Tuesday, September 8, 2009


It's time for another Outdoor Wednesday at A Southern Daydreamer. I hope you'll stop by, say hello to Susan, and check out all the other participants. Thank you, Susan, for making this event possible.
I haven't participated in a while. It's good to be back! Today, I'd like to share what I think is one of the most interesting streets in Jackson, Tennessee. A consultant's report stated that:

The city should value East Main Street as a gateway from downtown to East Jackson’s residences, and from East Jackson back into downtown. This street is a “corridor of history” immediately adjacent to downtown that showcases some of the finest historic houses—of different styles—that can be seen on any block, anywhere.

Signs flanking the entrance to the street read:

East Main Street Historical District
Listed on National Registry of Historical Places

When "Preservation of East Main Street" began, these houses were crumbling. Many had been divided into apartments. A few brave souls purchased property in what was considered a dangerous area and invested a great deal of time, money, hard work, good taste, and creativity into returning these grand old gems to their former glory.

This historic marker is in the neighborhood's park.

This one is a work in progress. It belongs to a friend who is doing much of the work himself. The first order of business was a new roof, new wiring, and new plumbing. I think it's shaping up beautifully!

Houses of this vintage tend to need much more TLC than newer homes, but the payoff is living in a home that exudes character and history. The porch on this one is being renovated.

I think this one is a nice example of the Craftsman style.

This one was built in the 1850's, so it was among the first. It strongly resembles many of the old plantation homes scattered througout West Tennessee.

Another great old Craftsman home. Ferns and front porches go so well together, don't they?

Another of the older frame houses. The shutters and the colors really make this one a stand-out!

Sadly, for many of the old addresses, it was too late to save them from years of neglect and decay.

Another set of steps to ... nowhere.

Here's one of the grandest of the Victorian "ladies" on this street! Isn't it fantastic?

Another view:

This one looks as if it could be in New Orleans, doesn't it? Being somewhat hidden behind vegetation adds to its mystique. Do you agree?

The patriotic owner had decorated for Labor Day. The damaged iron fence is probably a reminder of a disaster that struck this street a few years ago.

This is one of my very favorites. The portico sat in the front yard for a couple of years. It's good to see that repairs are well under way.

I had to show you a second view of this one!

This one appears very solid and well-cared for ... today.

It's on the right in the picture below. It was May of 2003.
Approximately 2,250 homes in Jackson and Madison County were damaged when a series of powerful tornadoes struck.

The inside of the Hays House, left, was gutted ... leaving only its red bricks. The owner had dreamed of turning her beautifully-restored two-story house, which dated to 1857, into a bed and breakfast inn. She was on her way toward meeting that goal when the tornado hit.

The vacant lot on the right side of the photo below is where the Hays House stood. This frame Victorian is being scraped and prepared for a new coat of paint. If you look carefully, you'll see the owner sweeping the roof of the front porch.

And the front view. Don't you love that L-shaped porch?

Here's another fantastic Victorian home. The current owners lived in an even larger house on the street. Unfortunately, it was damaged beyond repair by the storms and had to be razed. They sold what materials could be recycled from their former residence and began the restoration of this one.

This garden is across the street from them.
It's dedicated to the memory of Mae Scott Oglesby. The sign below says she came to the street as a bride in 1953 and lived there until her death in 1990. It goes on to say that she was a "tall woman who cast a long shadow."

Another view of the garden ... with crepe myrtles in bloom ....

Did you enjoy our tour?

P. S. Don't forget to visit Susan at A Southern Daydreamer and check out this week's Outdoor Wednesday participants! Just click HERE and you're there!


  1. What a wonderful tour! Such a treasure trove of gorgeous old homes. I love them all, but the Craftsmen just really speak to me. How great that people are investing so much blood, sweat and tears (not to mention money) into restoring these grand old home. Thanks for sharing this project! Kathy

  2. Swoon ... I can't even pick a favorite. I'd love to have a historic project house! The photos of the stairs would make lovely prints, in black and white or sepia. Thanks for sharing the beautiful photos.

