On this lot on Center Street was originally an antebellum house, though nothing is none of the house or its owners. In 1918, William Hunter Peel (1886-1952) and his wife Johnnie Mae Peel (1890-1982), of the Laws Hill Peel family, moved to Holly Springs and purchased this lot. According to Peel family tradition, the last owner of the antebellum house had died of some sort of plague or fever, and Johnnie Peel refused to move into the old house. Her dutiful husband tore the antebellum house down and built this current home.
For six decades, Johnnie Mae Peel owned and operated the Moss Rose Antiques store out of her house here. The Peel family lived here for over 70 years. William “Billy” Hunter Peel (1924-1996) owned the house from 1975 until 1991, when the home was sold to Keith and Judy Kiraly.
Between 1991 and 1999 the house was owned by the Kiralys, Natha Jackson, Gary May and Steve and Mary Roberts. Kay Wheeler owned the house from 1999 until 2011, when the home was sold to the current owner, George Hirtz.
The Peel House is an unusual one-and-a-half-story Craftsman frame house, with hipped roof and two hipped-roof dormers on the north and west elevations. A three-bay porch is supported by square posts. The most interesting feature is the flat structure located at the top of the house, which would best be described as a “Widow’s Walk”, though this kind of structure would be unusual on a house built during this time period and in this region.
Thanks to Judy Weatherly and Jill Eaton for much of the history of the Peel House.