Gaither House to receive additional improvements

File photo by Adam Armour

File photo by Adam Armour

By ADAM ARMOUR
News Coordinator

Fulton’s historically-preserved Cates-Gaither House will receive some additional changes thanks to frugal spending on the part of the group that spearheaded its renovations.

Last week, Sharion Aycock, head of the group responsible for both the renovation and preservation of the Civil War era dogtrot house, asked the Fulton Board of Aldermen for their approval to allow the group to spend excess dollars from their initial grant to add exterior lighting and a security system. They also plan to add a ramp to the back of the building in order to make it handicap accessible.

According to Aycock, approximately $3,400 of the initial $61,000 Heritage Grant provided by the Mississippi Department of Archives and History remains. Careful spending and volunteer labor and donated materials kept the cost of renovations down, resulting in the surplus.

In order to spend that money, Aycock needed both the approval of the MDAH, which she said she’s already received, and the City of Fulton, which owns the Cates-Gaither House.

The city will not be responsible for covering any of the costs associated with these additions, Aycock said. The board voted to allow the group to make additional changes using the grant money.

Once that work is complete, it will likely be the end of any major changes to the Cates-Gaither House, also known as The Cedars, which has been an object of support since 2009. The property’s owner, Fulton United Methodist Church, needed to take down the building, which was in dire need of repair, to make room for a new parsonage. Any group willing to move the building was welcome to have it, however. A small volunteer group, then-called Preserving Itawamba County’s History (members of which later formed the Fulton Community Volunteers), requested city officials to claim the 150-year-old home. Group members offered to volunteer to raise money to have the structure moved and, eventually, renovated.

City officials agreed, and in November of 2011, the Cates-Gaither House was moved approximately 200 yards west of its original location onto a small piece of property donated to the city by Fulton United Methodist Church.

In 2012, the building was designated a historical landmark by the Mississippi Department of Archives and History. It is now open for public touring.

adam.armour@journalinc.com
Twitter: @admarmr

About Adam Armour

Adam Armour has been writing and taking photographs for "The Itawamba County Times" since 2005. His words and pictures have earned 18 Mississippi Press Association Awards, including several "Best of" category recognitions. He has written and independently published one novel and is currently working on a second.

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