By Ginna Parsons/NEMS Daily Journal
CORINTH – The Friends of the Curlee House are preparing for their second annual Corinth Home & Garden Tour and this year’s event promises to be even bigger than last year’s – and that was pretty big itself.
“Last year, we sold 1,200 tickets and netted close to $30,000,” said Bill Avery, chairman of publicity and staging. “The surprising thing is if you compute $10 tickets by 1,200, that’s not much. The real surprise was the specialty tents and the silent art auction.”
This year’s tour will be Saturday, April 24, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Oak Home, Columns and Fillmore Chapel will be open to visitors, and entertainment will be provided all day in 30-minute intervals in the chapel. Ticket are $10.
“We tried to upgrade this year with the entertainment,” Avery said. “We didn’t have that last year.”
Two specialty tents will be back, and one will be added.
Greens & Things features a large array of potted plants, ferns, hanging baskets, yard art and birdhouses, among other things.
Sweet & Things will offer breads, cakes, pies, cookies, coffee cakes and cinnamon rolls, as well as chow-chow, salsa, jellies, jams and salad dressings.
This year, they’re adding Rest & Refreshments, a tent filled with chairs and tables where folks can sit a spell and catch their breath and maybe have a glass of iced tea and a pastry.
Silent auction growing
The silent art auction will be back by popular demand.
“Right now, we have 62 pieces for the silent auction and by the time the tour rolls around, we hope to have 75,” Avery said.
Artists donating pieces include Bruce Bigelow, Liz Chase and Linda Pulliam, all of Tupelo; Helene Fielder and Ray Fielder of Booneville; T. Lowery Wilson of New Albany; Dot Courson of Pontotoc; and Judy Ferguson of Mantachie.
No food vendors will be on site for the day, but several restaurants are within driving or walking distance.
“We really see this as a walking tour,” Avery said. “Both the homes, the chapel and the specialty events are all centrally located on Fillmore Street in downtown Corinth.”
All proceeds from the day go toward the preservation of the Verandah-Curlee House. Originally built in 1857 for city of Corinth co-founder Hamilton Mask, the home served as headquarters for several generals during the Civil War.
Today, the house has serious structural problems, particularly with the roof and foundation.
“Over $1 million is needed for repairs and right now we have grants totaling about $600,000,” Avery said. “Once the work is done, the Shiloh Park Service will take over the upkeep, the maintenance and the day-to-day operations of tours.”
The walking tour will feature two homes and a chapel.
The Oak Home, an antebellum one-story home, was built in 1856 for Judge William H. Kilpatrick, an attorney and Confederate colonel. During the Civil War, Confederate Gen. Leonidas Polk used the home as his headquarters. Following the Siege of Corinth, Union Gen. Alfred Pleasanton occupied the home. Mrs. Thomas Quincy Martin purchased the home in 1866 and it was occupied by her descendants. Sandy and Rosemary Williams are now the owners.
The home features simple proportionate columns supporting a full entablature. The additional wings of the home and garden house were constructed in the 1930s and the rear addition was added in 2000. The house is named The Oak Home, after the oak tree-lined streets that surround the home.
Columns, which was built around 1896, originally had a center hall with two rooms on each side. In 1920, two wings were added and it was made into a two-apartment structure. It was purchased by the Laughlin Insurance Agency in 1973 and converted into a commercial business. In 1990, it was converted back to a residential home.
Lee and Stacey Thurner acquired the home in 2006. They completed a major refurbishment inside and added a three-stall garage, as well as a separate visitors’ cottage and a garden area.
Fillmore Chapel, built in 1871, began as the Cumberland Presbyterian Church and originally consisted of only the sanctuary. The vestibule, with two towers and stained-glass windows, was added in 1898. The chapel is available to the public for weddings recitals and other community events. Fillmore Chapel is the oldest church building remaining in the city of Corinth.
For more information about the tour, call (662) 415-1999 or visit www.corinthhometour.org.