  3. Loved the tour - thanks for sharing! Years ago, I would loved to have had one of those old homes, but then reality set in and remembered all the hard work and expense it would take to refurbish it and the up keep, so gracefully backed out and changed my way of thinking. :)

  4. I lean towards the Craftsman style myself. I am surprised that there are not more flowers in the yards. I thought there would be overflowing perennial beds everywhere.
    I agree with Jennifer about the stairs. They are so interesting.

  5. Loved the tour -- but I love old houses.

    Thanks for shaaring.

  6. Hi Bill,

    I enjoyed the tour, thank you very much.
    I adore old houses and some of these are magnificent
    but really you do need a bundle of money to get them back to the former glory.
    Oh and a lot of hard work.


  7. Beautiful antique homes, Bill. This reminds me of Louisiana, Missouri, a Mississippi River town. There are so many gorgeous homes there. Sadly many have been lost, though.

    This is a wonderful Outdoor Wednesday post!

  8. Great old homes! They just don't make em like that any more!! Jackson, TN, huh, just down the road from me. :)

  9. Yes I enjoyed the tour. The old houses you featured look great.

  10. It was in the late fifties I think, perhaps early 60's. There had been a bad hurricane. We went drove to Florida with our children and on the way we passed through New Orleans.. along the gulf coast...and we saw home after home gone! Sometimes there were steps like those you show, no growth though, leading to nowhere. A trailer was sometimes parked in a drive. It was sad. I've often wondered about them. The year before..there were lovely old mansions such as you show in your pictures, facing out to the ocean.
    I loved your post.

  11. I just loved this tour, Bill. The homes are so beautiful and I always wonder about the people that built them, lived in them and then..moved on. "If walls could talk" I'll bet we could hear some wild and wonderful stories....
    Thanks for this really great outdoor Wed.
    xo bj

  12. Oh Bill!
    I so loved this tour. Give me a Craftsman any time, don't care which one, just give me a Craftsman. I love the architecture. Love this visit. Thanks for sharing. Please stop by blog. I have left a message for you. Country hugs my friend, Sherry

  13. Fantastic, Bill,
    Thanks so much for the beautiful pics and tour.
    Those steps to nowhere are so sad.


  14. Thank you for the beautiful tour, Bill. There is something about the old historic southern homes...a gentility that I found missing in the old restored homes in the Chester County PA communities, where I once lived. Don't get me wrong...these homes were lovely and beautifully restored, but the softness just was not there. Perhaps it's the humid breezes we have here in the south...or the slower pace of life. In many of the homes you photographed, I could sense the owners, from times gone by, sitting on the porches, sipping sweet tea and watching the fireflies flit across the lawns...having languid conversations with family and friends.

    Thank you for the tour...
    Jane (Artfully Graced)

  15. How wonderful that many homes are being lovingly restored, and yet so sad that others have fallen into such a state of disrepair that they are no longer salvageable. There is something to be said for the character of these older homes where others have led their lives in a way we can only imagine. Thanks for sharing them.
    :-) Sue

  16. It was so much fun taking your tour of beautiful Southern homes. Thanks for sharing.

  17. Thanks for the tour Bill! I love to look at homes. It's one of my favorite pasttimes. Just hop in the car and take off...to dream.

  18. Wow! What incredible houses...I just don't see those in my neck of the woods. You've done an excellent job with the tour. Thanks and "Happy Outdoor Wednesday" to you. Mumzie

  19. Just delicious! I feel like I went on vacation for a wee bit. The grand old brick with the ferns on the porch reminds me of my Grandma O'Neils home. Thanks for the sweet memories, Bill.

  20. What a fantastic stretch of property. The homes and the differing styles of architecture are tres interesting. I loved the guided tour you planned for us.I hope you are having a wonderful day.

  21. What a wonderful tour. The only thing better would be to go inside!!! It makes me happy (the homes being restored) and sad (the homes that are gone.) An old house is like a breath of fresh air to me! My home is only 82 years old and we love her dearly. Thanks for the tour.

  22. I enjoyed the tour very much, Bil. It's sort of going through a pilgrimage of homes in my hometown....Christine

  23. It makes me cry tears of happiness when I see old homes such as these so lovingly restored.

    The home my great-grandfather built in 1902 (not nearly as grand as these) was destroyed by a tornado in 2005, yet it spared the little cabin built in the 1880s and where all the children were born.

