Waverley Mansion’s new owners restoring historic landmark

Waverley Mansion will be open for pilgrimage on April 4, April 6, April 11, and April 13.

CLAY COUNTY, Miss. (WCBI) – In an area known for its stately architecture, Waverley Mansion stands out.

Waverley’s newest owners have been breathing new life into the home.

The historic home has been undergoing restoration over the last five years.

The landmark’s newest owners, Charlie and Dana Stephenson, are originally from Meridian.

They later moved to Oklahoma, but they decided to return to Mississippi and plant their roots in Clay County.

“When we decided to move back we decided to buy a home instead of a kind of weekend condo. A realtor told us about Waverley and we like older homes and projects and we bought quite a project, but we have enjoyed the restoration and now we live here full time and it’s a wonderful place to live,” Stephenson said.

This wasn’t just any fixer-upper. The home is a historic landmark and in desperate need of restoration. The Stephensons restored the roof, and plaster, and added central air and heating.

They also added bathrooms to existing rooms and added two causal living spaces onto the home to keep the historic integrity of the original space.

They wanted to restore the home for future families.

“Waverley is unique. It is on the national register. The architecture is very unique for the Southeast and for the United States for that matter. And these homes have got a place in our history. They do require a lot of time and maintenance and we just wanted to do some things to restore it long term. And when Dana and I are ready to move to a different place or move on, we want it to be attractive to perhaps a younger family with kids that can really enjoy the entire experience here,” Stephenson said.

Now, they’re ready to show it off.

The home will be open for public tours during this year’s Columbus Spring pilgrimage.

Dick Leike of Historic Home Tours hopes people enjoy seeing the historic architecture the area has to offer.

“What I hope they glean from it is they appreciate the ability to walk through these homes much like you would have when the house was brand new and you can sit there and experience a 170-year-old house and how it’s weathered all these years and what it has to offer today,” Leike said.

The Stephensons said they love living in Waverley and being surrounded by so much history.

“This house has been here for over 170 years and so many things have happened here that have impacted the history of the state and the United States and so you kind of have to stop every once in a while and think about where you are living and just being a part of it,” Stephenson said.

Waverley Mansion will be open for pilgrimage on April 4, April 6, April 11, and April 13.

You can buy tickets at www.historichomes.tours/store or the Columbus Visitor’s Center.

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