Live Oaks, also known as the Goodman-Smith-Bonds House (and Linden Lodge for much of the 20th century) was originally built as a two-story brick house in 1848 by Walter Goodman (1803-1866), a prominent citizen and entrepreneur in Holly Springs in the 1840s and 1850s.

Walter Goodman first appears in the historical record in 1839, when he is listed as a cashier in the Northern Bank (one of many early Holly Springs banks that eventually went bankrupt) and as the first treasurer for Christ Episcopal Church.  In 1848, soon after building his home, Goodman was one of the founders of the Holly Springs Railroad Company.  This early company failed, though it gave birth to one of the most important transportation ventures in American history:  the Mississippi Central Railroad.

The Mississippi Central was authorized by the Mississippi Legislature in 1852, and Goodman became the first president of the railroad.  After a full year of fundraising and the selling of stocks, the ground-breaking ceremony of the Mississippi Central was held on November 10, 1853 in Holly Springs, in front of a crowd of over six thousand.  By 1855, the railroad was finished between Holly Springs and Grand Junction, Tennessee.  In 1857, the line was complete as far as Oxford, and by 1859 the line went as far south as Water Valley.  Finally, in 1860, the line was complete to Winona, and for the first time, railroads connected New Orleans in the south to Chicago in the north.

Live Oaks, circa 1896

Unfortunately, the Mississippi Central was devastated during the Civil War, and had to be rebuilt in the 1860s.  The Company lost confidence in Goodman, and he was removed as President, replaced by his friend Absalom West.  Before moving to New York City, Goodman became one of the co-founders of the original Peabody Hotel in Memphis.  Goodman died in New York City on April 16, 1866.  His widow continued to live in the Goodman House until 1876, when she died.

In 1881, the Goodman House was mostly destroyed in a fire.  Portions of this original house, including a brick dependency and the brick walls surrounding the property, remain today, and it is likely that other parts of the original house survive inside the current, Victorian home.  In 1882, Judge Eagleton M. Smith (1854-1937) and his wife Lucy Deadrick Lyon Smith (1855-1915) purchased the lot and constructed their home, “Linden Lodge”.  Linden Lodge is a one-story frame Victorian cottage with Eastlake influence.

Eagleton and Lucy Smith

The Smith family owned the home for almost 90 years, until they sold it to Albert “Bert” Bonds (1925-1990) in 1966.  The Bonds family owned Linden Lodge for 40 years.  In 2010, David and Stacey Hollis purchased the home and lived here for five years, before the current owners, Mike and Lisa McCarter, purchased the home in 2015.  The McCarters renamed the house “Live Oaks” after the live oak trees that are in the front lawn of the house.  Live Oaks was one of the featured houses on the 2019 Holly Springs Tour of Homes.

Live Oaks is a single-story multi-gable frame Victorian house with a three-bay porch with balustrade, turned posts and spoolwork frieze, with prominent Eastlake influence.

Live Oaks, on the 1915 Sanborn Map


2 thoughts

  1. I practically grew up here. Gladys Smith, the widow of Deaderick
    Smith, was my good friend I am still in touch with her grand-daugher Camille Mc Kenzie Ryan from Memphis. Will send you more memories in the next few dsys.


    1. Hey Betty! My husband, Mike, and I live in Live Oaks. I would love to hear or read any information you have about the house or any of the former owners.
      Thank you!
      Lisa McCarter


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