Saturday, October 1, 2022

Tour Cedar Oaks Through HottyToddy.com Camera Lens

Many Oxonians know and love Cedar Oaks, as it was part of the Oxford Pilgrimage for many years.
But some newcomers might not know this historic location on Murray Street near the Oxford Conference Center. Built in 1859 by William Turner, Cedar Oaks is a Greek revival structure that has survived a tumultuous past. Molly Turner Orr gathered a fire brigade to save the home in 1864, when it was set aflame by occupying Union troops. Nearly a century later, Cedar Oaks was cut in half and moved via flat bed trucks 2.2 miles from it’s original location (corner of Jefferson and N. Lamar, former site of Downtown Inn/Holiday Inn) to accommodate business development.
Presently, the home is maintained by the Oxford Historic Properties Commission, and is available by reservation for civic clubs, teas, receptions, weddings and tours. Beginning Friday, Oct. 3, Cedar Oaks will be open for public, docent-led tours from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. On the first Friday of each month from now through December, admission to the historic house will be free. On other Fridays, there will be a $5 charge per person for the tours. Docents will take visitors through the house and tell them about the building of the house, its Civil War experience, and the rescue of the house from downtown development in the early 1960s. Visitors can see photographs depicting the moving of the house from the corner of Jefferson and North Lamar to its present location at 601 Murray Street on land donated by T. E. Avent. Enjoy this virtual tour of this elegant, historic Oxford landmark.

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The house sits back behind a beautiful front lawn. All photos by Sarah Beth Wiley.

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Throughout the house you see details from the era.

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The library and former master bedroom would have been for reading and having tea, watching the afternoon light. Though most antebellum homes had all bedrooms on the second or third floors, Turner wanted his master bedroom to be the on the ground level.

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The small couch seen here is covered with horse hair.

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Clippings from local papers about the property are the only modern element you’ll see.

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The loom displayed upstairs looks as though it was just being used to weave something beautiful.

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This bed, with trundle, would have been for extra company.

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An antebellum dress stands in the corner of an upstairs bedroom.

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An upstairs bedroom with vintage furniture from the period, including a four-poster bed.

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Visitors are prompted not to sit on the antique furniture.

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The front door upstairs leads to a small balcony.

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The Tates overlook the beloved Cedar Oaks. Mary Alice Tate was a leading force in saving Cedar Oaks in 1963 and served as an organizer and director of The Pilgrimage that helped to retire the mortgage on the house.

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Whispers of light lay over this upstairs bedroom featuring a canopy bed.

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This was known as a fainting couch, for when women passed out from cinching their corsets too tight.

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A beautiful baby bed, with rocking chair at the side, would lull children to sleep.

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These antique dolls lay quietly in a crib on the floor of the children’s room.

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These signs are seen throughout Oxford, telling the stories of our historic landmarks.

For more information or to schedule a private tour at other times, contact Cedar Oaks Guild at (662) 236-4088. Sarah Beth Wiley is HottyToddy.com/Experience Oxford Creative Director, and formerly served in the Oxford Pilgrimage as a teen. You can contact Sarah Beth about this story at SB.Wiley@Hottytoddy.com. pilgrimage

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