Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Frances Mayes restores "Chatwood" in Hillsborough

A recent email from Frances Mayes, ("Under the Tuscan Sun"), who now lives in Hillsborough:

''I fell in love with Hillsborough on sight, and even more when I learned that all the old houses have names.  Having lived in Italy for many years, I know that a house with a name is a different structure because of it. I found an old house called Chatwood for myself, and am slowly ridding it of sagging gutters, dry rot, and mysterious wires."

Mayes' sensuous coming-of-age memoir, "Under Magnolia: A Southern Memoir," will be out in April. If you grew up in the deep South, attended an all-woman's college or remember the "deep idleness" of a summer afternoon, you're in for riches.

While researching her father's family, Mayes, who grew up in Fitzgerald, Ga., discovered that her paternal great-grandparents, John and Idella Mayes, built a house in 1902 at 435 E. Morehead. That house, now designated a historic landmark, is one of the last vestiges of the grand residential boulevard that formed the northern boundary of Dilworth.

The John and Idella Mayes House