Magnolias is a Gothic Revival mansion built in 1853 by William F. Mason (1819-1876), who came to Holly Springs from Tennessee in 1837. In 1840 Mason built Hamilton Place, located down the street, which was the first large house built in Holly Springs. In 1853, Mason built this home on the south side of town, on the road towards Oxford. In 1878 the house was deeded to Mason’s daughter, Margaret Mason Jones (1855-1912) who had married William A. Jones (1844-1919).
The Jones lived in the house until Margaret’s death in 1912, after which William Jones sold the house to Robert Lee Tucker (1865-1929). The Tucker family lived here from 1912 until 1943, when Tucker’s widow sold the home to T. Everett Slayden, who married Gladys Miller Slayden (1903-1996), who served in the Mississippi Legislature and was a notable figure in Holly Springs throughout most of the 20th century. After Gladys’ death in 1996, she willed the house to her niece, Susana Moore Moldoveanu. In 2012 the home was bought by Frank and Genevieve Busby, the current owners.
During the Civil War, Union soldiers invaded the house, causing extensive damage to the property, including the destruction of much of the furniture and a bayonet strike in the front door, which can still be seen. The house is probably best known as the primary shooting location for the movie “Cookie’s Fortune”, filmed in 1999. Pre-war slave quarters are located behind the main house.
Magnolias is built in the Gothic Revival style, and is a two-story, hip-roof stuccoed house, with a prominent center-front gable and large lancet window with diamond-paned glass. A three-bay, hip-roof porch with intricate cast-iron balustrade and Tudor-arched entrance with sidelights.