Keepers of the homes

By Ginna Parsons/NEMS Daily Journal

In 2004, Lana Marsicano’s parents moved from Florida to Aberdeen to make a new home for themselves. Naturally, Marsicano and her husband, Edward, would often travel to Mississippi to visit them.
“During those trips, we fell in love with this little town,” said Marsicano, who was born in upstate New York and called Florida home for years. “We saw this house and decided it needed a keeper – someone to care for it.”
In 2007, the Marsicanos bought Crestwood, a Colonial Revival home built in 1894.
“It had been empty for a few years,” she said. “It wasn’t rundown, but it was stuck in the 1970s.”
The Marsicanos began a renovation project, doing most of the work themselves. They refinished floors, modernized the kitchen and installed new plumbing and wiring.
“And paint. I can’t tell you how many gallons and gallons of paint we used,” Marsicano said. “A labor of love, my husband calls it.”
The Marsicanos’ home will be one of 10 on tour April 22-25 when Aberdeen hosts its 35th Southern Heritage Pilgrimage.
The weekend also features a proper afternoon tea, a pancake breakfast, a play, a gospel concert, a barbecue, a cemetery tour, a quilt show and a bake sale.
For a list of homes on tour and ticket prices, call (800) 634-3538 or (662) 369-9440 or visit
Perfect period antiques
After Crestwood was made livable again, Marsicano’s next task was to furnish it with period antiques.
“Before I had this house, I had no interest in collecting antiques,” she said, “except for glass baskets I began collecting as a child.”
Luckily for Marsicano, her parents, John and Marcia Strong, operate an antiques shop in Aberdeen called Victoriana Rose. With her newfound knowledge of antiques, Marsicano also works there most days.
“Crestwood is probably the best example in Aberdeen of a turn-of-the-century Victorian furnished to period,” said Mary-Ellen Krummrich, one of the tour organizers.
The parlor features an Eastlake walnut parlor suite with a settee, five chairs and a center table as well as an early 20th century library table, a Rococo etagere, a side-by-side secretary adorned with griffins, a baby grand piano made of rosewood from Collard amp& Collard of London, and one of six original fireplaces and mantels in the home.
“I didn’t hesitate to put this home on tour once we got it ready,” Marsicano said. “I’m sure there are still a few things that need to be done.”
Krummrich figures it’s been 20 years since this home has been open for tourists.
“I think you have to be mildly crazy to come here and buy these old homes to fix up, but then we’re all mildly crazy, aren’t we?” said Krummrich, who owns the Harrison-Phelan House, another home that’s on the tour.
“You don’t really ever own these homes,” Marsicano added. “You’re just their keeper. You make them as livable as possible without changing too much of the original character.”

35th Aberdeen Southern Heritage Pilgrimage
– When: April 22-25. The 10 fea-
tured homes are open different hours
and different days.
– Tickets: Available at the Elkin
Theater and at any of the pilgrimage
• 1 home $6
• 3 homes $18
• 4 homes $22
• 5 homes $27
• 6 homes $30
• 7 homes $34
• 8 homes $38
• 9 homes $40
• 10 homes $42.
– For more info: Call (800) 634-
3538 or (662) 369-9440 or visit

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