Cedar Oaks to celebrate families of historic mansion

Published 12:04 pm Friday, December 4, 2015

The Annual Cedar Oaks Open House and Cookiepalooza will offer folks a history lesson about one of Oxford’s most historic homes, a visit with Santa Claus and cookies — lots of cookies.

“All the cookies are homemade,” said Dianne Fergusson, president of the Cedar Oaks Guild. “We don’t do store-bought cookies.”

Cookie and history lovers of all ages are welcome to tour the home from 3 to 6 p.m. Sunday. Children will receive a map showing each room of the home. Each room will be decorated in a particular era that will honor one of the former owners or residents of Cedar Oaks when it was on its original location on North Lamar Boulevard.

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The rooms all will be decorated in time periods ranging from 1887 to 1962 and docents will be dressed in costumes appropriate to the era.

“They will tell the story of that family and the Christmas customs from that time era,” Fergusson said. “I think it will be interesting for children to see what other children from the late 1800s wanted for Christmas.”

Susan Westbrook has been the lead researcher for the event with the assistance of other docents and Cedar Oaks Guild members.

“Some went to the genealogy room at the public library, to the Ole Miss archives and went through old newspapers,” Fergusson said. “They started working on this about a year and a half ago.”

One of the rooms will be decorated to pay tribute to the original three groups that helped save the home from being torn down in 1963.

Built in 1857-59 by master builder and self-trained architect William Turner as his personal residence, the home was moved from North Lamar Boulevard to its present location in east Oxford off Sisk Avenue in the late summer of 1963. It was owned and managed by Oxford Lafayette Historic Homes, the umbrella organization for three women’s clubs — Centennial Study Club, Cosmopolitan Study Club and the Readers Guild for more than 50 years. In 2010, the house was deeded to the city of Oxford and is now managed by the Historic Sites Commission of Oxford.

As visitors go through each room, they will get a sticker showing they have listened to the docent’s story. When done, they can turn in their map for a package of cookies.

Cookies and drinks will be available during the open house. The Cedar Oaks Guild members make all the cookies.

Santa will wait in the upstairs hallway to greet lit- tle ones.

“He’ll be ready to listen to all of the children’s wish lists,” Fergusson said.

Billy Perry will perform seasonal music.

For more information call 662-816-4995, email events@oxfordms.net or visit cedaroaks.org.


The rooms of Cedar Oaks will be decorated to honor former residents of the home.

• Library: C. B. Howery Family – 1881-1884

• Parlor: William Turner Family – 1859 – 1866 (the builder of Cedar Oaks)

• Meeting Room: Centen- nial Club, Cosmopolitan Club, Readers’ Guild – 1949 – 2010

• Green Bedroom: Barrin- ger Family – 1866-1881

• Loom Room: Walker Smith Family – 1920- 1954

• Mustard Yellow Bedroom Room: P. E. Matthews Family – 1895-1920

• Blue Bedroom: Baird Family – 1884-1895