Welcome to our Folk Victorian house, built in 1902. Technically, the Victorian era ended in 1901, but in the South we're always a little slow to adopt new trends. The house is a work in progress, but what a worthwhile work it is!
Our house's timeline (what I know so far):
c. 1893: Mary Julia McGiffert marries banker James Murphy, second son of druggist Adolphus Murphy. Over the next seven years, they have three children, Laura, James and Adolphus.
c. 1900: James Murphy dies. MJ sells their house, the two-story Victorian across the street from us, for $3,200.
c. 1902: MJ marries farmer Clay C. Dunlap, son of J.J. Dunlap. They probably meet because Clay's brother John is married to MJ's sister-in-law Kate. They build a house (ours) on land given to them by MJ's brother Joe McGiffert (who lived next door). Clay and MJ live there with her three Murphy children. At some point before 1925, they add on a third bedroom and two other rooms at the back of the house, completing the house's footprint as it is today.
1930: MJ and her son Adolphus are living in the house, which is valued now at $4,000. Laura has married Alley Jackson, and James has married Sadie S. and is living in a rented house next door to his mother (possibly on the same property). MJ is listed as a widow on the census, but a Clay C. Dunlap (the only one in the state) appears in Jefferson County ... hmmm.
1941: Adolphus Murphy dies at the age of 41. Does MJ now live alone?
1967: MJ, now in her 90s, dies and is buried in Mesopotamia Cemetery.
1969: Eutaw residents Frank and Syrene Parkins buy the house from MJ's grandchildren. The Parkins do most of the updating, including new wiring and plumbing. They also install kitchen cabinets (I believe it was an unfitted kitchen before this point), convert the butler's pantry to a half bath, update and/or install the other two full baths, enclose the back sleeping porch, install aluminum storm windows on most of the windows, and install aluminum siding on the back half of the house. They also build a workshop over the foundation of an old building of some sort (possibly the place where James Murphy Jr. lived with his wife or a servants' house) and a two-bay carport behind the house.
1981: Mr. Parkins dies and is buried in Mesopotamia Cemetery. Mrs. Parkins continues to live in the house and keep it immaculately maintained.
2001: Mrs. Parkins dies and is buried in Mesopotamia Cemetery.
2004: The Parkins' children sell the house to us. We move in October 1 and fall in love with Eutaw and vow never ever to leave. :)
Show off your old house pride with a T-shirt or tote sporting logos like "I love my old house" and "Paint splatters are a fashion statement." They're for sale in my Old House Shop. (My favorite is the tote bag.)