In 1898, a tragedy occurred at Â the House of the Seasons. James King and his wife, Minnie, had acquired several lots and a home on Friou Street behind the House of the Seasons in 1896. Two years later their two-year-old son fell into a cistern locatedÂ next to the arborÂ and, tragically, drowned. Soon afterwards, a 300-pound concrete slab was put on top of the cisternâ€™s opening, where it remained until 2016.
The cistern has a rich history; it was built in the summer of 1869 by John Murphy, a prominent citizen and builder in Jefferson. His signature is located near the floor of the cistern, shown in a photograph below.
The King family had five other children. Their youngest daughter, Frances, married Herbert Liverman of Jefferson, and the couple became good friends with Richard Collins when he purchased the House of the Seasons in 1973. Herbert briefly worked for Richard Collinsâ€™ grandfather in the insurance business before having a long successful career with the Southland Life Insurance Company of Dallas.
The House of the Seasons acquired the property where the cistern is located in 2014 and moved the slab next to the arbor to serve as the base to a beautiful, chain-circled flower pot where it will continue to be a part of the cityâ€™s history.
The House of the Seasons is proud to announce it has loaned several pieces of furniture to the Bullock History Museum in Austin, TX through 2018. The furniture, which will be part of the museumâ€™s exhibit on Texas plantation furniture, comes from the Wyalucing plantation home in Marshall, Texas.
The House of the Seasons acquired the furniture from the Dorothy Morris estate. Morris had previously acquired the furniture from the heirs of Anna and Elkanah Greer in 1970. Elkanah Greer was a general in the Confederate States Army.
Built in 1849 for Beverly L. Holcombe, the Wyalucing plantation house was a two-story brick home designed to resemble a Grecian temple, with columns on all four sides. During the civil war, the house became the headquarters for the Trans-Mississippi Agency of the Confederate Post Office Department. In May 1865 it was also where General Kirby Smith met with Senior Confederate Officers to discuss options after the surrender of Lee’s army at Appomattox. The general and the officers would have used this furniture during the meeting.
In addition to being an important Civil War location, the Wyalucing house was the marriage site of several of Beverly L Holcombeâ€™s daughters. Most prominent among these marriage was that of Lucy Holcombe to Francis Pickens.
Immediately following their marriage in 1858, Lucy and Francis Pickens moved to St. Petersburg, Russia where Francis Pickens became the American Ambassador. Renowned as the most beautiful woman in the South, Lucy quickly became a favorite of the Czar Alexander II and Czarina Maria Alexandrovna. When Lucyâ€™s daughter Doushka – a name meaning â€˜little darlingâ€™ – was born, the Czar and Czarina became her godparents.
The Pickens family returned to America in 1860, whereupon Francis was elected as Governor of South Carolina. In this role, Pickens led the state into secession from the United States. Lucy played an important role too. It is not only rumored that she lit the cannon that fired the first shot at Fort Sumpter, but it was her face printed on the confederate $100 bill. One of these bills will also be on display at the Bullock History Museum.
Newspaper clipping from the Dallas Morning News 1961; article by Frank X. Tolbert
Recently, an order was placed with Bracyâ€™s Nursery in Amite City, Louisiana for several Savannah Holly bushes that were to be added to the landscape at the House of the Seasons in Jefferson, Texas. A confirmation call to the owner of the nursery was placed before a member of our landscaping staff was sent to drive several hours beginning at 2:00 AM to pick up the bushes and return back to Jefferson with enough time to plant them in the yard. The owner of the nursery stated that the bushes were not ready for pick up. The conversation continued when we complained to the nursery asking why the bushes werenâ€™t ready as promised. â€œWell,â€ said the nursery owner, â€œyou see, I rented them for use on the podium at the Louisiana Governorâ€™s inauguration ceremony and I havenâ€™t had them returned yet.â€
Surrounded by our Savannah Holly bushes, Governor John Bel Edwards speaksÂ at his inauguration ceremony as the 56th Governor of the State of Louisiana. The ceremony was held on January 11, 2016 in front of the State Capitol.
The House of the Seasons is a historical home in Jefferson, Texas. It is an exclusive destination offering bed and breakfast accommodations with private dining, and is an ideal location for weddings, special events and tours. [ read more ]