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Eudora Welty House

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Designated a National Historic Landmark and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Eudora Welty House at 1119 Pinehurst Street in Jackson, Mississippi, is of exceptional national significance. It was the home of internationally acclaimed author Eudora Welty from 1925 until her death in 2001, and the home where she wrote almost all of her fiction and essays.

In 1925 at age 16, Eudora, her parents, Christian and Chestina, and her two brothers, Edward and Walter, moved to their new home on Pinehurst Street in the Belhaven neighborhood. The Tudor Revival style house was designed for the Welty family by Wyatt C. Hedrick, of the firm of Sanguinet, Staats, and Hedrick of Fort Worth, Texas, the firm that had designed the Lamar Life Building then under construction for the Lamar Life Insurance Company, of which Christian Welty was a senior officer.

The Eudora Welty House is one of the most intact literary houses in America in terms of its authenticity. Its exterior, interior, and furnishings are as they were in 1986 when Welty made the decision to bequeath her home to the State of Mississippi: paintings, photographs, objects d'art, linens, furniture, draperies, rugs, and, above all, thousands of books in their original places. With virtually every wall lined with books, it is evident that this family of readers valued the written word. The library includes works produced by classic writers through the ages and by the best minds of the twentieth century.

Welty always considered this her family home, and, in giving it to the State of Mississippi, she emphasized that it was the house of her family, a family that honored books and reading. She did not want a "house about her" but about literature and the arts in culture.

The garden at the Eudora Welty house, "my mother's garden," was a labor of love designed and created in 1925 by Chestina Welty. Today it remains a labor of love for garden restoration consultant Susan Haltom and a committed core of volunteers. These women, who have named themselves "The Cereus Weeders" in honor of Welty's beloved night blooming cereus, have carefully restored the garden to the 1925-1945 period when Eudora Welty worked at her mother's side planting, watering, and weeding.

In a conversation with Haltom prior to the restoration, Welty expressed her views of gardening and creativity: "I think that people have lost the working garden. We used to get down on our hands and knees. The absolute contact between hand and the earth, the intimacy of it, that is the instinct of a gardener. People like to classify, categorize, and that takes away from creativity. I think the artist - in every sense of the word - learns from what's individual; that's where the wonder expresses itself."

When visitors tour the garden today, a sense of wonder is visible again as women are on their hands and knees planting, watering, and weeding to maintain this 20th century garden as authentically as possible. The garden winds through three-quarters of an acre in the historic Belhaven neighborhood. Restored with heirloom plants, it is typical of the regional style of the day with garden "rooms" and defined areas separated by arbors and trellises.

As designed by Chestina, the garden plan insured that something would be in bloom each season. Camellias and pansies abound in winter; spring brings larkspur, hollyhocks, and snapdragons followed by summer phlox, zinnias, and blue salvia, ending with fall asters, chrysanthemums, and spider lilies. Roses, Chestina's favorite, climb over trellises and fences in the lower garden.

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Hours of Operation: Not Listed
Notes: None Listed
HOURS:Tuesday – Friday Tours: 9:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m., and 3:00 p.m.


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