    Thank you for such a lovely tour today!

  24. Hi Dear Bill! Oh, what a lovely tour! I just love olden homes and it does my heart good to know someone is taking care of some of these treasures. It also breaks my heart to see one of these great dames dying!
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  25. terrific post. I'm glad I popped in to enjoy the tour. I'd live in any 1 of these.

  26. I enjoyed the tour very much. That is very interesting. Thanks for sharing,

  27. Bill, I loved this post. Such beautiful old homes. Years ago while we were on a trip to South Carolina, we stopped in Jackson for lunch. After lunch we took time to look around town a little bit and we just thought it was so lovely. My husband still thinks it was one of the nicest places we found on our trip. Thanks for the tour.
    Elaine :)

  28. Hi Bill!
    I know how you feel about the awards. It takes time to accept them. I work 10-12 hour days full time and I was sitting at the computer until 11pm last night. I get up at 3:45am as my morning at work starts at 5:30am. I have a long day believe me, but I so love blogging. You know what the funny thing is? I am an IT Specialist and am on a computer all day every day, and then come home and do some more. Just love, love, love it.

    Thanks for stopping by my friend. You asked about Amy, so I wanted to update you. They have called in Hospice to help keep her comfortable. My sis is a nurse so she can take care of most of her needs, this just gives someone to help assist with some of the others. Plus they are giving the family counseling, and a chaplin comes every day and talks and prays with Amy. Amy is ready whenever God says the time is right. She has her house in order. She has been very nauseauted and her body has shrunk so much in size (68 lbs.) that she does not tolerate much food through her peg tube. They have switched to feeding her Ensure as the other food was causing a lot of upset in her stomach. It is very sad for all of us. When my sis said that Amy had been getting cards and some were from Bill, I knew it was you. Thank you so much. She so enjoys seeing the mailman come, and loves her mailtime. They set her hospital bed up in the front room, where she can see the garden out the picture window and she knows when the mailman comes, she watches for him. She loves butterflies, so it makes me sad that the season is coming to an end, as she will not see as many out her window. I wish I could find a butterfly that was a stained glass type ornament that I could hang in the picture window. I am looking. I will be heading home the 30th of this month, so I still have some time to search for one. I am so anxious. I am going to spend some quality time with all my family. Thank you again, you are such a wonderful, caring person, and I will forever be so greatful to you for all that you have done for my family. Have a wonderful day Bill, and know that you have made a little Okie Gal so happy when it is mail call. So keep sending them. You have so touched her heart. Much love and hugs, Sherry

  29. Thank you for the wonderful tour. You made beautiful pictures.
    Have a nice day, Annemieke

  30. Tall woman that cast a long shadow: I really like that. I also like the character of these older homes, full of architectural elements deemed too costly in new homes today. I fully enjoyed the tour. I know all about tornadoes. I grew up in Oklahoma!

  31. nice photos--I notice that U.S. Grant seems to have pretty well covered the entire South!

  32. Hi Bill,
    I so enjoyed this tour! I love all the homes but my fave is the plantation one that will make me feel like Scarlett! I also noticed some fabulous weeping willows, thanks for taking us on this awesome tour! Cindy

  33. All those restored homes left me salivating for one of my own. My husband and I have an eye on an old Tudor style cottage in historic Hampton, VA. We've even had a city building inspector who just coincidentally happens to be a friend, look at it. All the add on pieces are going to need to be torn down which would significantly reduce the square footage. She is so irresistible though. How awesome to see her restored to the beauty of her youth.

  34. Oh you are speaking my language -- old houses! We have owned 3, lived in 5 . . . love them. Great tour. It breaks my heart when an old grande dame must be torn down or even worse -when it is torn down on whim to build a new place. They are irreplaceable. Nothing built today compares.


  35. I really loved this tour of those stately old homes. Amazing to think of all the homeowner's and history that if walls could talk they would tell. Thank you for sharing this neat outdoor adventure.

  36. Bill, What a shock to see you have pictures of Jackson,Tenn. I have a cousin that lives there and I was there many many years ago for her wedding. I really don't remember much about the town, but I do remember some beautiful old homes. I really enjoyed the tour and the home are beautiful. Thanks for taking me along.