Sunday, May 20, 2012

Historical Society visits the Taylor's Mark Hall

The Meriwether Historical Society met on Sunday, April 22, 2012 at Mark Hall, the country home of John and Susan Taylor. The Taylors welcomed the club to the historic raised cottage structure that was the ancestral home built by Dr. James Stinson for his daughter.  Henry Crowder bought the house and moved it to its Hunter’s Crossroads location. Many members in the club remembered the various owners who had enjoyed the beautiful grounds and home, and told the Taylors stories of visiting, overnight holidays, and games and pastimes played there. 
   Sarah Sibley Ogletree, one of the early members of the society and owner of Mark Hall was a prominent member of the historical group and many remembered meetings and visits at the home during the 1970s and 1980s.
   Several years ago the Taylors purchased Mark Hall from Rick Bradshaw who did extensive renovation in the 1990s.  Many of the rooms reflect the work done then with the exception of the lower story or ground level floor of the plantation home where John Taylor has ensconced his wine.
   The wine cellar or Taylor’s “man cave” was architecturally breathtaking with clever attention to detail that highlighted the hand hewn beams, exposed brick made there on the plantation, plastered walls and original features of the farm office but left room for the proper storage of wine, Taylor’s hunting and fishing memorabilia, photography and artwork, and a comfy place for friends to gather.
   Taylor was asked, “In the event of fire, which bottle would you grab first to rescue?” Without hesitation Taylor whipped an ’84 Bordeaux from its nook and said he was waiting for the right occasion to pop the cork.
   The Taylors entertained the club members with a delicious variety of wines from his cellar plus refreshments, all while they enjoyed viewing the rooms and gardens.  Taylor encouraged guests to wander to the estate cemetery where Crowders and Clements were buried.
   Club members reminisced with the Taylors and told Meriwether tales under the green canopy of hardwood trees gracing the backyard.  A delightful breeze kept the afternoon cool while a short business meeting was held.  The MHS headquarters needs a new roof and three bids have been taken to do the work.  Locally Nash Roofing has a supplier making the pressed tin shingles that duplicate the older shingles.  Toots Hobson was named committee chair to head up finding a purposeful use or resale of the old shingles removed from the building-its only roof for 140 years!
   Mike Shaddix spoke about becoming a member of Georgia’s state parks and historical sites and by being a supporter of the parks, admission to all was free. By purchasing through the Little White House, a bit more money came its way.
   President Sallie Mabon presented a gift basket for the Taylors which included the book An Historical Account of Meriwether County and historical society stationery.