In 1870, The Cumberland House was built as a wedding gift from William Walsh to his daughter, Dinetia, and her husband, Dr. Frank Hamilton. The Hamiltons were an integral part of the community, and Dr. Hamilton served as the head of the Local Board of Health.
Dr. Hamilton's legacy was determined when his knowledge and leadership were called into play to address the devastating yellow fever epidemic of 1878. The epidemic killed an average of 200 people a day in Memphis, while only six people died of the epidemic in Jackson. Dr. Hamilton was credited with the decisive actions (including building huge bonfires) that saved our city from yellow fever.
Descendents of the Hamiltons and Walshes lived in the home until the 1940's. The home was converted into apartments, and fortunately, in the 1990's, the home was bought by a couple aware of the historic significance of the home and saved it from being condemned.
The house changed hands once more before being purchased by Kathi and Rex Leatherwood in 2007. About a year after purchasing the home, several people made requests to rent the home and adjoining acreage for private events. The requests were declined, as the home was being used as Rex's law office and a guest house. But the requests planted a seed....and research was begun on other historic homes that were used as venues and had adjoining outdoor areas. The local market was assessed and it was determined that there was a need for a venue for garden events, and the historic home would add to the uniqueness.
The Cumberland House has been modified to meet the needs for private events, while paying careful attention to preserving the historic aspects. A Garden Pavilion with soft walls was built, and the expansive lawns have been terraced and beautifully landscaped with magnolias, arborvitae, loropetalum, crape myrtles, cleyera, hydrangea, boxwood, dogwood and vibernum. The fencing, arbor, and stairways were carefully planned to enhance the historic property, add accessibility, and are additional photo setting opportunities. For the convenience of guests, a parking area is across the street from the lawns. The landscaping of the parking area, both functional and attractive, includes historic and native plants. The street is lined with historic vitex and our state tree, the tulip poplar. Abelia, Natchez crape myrtle, magnolia and dogwood have also been used in the transformation of the area.
We are so pleased that the home and property have been repurposed into this lovely venue and its beauty and history can be shared.