Holly Springs: Greenwood (1838)

Greenwood was built in 1838 by Roger Barton (1802-1855), who came to Holly Springs from Tennessee in 1836.  Barton was an early member of the Holly Springs bar, and was a famed criminal defense lawyer who allegedly never lost a case.  He served in the Mississippi legislature and also turned down an appointment to the United States Senate and the position of consul to Cuba.  Between 1860 and 1910 the house was owned by the Craft family, led by Hugh Craft (1799-1867), another early settler to Holly Springs.  In the 1870s the home was owned by Hugh Craft’s son, Major Addison Craft (1835-1909), who built the house next door called The Pines.

In 1910 the home was bought by James Clinton Totten, Sr. (1857-1914).  Totten’s son James C. Totten Jr. (1903-1974), grandson James C. Totten III (1926-1990), great-grandson James C. Totten IV (1958-2008) all grew up in the house.  The Totten family owned the house for nearly 100 years.  In 1934, Totten’s granddaughter Theresa “WeeTee” Totten (1934-2002) was born in the house, and eventually married Jackson H. Wittjen.  The Wittjens lived in the house for many decades.  The Wittjens began restoration of the home in the 1970s, and an entire wing was added to the back of the house.  Weetee passed away in 2002, and the house was purchased by Stuart and Sandra Lynn in 2010.

During the early 1900s the house was known as “Mimosas” due to the mimosa trees in the yard at the time.  The mimosa trees died of blight in the 1970s and the house was re-named “Greenwood” in 1979.

Greenwood is a two-story flanking-gable frame Federal house with exterior end chimneys, which was later given Greek Revival elements, such as the two-story portico supported by Tuscan piers.  The portico and balcony, with a balustrade, were added to the house in the 1930s, and were allegedly salvaged from a ruined antebellum home out in the county.  There is a double-leaf main entrance with sidelights and a transom.

A Civil War-era tunnel was created to hide valuables, and was rediscovered in the 2000s.    Interestingly, the house faces north, rather than west towards Craft Street.  Local legend says this was because the house had an uninterrupted view of the Holly Springs Square when Mr. Barton originally built the home, and allowed him to watch everything happening downtown.

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