By Aleigha J
Photos by Kayleigh J
“You don’t know where you’re going if you don’t know where you’ve been.” — Marianne Morfoot.
The stained glass in this lovely home is what drew Marianne Morfoot and her late husband to purchase the historic structure nestled near the train tracks. And once the spoon with the pattern name Marianne was found in the backyard after they purchased the home it only proved it was their destiny.
Marianne and her husband had been looking for an older home for quite some time and when they peered through the windows of the 19th century home they immediately knew it was what they had been looking for.
As a retired teacher from Clayton County and previously heavily involved with Historic Jonesboro, where she spent many hours as a tour guide for the Gone with the Wind Tour, Marianne moved to Locust Grove in the 80’s along with her husband to take on her biggest historical involvement yet.
The stunning structure she took part in restoring, was built around 1893 by cotton farmer, Andrew Combs. He and his wife, Georgia Brown Combs, and daughter Carrie Lee resided in the home surrounded by many acres of cotton. Though it wasn’t until the 1900’s when the roof was raised and a second story was added to house students from Locust Grove Institute, which is now known as Locust Grove City Hall. However, once the Boll Weevil and the Great Depression hit the successful cotton farmer had no choice but to sell part of his land, later leaving his daughter Carrie Lee with only three acres.
Many years later, after the home had been out of the family and in the possession of a different couple, Marianne and Tom Morfoot purchased the home in November of 1982, later moving in, in February of 1983. Before they could occupy the home, it was in desperate need of repair. According to Marianne, when they purchased the home there was a hole in the ceiling upstairs with only a trash can sitting underneath.
Although a roof repair wasn’t the only thing the home needed, as the Morfoots had much work upon them. To get the home where it is today, they had to have the unvented gas heaters in front of the 10 working fireplaces removed, along with heat and air conditioning added, the cresting missing on the exterior replaced, the woodwork throughout the house stripped of all the paint, the hardwood floors refinished, and more.
Marianne mentioned, they spent hours upon hours stripping paint off the beautiful heart of pine, they even used dental picks to remove paint from the creases. And as for the hardwood floors, they were painted over as well except for the places where rugs once remained which created quite a challenge.
But even though the house has been quite the upkeep throughout the years and has required serval repairs and replacements in recent years, such as the spindle and railing replacements brought in from the old Watterson-Morrow House, Marianne couldn’t imagine living someplace else. After all, where else could one find the view of both the city and farm, as well as a home filled with history.