Some local history is in foreclosure

Carolyn Cary's picture

The only meeting facility in the city of Fayetteville that is charming and historical, the Hollingsworth House, is now in foreclosure.

Yes, a part of our history is not just facing lean times, but the house is in doubt of serving the community as it has for the past 100 years.

One Waymon Boozer Hollingsworth was born in 1872 and came to Fayetteville in 1890 as a telegrapher with Southern Railroad. He married Irene Felker of Monroe in 1904 and they built this home in Fayetteville in 1906.

His business interests grew here to include orchards and cotton brokerage. He served many positions in the Fayetteville Methodist Church and his civic interests included belonging to the Masonic Lodge, the Shriners, and he was a member of the Georgia Bar Association. He also served as judge of Fayetteville City Court.

Their home was open to many neighborhood festivities.

Their only child, Louise Felker Hollingsworth Jackson, was raised in the house, as well as the two children of her and her husband, Mell Charles Jackson, Holly Jackson and Mell Charles Jackson Jr.

The house was privately owned for several years, and in 1998 the Fayetteville First Baptist Church bought the property to expand its facility. They gave the house to anyone who would move it.

Enter the city of Fayetteville, which decided to move the house one-third mile to the west on Stonewall Avenue and use it for community events.

During that week it was moved to the curb, and at 11 p.m., July 13, 1998, the moving process began. A huge search light on wheels preceded it westward. At the south intersection of Stonewall and Ga. Highway 85, three different utility companies were prepared to take down all the lights and cables. When they finished, it hadn’t been that dark since before street lights.

The process took one hour 30 minutes to move the house that one-third mile.

After it was placed at its present location, we were invited right across the street to sit on the Bennett-Burch house and enjoyed homemade lemonade and cookies, compliments of owners Sam and Susan Burch.

The saddest point of view is that for the 11 years after its new location it has been a source of not only civic pride, but a source of a number of community events.

Non-profits have always been given a reduced fee for groups such as the Joseph Sams School.

There are very few, if any, event facilities in the Fayetteville area that allow you to use your own caterer or bring in the food yourself.

It allows people to have parties in a warm, homey environment without having to host the party in their own home.

Craig and Belinda Fitch, who purchased the house as an event center, have outlined several suggestions to the city of Fayetteville in hope of avoiding outright foreclosure.

Let’s all make a concerted effort to find ways to assist them in this endeavor.

[Carolyn Cary is the official historical of Fayette County and lives in Fayetteville.]

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