3 on the Road: Waverly - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

3 on the Road: Waverly

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
CLAY COUNTY, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Waverly is near the banks of the Tombigbee River between West Point and Columbus. It has been a tourist destination since the Snow family started the restoration of it over 50 years ago. Of course, the house is a lot older than that.

Stand under the old magnolia out in the front yard, and you’re looking at a house about half the age of the age of the tree, and the tree’s 300 years old.

Waverly was built in 1852 by Colonel George Hampton Young from Georgia. Members of the family occupied Waverly until 1913 when the last of two bachelor brothers died, leaving Waverly in limbo for 50 years, entangled in the estates of nieces, nephews and cousins, until the Snow family, who had just previously owned an antique shop in Philadelphia, saw the old relic in 1962 and managed to pull all the heirs together and bought it.

Melanie Snow was just a child when her parents moved the family to Waverly.

“And when we moved in there was no plumbing, no electricity," said Melanie. "We hauled water, slept in the dining room on mattresses on the floor, and we began a life-long restoration in 1962.”

There was no furniture in the house except the two mirrors in the entrance way. One of them had been cracked during the Civil War at a party when a lamp was put too close to it and the heat broke it. And the original gasoliers were still there.

The Young family members had removed everything else. It took 29 years for the Snow family to finally restore Waverly back to what it looked like new; all four floors including the storage rooms on the third floor and the cupola with its observation windows on the 4th, all connected by flying staircases and balconies.

But even though it took a great deal of time, it was a relatively easy restoration because, other than graffiti, there was little other vandalism done to the house in all the 50 years it sat in the woods empty. Melanie says,

“Everybody courted out here and wrote on every square inch of the walls and woodwork, who loved who," added Melanie. "My mom always said we knew every love affair for 50 years.”

Well, all of those cumulative love affairs over the decades couldn’t total up to the love affair the Snow family has had with Waverly. A love affair that has saved another Mississippi masterpiece from what would have no doubt been certain ruin otherwise.

Waverly is one of Mississippi’s premier tour homes. It is open Tuesdays through Saturdays, 9 till 5.

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