windows on the first story are twelve-light,
French double casement design, above which
are decorative brick arches. Dividing the first and second stories is a
terra cotta tile belt course with panels of urns, cartouches and lions’
heads as well as garland and swag designs. The windows on the second
story are six over one sash with terra cotta tile surrounds.
Porter Room (Vestibule)
of our rooms have been named in honor or memory of residents in Henry
County. The Porter Room was named in honor of William Porter, Sr., and his
descendants, and the early settlers of Paris and Henry County.
J.T. VanDyck was a 25-year
member of the county commission and a prominent farmer. The glass doors
the best way to get air circulation in the house, since there was no air
conditioning at the time. The portico on the far side was used when there
was a large amount of people. The carriages would pull around the
driveway, drop everyone off and move out of the way for any other
Kesterson Hall (Entrance
Millard M. Kesterson was the
founder of Kesterson Food Supply.
(Formal Dining Room)
Robert ‘Bobby’ Jelks was a long
time Henry County coach. The Jelks Room is used for our permanent
exhibit. An artist from St. Louis was commissioned to paint the mural that
circles the room The mural, depicting a Greek Garden scene, was painted on
canvas, and then applied to the plaster walls. Each of the white panels
under the mural is different. Though some are similar, no two are exactly
Mitchum E. Warren was a former
president of Golden Peacock Cosmetic Company. This room now serves as an
office for the Museum Volunteer Staff. The same artist from St. Louis
painted the mural on the ceiling.
This room has not been named.
The sink is said to be original to the house. The window pulls are Art
Noveau style. The windows were placed higher in all servants’ areas to
keep the servants from wasting time staring out the windows. The light
switches are located at the back entrance for the convenience of the
servants; they would be the first down in the morning and the last up at
night. The cabinets were added to the kitchen for the convenience of food
preparation during different functions such as weddings.
Clifty Farm Room
Clifty Farms is a local
distributor of country hams throughout the Southeast. This room once
housed the dishes
and other items necessary for serving in either the adjoining dining room
or breakfast room. The home was heated by hot water or steam, which was
heated by a coal furnace in the basement and then pumped through pipes
housed in marble cases. The plate warmer is original to the house.
It was said during those times
that it was rude and impolite to use the restrooms in someone else’s
house, so a small bathroom was squeezed into the ground floor for use
during emergencies. There were originally three full bathrooms upstairs.
Currier Room (Foyer)
The Currier family is one of
the oldest families in the county. The light fixture (hanging down in the
center), the tile floor
and marble stairs are all original to the house. At the same time Colonel
Barton imported the marble and the tile, he imported a stonemason to do
the stonework. The mason did the stonework both inside and outside the
house. The banister is black wrought iron that was mass-produced at the
time. One of the centralized vacuum system ducts is in the foyer. The
parking lot in the back of the house was originally a tennis court.
During the early 1900’s, tennis courts were cultivated grass surfaces.
The tennis courts were destroyed when the cattle from the farmer across
the highway broke loose and came to graze on grass.
Williams Landing (Landing)
W.B. (Bill) Williams has been a
big part of the Heritage Center. Publisher of the Paris
Post-Intelligencer newspaper, he has active roles in the community and in
church. The ceiling crown molding is original to the house and was
mass-produced during that time. The ornate windows in the dining room, the
stairwell and the master suite upstairs were hand-blown and painted by
Albert’s Studios in Louisville, KY. Only two of the panes of glass have
been replaced since the house was finished in 1916.
This room, originally used as
Colonel Barton’s office, and now used as the Directors office, is named
for Harold and Opal Plumley. Harold Plumley was the founder of Plumley
Rubber Company in Paris, TN.
W.O. Inman was a county
historian and long time superintendent of education. The fireplace in this
room, as well
as those in the library and den, is original and burned coal. This room is
used as a temporary exhibit room, housing exhibits on the history of Henry
County. Butler bells can be seen throughout the house, which were
connected to servant’s rooms upstairs. The woodwork in the home is walnut
Lee M. Greer, Jr. was a
supermarket pioneer in Henry County. The marble case at the back of the
room as well as the other rooms is called a steam heater case. These are
what housed the pipes that kept the house warm. This method of heating was
used until 1988. Our collection of high school annuals from around the
county are kept in this room. The Heritage Center also has a video
library, which includes oral histories on different topics, historical
programs, and other important events. The videos and annuals are available
to the public.
The piano was donated by the
Upchurch family, and is one of the oldest surviving pianos in the county.
It was purchased by the Upchurch family for their daughter Maryland in
1880, but was manufactured in 1860. After the purchase, the piano was
brought down the river from Louisville and carried by a flatbed wagon from
Mr. and Mrs. Frank Barrett were
Paris building contractors for 50 years. There has been much work done in
the conservatory. Due to water damage it had to be almost completely
redone. This room is used as a gift shop. The gift shop features
memorabilia and items made in and/or related to Henry County or Tennessee.
This was originally a 1912-13
one-story hipped roof garage. Built for carriages and Model T’s, it was
later used for storage. Renovation started in the fall of 2001 and was
finished in the spring of 2002. On June 1, 2002 it was dedicated and
opened as the Plumley-Dana Entrepreneur Center.
Research for this history was conducted by Jimi Wells while serving as an
intern from Tennessee Technology Center, 2002.
Alderson, William T. and Shirley Payne Low.
Interpretation of Historic Sites. Alta-Mira Press: Walnut Creek, 1996.
Cavitt Place [File].
Greene, W.P. The City of
Paris and Henry County, Tennessee. Crown Press: Paris, 1900.
National Register of Historic Places Home Page.
9 August 2002.
Tayloe, Stephanie Routon. “O.C. Barton and
Cavitt Place.” The Newsletter of the Henry County Genealogical Society
of Tennessee. 5 (2002): 4-6.
Tour with Suzanne Ruark, past
Unknown. “Cavitt Place.” The
Inkwell. 1 (1989) 1 & 7.