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c. 1857 Cedarhurst. 490 Salem Ave. c. 1858 Airliewood; 2006 restored. 385 Salem Ave.

These two canonical Gothic Revival houses have similar facade compositions. Both are symmetrical, are three-bays wide, and have three gables with wooden vergeboards, and Tudor and lancet arches with hood molds and paired octagonal chimneys. However, while Cedarhurst ( pictured above) has exposed brick and a lacy veranda with octagonal columns and a crowning balustrade, all in cast iron, Airliewood, built by planter William H. Coxe as his suburban estate, has stucco-covered brick scored to resemble stone, and its castellated front porch and porte-cochere are supported by octagonal cast-iron columns. Its grounds include a cast-iron fence and elaborate gates based on examples from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and produced by Wood and Perot of Philadelphia. An on-site display attributes Airliewood’s form to a plate from Philadelphia architect Samuel Sloan’s book The Model Architect (1852). Equally likely sources for both houses were architectural tastemaker A. J. Downing’s publications, such as The Architecture of Country Houses (1850), which included designs by A. J. Davis.

Cedarhurst was the Mississippi home of author Katherine Sherwood Bonner McDowell, who wrote under the pen name of Sherwood Bonner. She grew up in Holly Springs and then moved to Boston, where she became Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s secretary and he her patron. Her humorous local color stories in dialect never achieved critical success, but she is remembered as a single southern woman striking out on a literary career in the mid-nineteenth century. When the yellow fever epidemic visited Holly Springs in 1878, Bonner returned to care for her father and brother. Her letters to Longfellow from this period describe the beauty of the house and its setting and the extreme circumstances under which she labored.

Writing Credits

Jennifer V.O. Baughn and Michael W. Fazio with Mary Warren Miller


What's Nearby


Jennifer V.O. Baughn and Michael W. Fazio with Mary Warren Miller, "CEDARHURST AND AIRLIEWOOD", [Holly Springs, Mississippi], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Buildings of Mississippi, Jennifer V. O. Baughn and Michael W. Fazio. With Mary Warren Miller. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2021, 148-148.

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