New Albany couple opens estate to visitors on garden club tour

By Ginna Parsons/NEMS Daily Journal

NEW ALBANY – Concord Inn, a sprawling bed and breakfast outside New Albany, will be the featured home on the New Albany Garden Club’s spring tour.
“Springtime at Concord Inn” is Saturday, May 4, from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Greek Revival-style home outside New Albany. Tickets are $10 and may be purchased from any club member, at the door or at the Union County Heritage Museum.
“So many people in town have said, ‘I’d love to see that place,’” said Lynn Madden, chairman of the club’s ways and means committee. “Now, they’ll have that opportunity.”
The day will include fresh floral arrangements provided by club members, live music, light refreshments and vehicles to help transport people from place to place.
Because there’s more than one structure to see on the tour.
In addition to the 8,500-square-foot main house, which also serves as the residence of Chris and Tanya Coombs, there’s also The Guest Quarters with a private pool and the Coombs Home, built in 1867, that the couple rents to guests.
Chris bought the 150-acre J.A. Barkley estate in 1997. There was an old cabin, built in 1850, on the property, and he had the main house built near it.
When the cabin accidentally burned to the ground, Chris still wanted to have a historical structure on site, so he had his family’s old homeplace moved from Blue Mountain.
“I contacted a relative who had the cabin and he cooperated and we moved it from there to here in 2008,” he said. “We had to cut it in half to get it here.”
The couple, who married in 2003, named the cabin the Coombs Home.
“My dad, my grandfather and my great-grandfather were all born in that house,” Chris said.
And then they set about revitalizing the old home.
“We began the renovation and put back as much original as we could,” Tanya said. Some the original wainscoting is still in place, an original mantel still stands and one whole section of wall inside the back door was left untouched.
“I wanted to leave at least some the way it was,” she said.
Even the kitchen sink is original to the home.
“We dug it out of the ground,” Tanya said. “It had fallen through the floor and been buried under the house.”
Today, the Coombs Home has a bedroom, bath, sitting room and totally modern red kitchen.
“The only reason this cabin house lasted as long as it did is because it had an excellent roof on it,” Chris said. “I’m glad I renovated it, but I wouldn’t do it again.”
Proceeds help beautify
The main house at Concord Inn features four bedroom suites on the second floor and two more on the third floor, all available to guests. The bottom floor, where the Coombses live, is comprised of a family room, office, living room, dining room, master bed and bath, kitchen, breakfast room and sunroom.
The Guest Quarters has a full gourmet kitchen, sitting area, bed and bath and a private pool.
“For ball games, people come from all over to stay here,” Tanya said. “We also have weddings and receptions and parties.”
The Concord Inn is located 7.2 miles from Exit 64 on Highway 78 at 1102 Highway 15 North.
“But don’t put that address in your GPS or you’ll end up in Ingomar,” Chris warned.
All proceeds from Saturday’s tour go toward ongoing garden club projects, such as maintenance of the Faulkner Garden at the Union County Heritage Museum, a Tanglefoot Trail whistle stop and other civic improvements.
“What’s in our minds is once Highway 78 becomes I-22, we hope to help landscape the intersections into town,” Madden said.
For more information, call (662) 507-1774 or (662) 534-8122.

WHAT: New Albany Garden Club presents ‘Springtime at Concord Inn.’

WHEN: Saturday, May 4, 1 to 4 p.m.

WHERE: Concord Inn, 1102 Highway 15 North, New Albany (7.2 miles from Exit 64 on U.S. Highway 78).

COST: Tickets are $10 and may be purchased from any club member, at the door or at the Union County Heritage Museum.

INFO: or call (662) 507-1774 or
(662) 534-8122.

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