Published 7:15 am Wednesday, August 30, 2023
By John Cofield
Today the Graduate Oxford stands at the corner of North Lamar and Jefferson, but the lot’s history is pre-Civil War.
The last of the warring Yankee torches were thrown through the front windows as the soldiers headed north. Some Oxford ladies stamped out the flames and saved the house.
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But the years would see Cedar Oaks follow the Yankees out North Lamar to its new home on Murray Street. Hassel Smith owned the home and wanted to build his American Dream, the Downtowner, on the lot. So he gave Cedar Oaks to Oxford and after a few stops and starts, a Memphis company came down North Lamar and cut the landmark in half.
Then the fine old home up and split. The sidewalks were lined with spectators and kids’ bikes bringing up the rear. Today Cedar Oaks is a well-known and used gathering spot for receptions and celebrations of all kinds.
A true Oxford treasure saved for the ages.