Lost History: Dougherty House (1851)

The Dougherty House was built in about 1851 by Dr. John R. Dougherty (1802-1886), a Holly Springs doctor with an office on the Square. Dr. Dougherty was first married to Julia A. Dougherty (1801-1869) and the couple had a son, Dr. Cyrus L. Dougherty (1825-1857).  Dr. Dougherty outlived both his wife and his son, and in 1872 he remarried a second time, at age 70, to Sarah W. Dougherty (1841-1878), who was 40 years younger than the septuagenarian doctor.  The couple had a daughter, Mabel Dougherty Johnson (1872-1938).  Sarah died tragically in the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1878, and Dr. Dougherty raised his young daughter alone for the next eight years, before his death at age 84.

Mabel Dougherty married local photographer Lem Johnson (1861-1947).  Lem Johnson was a photographer who used glass photographic plate negatives and took many turn of the century pictures of local houses and structures.  His glass negatives have been preserved and are an invaluable research for historian and preservationists, as he photographed many homes which are no longer extant, including this house (the two historic pictures above are part of is collection).

In 1906, the Johnsons sold the house to Augusta B. Estes (1863-1938), who owned the house for 28 years.  The house was called Estes Place during this time.  In 1933, the Dougherty/Estes House was demolished and replaced by a Gulf gas station, which was run by Norvin Forester (1912-1998) for many years.  Though it’s no longer owned by Gulf, there is still a gas station on the same lot.

The Dougherty House was a two-story frame Greek Revival house with a two-story pedimented portico and a front entrance with sidelights and transom.

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