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Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Auction at Airliewood

On Sunday, Mike and I went to an open house at one of Holly Springs’ historic mansions which will be sold at auction this weekend. It was amazing.

The house is Airliewood, the Gothic Revival estate home on 12 acres built in 1858.
Gen. Ulysses S. Grant used the home as his residence and headquarters during the federal troops’ occupation of north Mississippi. It was in this mansion that Grant, his wife, son and slave celebrated Christmas dinner with the general’s officers in 1862.
(See previous post on subject -

The current owners bought the 4,000-sq. foot historic mansion in 2002 when the home had fallen into disrepair. They carefully restored it to is original beauty and built a 5,000-sq. foot, modern addition. The new section blends with the old and in no way detracts from the historic feel.

The mansion now contains six bedrooms, four baths, two half-baths, parlors, music room, dining room, delightful sun room, expansive downstairs and upstairs foyers, three porches, 10 fireplaces, thoroughly modern kitchen, butler’s pantry (caterer’s kitchen) adjacent to dining room complete with commercial dishwasher, refrigerator and warming drawers, four-car attached garage, seven security cameras, and fencing around the entire property.

The master bedroom suite in the addition was spectacular. The best feature of the bedroom itself was French doors to a private porch leading to an iron-fenced garden and large fountain. Two doors from the bedroom led to his and hers bathrooms, his done in dark marble; hers in a lighter, more feminine marble. Her side included a jacuzzi tub. His side offered a small room surrounded with windows that could be an exercise room or small office. Each side included a private toilet area. Each side also extended to a dressing room with areas for hanging clothes, shelves and drawers as well as a padded bench. I'm sure that the larger dressing room is a "hers." The two sides are joined by an enormous, walk-in, doorless shower constructed with glass blocks. It can be doorless because it's so huge that water can not splatter outside on the heated bathroom floors. If you’ve ever seen an extremely large shower, you still can’t imagine this one.

As spectacular as is the addition, the historic portion is even more breath-taking. Walking through the rooms and imagining all that had taken place within those walls was awe-inspiring.

Current owners spent $5 million on the home’s restoration and addition. They are setting a starting bid of $750,000 for the auction. That’s the price they paid in ’02.
And, no, we won't be putting in a bid. Photos below (from the top):
Dining room
Original bricks and wooden beams in the full attic
Painting of Gen. Robert E. Lee above a fireplace in one of the parlors.
View of the downstairs foyer taken from the front door. We were surprised at how narrow the staircase was.
Foyer view of the front door. Note the height of the door compared to my height of 5' 6 1/2".


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