New joins old in yearly home tour

Published 5:00 am Thursday, October 28, 2004

The Lawrence County Historical Society will showcase some of the county’s most interesting homes during its annual Tour of Homes next month.

Each house featured on the tour, which will begin at 10 a.m.Nov. 20, will receive the special attention of local floral designers.

The tour opens at the Lawrence County Museum, located on the first floor of the county’s civic center. The civic center itself is a historical structure and once housed the county’s high school.

Two features new to the museum this year are a square piano dating from the 1860s donated by the Rutledge family and a salt log donated by Ruth Cowart Dale and her children, said Kay Allen,president of the historical society.

This year’s tour includes historical homes that have been featured during previous events but also some newer homes. Homes featured this year include those of John and J.J. Carney, George and Ginny Magee, George and Margaret Garrett, Judy McAuley Grimes and the Longino house.

The newly constructed home of the Carneys will make its tour debut this year. A mural in the study, decorative painting in the children’s rooms, a master bath and breakfast area and faux finishes were created by local artist Sarah McTaggart.

Another new structure making its debut this year captures a taste of the old. Malta’s Downtown Market, in the historic Cannon Building, recently opened.

The Cannons were early settlers in the county and were instrumental in its development. Will C. Cannon was a teacher,circuit and chancery clerk and businessman, and John Oatis Cannon was a mail carrier who also owned Cannon Drug Store.

Frank Malta and his wife, Dottie, also have made significant contributions to Lawrence County’s development.

In their latest endeavor, the couple designed the new store to resemble the old marketplaces of the South.

The Magee home is located on Caswell Street in the downtown area, near the historic Longino house. The land where the Magee home was built originally belonged to Harmon Runnels, who founded the town.

Runnels sold the land to Shadrack King in 1820 and it passed hands several times until Will C. Cannon acquired the lot and others in 1892 to form the Cannon subdivision.

The simple home of four rooms, a kitchen with a wide hall and porches was built in 1894 after the property was sold to J.B.Rawls. Later additions have brought it to its current state.

The Magees have made renovations over time but have always ensured they remained true to the time period in which the house was built.

In addition to its construction and design, the home also houses many antique furnishings. Among those furnishings are some saved from the Judge William and Eliza Vannerson home, which was partly demolished in a cyclone that nearly leveled the town on April 22,1882.

The Garrett home in Arm will open at 10:30 a.m.

“Margaret (Garrett) is a well-known artist and culinary connoisseur,” Allen said. “A visit to their home will excite the senses. It’s a must see.”

Allen also invited tour guests to enjoy the tranquil Cooper’sFerry Park.

“Visitors can stroll along the new tree top trail to enjoy the view of the winding Pearl River and the water wheel, which is a replica of the mill wheels that once dotted the landscape in historical Lawrence County,” Allen said.