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Posted: March 6, 2014 10:00 p.m.

Social Circle seeking to save historic home

Celeste Sigman Dupree devoted the latter part of her life to saving some of Social Circle’s oldest, most historic homes. Now, it’s her home, a Greek Revival house built in 1858, that needs saving again.

The nonprofit Historic Preservation Society of Social Circle is trying to meet a March 15 deadline to raise the last $7,000 needed to save the home from demolition and is asking for the public’s help. A variety of interested groups have already raised $40,000, but the total cost to move the home from its current site – which is being developed – to a new location is $47,000.

When Dupree died in 2005 – she was born Sept. 1, 1919, in Walton County – the house was sold to the First Baptist Church of Social Circle, which is hoping to expand its ministry and school programs on the site.

Thomas Brown, chairman of the historic preservation group, said Thursday the church has generously given the his society time to move the home, but the deadline is approaching. The church is also responsible for $10,000 of the $40,000 pledged to date.

  The home would be moved next to Magnolia Manor, another historic home and popular wedding and special events destination off N. Cherokee Road in Social Circle.

Magnolia Manor owner Mike Owens pledged money for the move and would be the one restoring the home to also be used for events, Brown said; Owens would become the new owner.

"It’s a great idea, a rather expensive idea," Brown said.

Brown said saving the home is important because of its history, but he said the legacy of Dupree is just as significant.

"She is an icon of historic preservation here in the city. She personally saved 15 homes. She worked on and saved those 15 homes because of her devotion to historic preservation," Brown said. "Out of all the homes you’d want to preserve, this one in particular we want to preserve because of the ties to the Dupree family."

Brown said the Dupree name is also famous locally because of Nathalie Dupree, a chef who worked in restaurants around the U.S. and in Spain, wrote several cookbooks, and hosted numerous cooking television shows popularizing her brand of Southern cooking.

As for the home, it was originally the home of local businessman William Akridge and narrowly escaped destruction during Union General William T. Sherman’s March to the Sea. The 1,800-square-foot Greek Revival cottage features four fireplaces and some distinct floor-to-ceiling windows, as well as its original porch columns, according to a May 2013 article by ThisOldHouse.com.

The historic society and Main Street Social Circle have also donated money to the effort.

Tax-deductible donations can be sent to:

 Social Circle Main Street

Attention: Celeste Dupree Grant Fund

P. O. Box 612

Social Circle, Georgia 30025

For further information about the house, contact Main Street Manager Mike Miller at 770-464-1866 .

 

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