Tanglewood is an antebellum, Greek Revival-style home currently occupied by the Mayor of Clinton, Phil Fisher and his wife, Kathy.
Tanglewood was originally built in 1845 on a 6,250-acre plantation called Sunnyside. This plantation was in west Clinton near present-day Norrell Road. The estate’s owners, Andrew Thomas and his wife, Anne “Nancy” Beauchamp, had the home built for his daughter, Mary Jane Thomas, and her husband, James A. Criddle. Mary Jane had two children, and her husband died before the war.
Mary Jane Criddle’s daughter Caroline would inherit Tanglewood. After the Civil War, she married Captain William Lewis, a Confederate veteran. In 1878 the couple moved the house from Sunnyside to the center of town, 301 Jefferson Street, by rolling it on logs pulled by oxen. Captain Lewis owned the livery stable (now 303 Jefferson) next door and was later elected an alderman.
Tanglewood is a one-story, wood frame vernacular Greek Revival cottage. The Greek Revival style was the predominant style employed in residential architecture in Mississippi from the 1830s to the 1870s. The style developed from an increased interest in the architecture of ancient Greece that was being uncovered through archaeological investigation in the early part of the 19th century.
The house is composed of a symmetrical main block, two rooms deep off the wide hall, with a galleried rear ell. The house sits on low brick piers and a brick curtain wall surrounds the house. Exterior walls are clad in clapboards. The side gable asphalt shingle roof extends to the front and back with a broken slope that shelters a full-facade porch.
The current roof pitch was probably introduced in 1926 along with widely-overhanging eaves supported with large triangular brackets and exposed rafters. There is a six-over-six double-hung wood window in each gable end.
The front porch is supported with six equally spaced rectangular boxed columns with plain molded capitals and bases–these appear to be original to at least the 1870s, if not the 1840s. A simple balustrade with a molded rail connects the columns. The porch is wood, and the ceiling is beaded board.
The rooms retain their heart pine floors, 13 foot ceilings, plastered walls and ceilings, fluted and plain window surrounds, window and door surrounds highlighted by molded pediments, and tall plain baseboards with slight molded caps. There are three Colonial Revival mantlepieces which may date to the 1926 renovation, but the chimneys have been removed. There are no crown moldings, but a picture rail has been added in one of the rooms.
Mary Jane Criddle volunteered in Confederate hospitals during the Civil War and was one of the four women who helped sew the flag for the Mississippi College Rifles, a group of 104 men from Mississippi College who served in the Civil War as Company E of the Mississippi 18th Regiment. James Criddle was a planter and a partner in the mercantile firm Thomas and Criddle in Clinton.
Caroline (Carrie) was the daughter of Mary Jane and James Criddle. She married Captain William Lewis, a veteran of the war who fought at First Manassas, Antiedam, Fredericksburg, and Gettysburg. He was one of only 8 survivors of the Mississippi College Rifles.
Carrie and William moved Tanglewood from Sunnyside Plantation to its present lot at 301 Jefferson street. Lewis built a livery stable next to the house, which he operated for many years. In 1903, Lewis was elected an alderman in Clinton.
Carrie and Captain Lewis had no children of their own, so they left Tanglewood to the Captain’s niece and nephew, Burke Ross and Pat Lewis.
The house was sold to Carrie Fox (1871-1940), niece and namesake of Carrie Lewis, and her husband, John Henry Fox (1861-1941). John H. Fox was originally from Rankin County but moved to Clinton to work as a railroad agent for the Alabama and Vicksburg lines. The couple had two children, Emma Shirley and John Jr.
Carrie Fox deeded Tanglewood to her daughter, Emma Shirley Fox Faucette (1894-1977). Her estate held the house until 2012 when it was sold to the current owners.
Former City of Clinton Alderman and current Mayor, Phil Fisher, purchased Tanglewood with his wife, Kathy, in 2012. He enjoys the short commute to work directly across the street.