places on April 11, 2002. The architectural style of the pre-antebellum home is Greek Revival and was built in 1836. Mrs. Erin Scanlon, our hostess, was most enthusiastic in telling about the home and what she had done to retrieve furniture and other housewares that once resided in the home.  Most of the original articles had been auctioned off in 1985. She says that every so often someone will contact her or she will follow a lead to a piece that had been purchased and she is able to repurchase it for the home. She led us on outdoor and indoor narrated tour of the old house and furnishings, giving us a glimpse of life in the 19th-century South. It was interesting to note the number of kitchens that once was functional for the home. Also she pointed out the various additions to the home and the type of outside wall covering: board and batten, lapboard siding and asbestos siding. The interior is a work in progress: wallpaper renewal, rugs replacement (or not), plumbing, wiring, acquisition of period furniture or requisition of the original furniture and kitchenware. She also had a beautiful display of original china dishes on the dining room table.  Some of the windows had original wavy window glass panes, which were made by glassblowers. One pane had a child’s name etched into the pane. WOW! Numerous pieces of furniture caught my eye: for one, a bird’s eye maple chest of drawers, they are still looking for the hardware for the drawer fronts, but the rest was a beautiful sight. The light fixtures were eye catching too. Some of them were rather small, but some were large and quite showy. One place she showed us had been replaced as it was originally with the furniture.

Mrs. Scanlon has come a long way, but there is still a long way to go. We wish her the best of her adventure in being a student, an innkeeper and restorer of antique homes.  In a manner of true Southern hospitality, she served us refreshments at our departure.

During their business meeting, President Anne Earnest welcomed everyone and then delivered the devotion. Before the blessing she told everyone that she was asking for special blessings on all of our travelers (Martha, Suretha, Cathy, Sandra) our sick (Joyce, Catherine and Kay’s husband, Glenn Lewis) and those that were having birthdays (Polly, Catherine and Pat). Afterward the minutes were read and accepted as read. Sylvia Templeton presented the treasurer’s report for Martha McMinn and then reminded everyone of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. She encouraged everyone to have mammograms and to support the research foundations.

Marge Musser presented the calendar report. Next year the calendars will be $6 and the ads will be $30. This is the first raise in price in years.  Marge reminded everyone that OCH Regional Medical Center will host a jewelry sale Nov. 13-15.  Monies go toward scholarships, gowns for nursing homes and stuffed toys for children in ambulances. All jewelry is $5.

The Yard of the Month Committee said that the sign had been placed in the yard of Emma Jones. Its criterion for placement is improvement to the yard, not necessarily the overall most beautiful. The MHGC wants all yards to be more beautiful as it is a reflection on the town as a whole.

The Sunshine Committee discussed its priorities for shut-ins and sick club members.

Door prizes were won by Marge Musser, Kay Lewis and Scarlet Shepperd. The mums were donated by Pat Harpole and Joyce Holt.

The next meeting will be at Maben Methodist Church on Nov. 19, with Mathiston Florist Janet Dean presenting the program.