Before I get started on the history of the Smith House at 600 E. Main. I need to address the challenge to my story of Miss Timberlake at 601 E Main.
The picture and caption in Pictorial Jackson is incorrect. There were a number of errors in that book and that was one.
Facts: I was in that house in the late 50’s
The city directory listed Miss Mary in the house in the
Miss Mary was moved to a nursing home in 1961
A number of individuals were on the property in the
Early 60’s looking for treasures and ghosts
So there is no way that house was knocked down in the 1940’s
600 E. Main
d n english
Now let’s talk about Mr. Fred and Mrs Mable Smith’s home at 601 E. Main. The property was purchased in 1911 by Mr. Smith the lot went from Main to Baltimore. The house was designed by Mrs. Smith in the Edwardian Style it was a story and a half.
The Smith’s moved from New York so Mr Smith could take over the management of the Stave Mill. They brought with them designs and upgrades they were use to up North.
Some of the upgrades included a coal furnace in the basement (later upgrade to a gas furnace in the 20’s) with duck work in the upper floors. The house had gas ,electricity, plumbing , a telephone , gas o leers ( gas on top electric on bottom) . Electricity was only available certain hours when it first came to the city. Back to upgrades slate shingles, insulation in the attic and other extras. There were three bedrooms, one bath, and 4 fireplaces . The Smith family were “ of money -hers” as people would say at that time. Behind the house they had a garage with an apartment over the garage for the cook/housekeeper. Yes it had plumbing and many of the extras as the main house.
Mr. Fred had a disagreement with his neighbor so he just bought his house and tore it down and enlarged his wife garden.
Then in the late 30’s and 40’s Mrs Smith remodeled the house adding anther bathroom upstairs and a half bath downstairs plus redoing the kitchen adding new modern appliances and a new gas furnace . Then in the 50’s they put in central heat and air.
Mrs. Smith did not work her passion was her church, her memberships in women clubs and her gardens. She would be considered a Master Gardner. She had a handy man to help with the “heavy lifting” as she told Grandmother.
Mrs Smith shared her love with plants with my Grandmother. They had met in the 40’s at what we would call a work shop held by a group of ladies in Brownsville. A group of ladies from one of the Jackson garden club came to Brownsville for a class and plant exchange.
This meeting started a long friendship. On occasion I would accompany Grandmother to Mrs. Smith for lunch and an afternoon of garden talk and plant exchange. Mrs Smith had some of the most beautiful colorful roses and Iris. At one of those visits Mrs. Smith told me the history of the house she showed me her scrapbook with all the drawings and details of construction an upgrades.. She was a very proper , smart and very pleasant lady. I only met Mr. Smith on a few occasions but I did not like him don’t remember why but do remember I did not like him.
I came home from school one day and Grandmother was getting ready to go to Jackson with one of the garden ladies . The had all this food packed before they left she instructed me to warm Pop’s supper she would be late. ( since my Granddaddy ate at 4:30 I knew she would be home before dark)
When he got home he explained Mr. Smith had been found dead, suicide was what they were saying. Mr. Smith supposedly jumped from a second floor window no one else was home at the time.
The year was 1963 and the whole incident was hushed up fast but the rumors were all over the place. There was no note some said it was fowl play but we will never know. It is also said he still haunts the house.
Grandmother remained friends and would go visit with Mrs Smith until Mrs Smith’s death in 1970’s. The Smith’s had one son who left Jackson I was told after college and never came back until his mother’s death. I do not know that for a fact.
Over the years the house has had several owners and upgrades.
I did get to visit the house when it was on P.O.E.M.S Christmas fundraiser in the early 2000’s. While I was there I was given several ghost stories by the gentlemen who owned the house at the time.
This house is part of the history of Jackson. Oh, the stories it could tell.