The Cummings-Leach-Hammond House was originally built in 1845 by J. Y. Cummings. This original home was a one-story Greek Revival cottage with a long front porch which faced west, towards Maury Street. William A. Roberts (1827-1888) purchased the home in 1863 for $6,000 and continued to own the home until 1880, when it was lost in foreclosure. In 1884 the house was purchased by Joshua G. Leach (1842-1904) for $2,000, and the reduced price of the house was perhaps an indication that the house needed repairs and renovations. Leach owned the Leach Hardware Store on the east side of the Holly Springs Square (where Bookers Hardware is today).
Between 1902 and 1907, Leach began a massive renovation project at the Cummings-Leach House. A second story was added to the house (many townspeople believed-wrongly- that the second story would collapse due to its size) and Leach added Victorian architectural detailing to the house, including elaborate stickwork and other decorative elements. The most prominent feature of the renovated house was a circular cupola porch added to the southwest corner of the house. The main entrance of this new house faced south, onto Van Dorn Avenue.
After Leach’s death in 1904, the house was inherited by his daughter, Pauline Leach Hammond (1897-1981) who married Barnett Hammond (1887-1949). The Hammond family lived here for over 75 years. Walter Blaylock owned the house from 1983 until 1985. From 1985 until 1988 the house was owned by Tommy Otto. In 1988 a devastating fire, caused by an electrical short, destroyed 75% of the house. Soon, the remains of the house were completely destroyed. After the land was cleared, local attorney Steven Farese Sr. constructed a new home on the property, which he named Farewood, and which was modeled after an antebellum home in Natchez called “Edgewood”. Farewood faces west, towards Maury Street, as the original 1845 house once did. Steve Farese continues to live in the house today.
Between 1891 and the house’s destruction in 1990, the Cummings-Leach-Hammond House was a two-story hip-roof frame Queen Anne Victorian house, with a four-bay shed-roof porch with decorated frieze supported by square posts with brackets and a conical-roof gazebo cupola on the southwest corner. Above the front door was a single-bay gable front porch with round arch openings and a millwork balustrade.