The Cedars – Built circa 1835, this Greek revival house is one of the oldest in Hinds County. Named for a grove of more than fifty cedar trees located on the original 5-acre property, the one-story is typical of the simple but spacious cottages once popular in Mississippi.
College Street served as the main route for Union troops to march from Jackson to besiege Vicksburg in 1863. General Ulysses S. Grant and General William T. Sherman also passed by Cedar Grove on their route. Despite the foot traffic and dangers of the opposing army, the home survived the war.
During the 1976 presidential election campaign, then-candidate Jimmy Carter made a visit to the Cedars to speak with voters.
The Cedars takes its name from a grove of more than fifty cedar trees which once occupied the yard between College Street and the front of the house.
The Cedars is a five-bay, one-story frame house built as a simple Greek Revival cottage. It features a center hall plan two rooms deep, is sheathed with clapboards, and has a gable roof from which two interior chimneys originally projected symmetrically at the ridge.
A full front gallery, supported by six tapered square columns, was extended around the southeast corner of the house in 1903 with the addition of a full gallery across the east elevation. At the same time a four-room wing was added along the west side of the house and extending at the rear, providing space for a kitchen, pantry or service area, bedroom, and bathroom. Two closets and another bathroom were created out of existing space in the original portion of the house, and a rear portico was enclosed as a sun-porch.
The main entrance features square side lights and transom lights, and the six-over-six sash windows are set inside simple molded architraves. Wooden mantels at the four fireplaces in the house include two simple Greek Revival examples in the back rooms and two Classical Revival examples in the front, representing, respectively, the two major periods of construction of the house. Wide heart pine flooring and sliding paneled doors between the front and back halls are among the original interior features that have been well preserved. Simple cornices and a dining room chair rail have been added by the Curries.
Pioneer settlers of Clinton.
Emil Menger (1821-1897) was a German professor of music at Hillman College for 43 years. It was Emil and his wife, Mary (1835-1916), who named the property “Cedar Grove.” They owned Cedar Grove and the surrounding five acres during the Civil War until 1903, when the property was sold.
Patrick Henry Eager (1851-1939) was a professor of English and acting president of Mississippi College when he purchased The Cedars for $1,250 in 1903. Mary Jane Whitfield Eager (1859-1944) changed the name of the house from “Cedar Grove” to “The Cedars” in order to avoid confusion with her family home in Aberdeen, Mississippi, already called “Cedar Grove.”
Under the pseudonym of David Patrick MacMillan she published two books, Keep My Money (1914) and That Little Pongee Gown (1913). Numerous articles appeared under her other pen name, Jean Rayme Goree, an anagram of Mary Jane Eager.
The only major additions to the house were made by the Eagers shortly after they acquired the property. The Eager’s daughter, Annie Laurie Eager, sold the house in 1975.