|Mount Holly, Lake Washington, Mississippi|
MS Preservation wrote about the history of Mt Holly; recommended reading, as are all the interesting posts dealing with Mississippi's architecture and history.
At first glance, the structure appears to be in reasonably good condition. But look more closely, and you see that it is deteriorating badly. Some of the roof is intact, but trim around the soffits is rotting, and some parts of the roof are failing.
Walk around to the back, and you see broken windows and decay. A gent I met a few houses to the south said someone started repair work a few months ago, and indeed, there is a commercial work-foreman's trailer parked on the front lawn. But the trailer has been vandalized, and little work appears to have been done in many months. Previous owners used the mansion as a bed and breakfast, and the rear section of the house has a modern kitchen and redecorated rooms. They are now seedy, but at least this was a going concern in the late 1990s or early-2000s.
The front and side porches show the effects of years of neglect.
This porch, on the north side of the house, would have been an inviting place to laze away a hot summer afternoon in the pre-air conditioning era.
As pointed out in the MS Preservation blog, many sections of brick are crumbling. Areas were repointed with modern concrete rather than soft mortar, which would have matched the mortar used in the 1800s. I thought anyone buying a historic house would know enough to not use the wrong mortar, but apparently some people are really stupid.
The drawing rooms were elegant and even today do not look too bad. The windows are intact so far, but vandalism will take a toll if the present owners don't secure the property.
The Susie B. Law home is another fine mansion only a short distance south of Mount Holly. A reader commented that it was built in 1902 for Sidney Law and may have been ordered from Sears, Roebuck & Company (yes, they sold very fine kit homes for decades - why don't we do this now?). I don't know the recent history of this handsome wood house, but the weeds are taking over and it looks unoccupied. Please see this post for a 2014 update on the Law House.
Not far south in Chatham is Roy's Store, still thriving, and a fun place to visit.
Also see the Preservation in Mississippi article on Mount Holly.
All photographs taken with an Olympus E-330 digital camera, tripod-mounted, with the Olympus 14-54 mm f/2.8 lens.
UPDATE June 18, 2015: Mount Holly burned early in the morning on June 17, 2015. The damage is overwhelming. The Lakeport Plantation blog posted photographs of the destruction. I am saddened to see another piece of our heritage so badly damaged that it is unlikely to ever be restored.