Stephen D. Lee Home Blog

The Stephen D. Lee Home is proud to announce the unveiling of its new blog!

The blog can be found at http://leehomemuseum.wordpress.com.

Visitors can view the most current on-goings of the organization as well as learn about the history of the home, families, and Florence Hazard Museum. Those interested in booking the home for events such as parties, showers, or weddings can visit the “Book Events and Weddings” section to see booking fees and other important information.

The Blewett-Harrison-Lee Home & Museum was built in 1847 by Major Thomas Garton Blewett of Columbus, Mississippi. Built as a private residence in the Italianate style, the property originally consisted of the entire city block.

Lee Home 5

After Major Blewett’s death on May 2, 1871, the home and property passed to his daughter, Regina Harrison. Harrison was the widow of attorney and former member of Jefferson Davis’ Confederate cabinet, James T. Harrison. At her death in 1890, the house went to her two daughters: Mary Harrison and Regina Lee. Regina Lee was the wife of General Stephen D. Lee (founding president of Agricultural & Mechanical College now Mississippi State University).

Mary Harrison was the last family member to live in the house. After her death in 1916, the home was inherited by Blewett H. Lee. Soon thereafter, Blewett, a lawyer in Atlanta, conveyed Square 18 North of Main Street to the Columbus School Board for educational purposes.

Stephen D. Lee High School with the Lee Home on the left c. 1920

Stephen D. Lee High School with the Lee Home on the left c. 1920

Stephen D. Lee High School was built on the square and the house converted into a Home Economics building and cafeteria. In 1918, the wings were removed and the outbuildings torn down. The house was joined to the school building by a corridor that connected the second floors of both structures. The City of Columbus built a new Lee High School on Military Road in 1953 and the old school building became exclusively the Junior High School.

On December 14, 1959, the Junior High School was destroyed by fire. While battling the blaze, fire fighters tore down a portion of the connecting corridor to prevent the fire from spreading to the house. The home was left standing, but sustained major smoke damage and was left with a large hole in its south wall.

On December 14, 1959, the Junior High School was destroyed by fire. While battling the blaze, fire fighters tore down a portion of the connecting corridor to prevent the fire from spreading to the house. The home was left standing, but sustained major smoke damage and was left with a large hole in its south wall.

In 1960, the Antiquities Association and the Columbus-Lowndes Historical Society joined forces and created the S.D. Lee Foundation. The Foundation then turned the house into a museum and culture center.

The Blewett-Harrison-Lee Home and Museum was designated an historic landmark in 1971 and placed on the National Register of Historic Places through the U.S. Department of the Interior.

On August 4, 2009, the Stephen D. Lee Foundation Board passed a resolution affirming the official name of the house and museum located at 316 Seventh Street North is the “Stephen D. Lee Home”.

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Published in: on August 27, 2009 at 2:15 pm  Comments (1)  

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  1. My mother is Elizabeth McKinney Beasley, daughter of Carolyn and Langdon McKinney, sister of Carol, Linda, and Jeff McKinney. (they owned McKinney Hardware) She went to S.D. Lee High School and I am trying to find a year book from 1972. Her house caught on fire when she was in her 20’s and she lost all of her yearbooks. Is there a place where I can buy it back for her? Or a printer that might have a copy? Please let me know!


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