Couple restores majestic Vicksburg home

Published 11:31 am Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Nestled amid luscious green ivy and surrounded by trees and foliage, Rick and Patty Stone’s Colonial Revival style home on Chambers Street reminds the passerby of one of the stately homes of Vicksburg’s past.

Reflective of its outer beauty, the interior of the home recalls the days gone by with antiques the couple has collected since they have been married.

“Rick and I have enjoyed collecting antiques before we had children. We spent a lot of weekends scouring antique shops. We found a bed in an old gas station turned antique shop on Highway 49 and a beautiful Dresden porcelain reticulated bowl from an old antique shack in Cape Cod, Mass. You just never know (where you will find a treasure),” Patty said.

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Both inherited their love of antiques from their families who were also collectors.

“My mother appreciated old things and collected china and crystal. Rick’s uncle was an antique dealer and had shops on Royal and Toulouse in New Orleans and in Natchez over the years. Also, Rick’s grandparents, Reuben and Julia Harper, owned and restored Cedar Grove in the late 1970s to early 1980s,” Patty said.

Patty said she and Rick met through college friends while students at the University of Mississippi.

“Rick grew up in Ocean Springs and Laurel, and I was from Mount Vernon, Ohio.”

Both became nurse anesthetists (CRNAs). Currently, Rick works for Northstar Anesthesia at Merit Health River Region, and Patty works at Anesthesia Consultants and GI Associates in Jackson.

With family in Greenville and Jackson, Patty said moving to Vicksburg seemed like a good location for the couple to make their home, adding, “We fell in love with the town and its history.”

Upon moving to Vicksburg, the couple first bought an 1870s Victorian home on Cherry Street.

“When we purchased it, our parents and the bank thought we were crazy,” Patty said.

The couple fully restored the home, but after the birth of their sons, Morgan and Dixon, who are now a senior at Mississippi State University and a freshman at the University of Mississippi, respectively, found the house was no longer meeting the needs of their family.

“The boys were growing, and we needed different spaces.”

Although the couple said they  enjoyed restoring their Cherry Street home, they were no longer up to the task of taking on another fixer-upper.

While in the midst of searching for another home for the family, Patty said she got a call about the completely restored Chambers Street home.

“We took a look and knew this was the one,” she said, noting the architecture, beautiful floors and preserved fixtures drew her to the house along with the fact the house was move-in-ready.

“The beauty of this home for us was turning the key and moving in. We changed very little. It was a good fit for our family,” she said.

Originally, the home had only two upstairs bedrooms with one bath.

With an addition to the home, it now has four bedrooms and 3 1/2 baths.

Patty credits prior owners Ruth and Richard Wilkerson and the late Webber Brewer, who served as the contractor for the Wilkersons, with salvaging the home, which was originally built in1900 by Frank H. Andrews, Sr.

“They did a stunning restoration. It was uninhabitable when they purchased it. We only take credit for being smart enough to make the purchase.”

Since purchasing the home in 2005, the couple has only made minor changes to the house like glassing in some of the porches, which were screened.

“We tweaked a few things, but most of the paint colors we left the same. Our larger pieces of furniture fit perfectly,” she said.

The chandelier in the dining room was a piece Rick said the couple brought from their Cherry Street home.

Antique oil paintings the couple has collected hang from many walls in the home, and tucked inside a china cabinet is a signed Rudolph Lux coffee cup.

Lux was considered the premier porcelain painter and gilder working in New Orleans in the mid-19th century. He was born in Germany and specialized in portraying prominent persons including Civil War figures on porcelain plates and cups.

The couple has also collected Sevres porcelain, which is displayed throughout the formal spaces in the home.

In addition to the older oil paintings, Rick and Patty have collected, they’ve also collected artwork by local and Mississippi artists, which hang on the walls of the kitchen and den areas.

Portraits of Rick’s mother, Julia Harper, and his uncle, Buzz Harper, hang in the back staircase of the home. Portraits of their sons, painted by nationally renowned Charleston, S.C., portrait artist Robert Maniscalco, hang in the couple’s living room.

Patty said the family has enjoyed living in their home on Chambers Street for the past 10 years, and like the families before them, will always have special memories to cherish of the home.

“Now, the things I love about this house are the sound of the front screen door slamming, signaling the last child has arrived, or the living room mantel that has been the backdrop for many homecoming dances and prom pictures,” she said.

Patty feels sure her sons would agree with her sentiments.

“I think that I can speak for them. They have enjoyed living in an old house. They have had study sessions around the dining room table and scout meetings in the den,” and she added laughingly, “One of the boy’s friends once said, ‘This would be a nice house if you didn’t have all this old furniture.’ ”

About Terri Cowart Frazier

Terri Frazier was born in Cleveland. Shortly afterward, the family moved to Vicksburg. She is a part-time reporter at The Vicksburg Post and is the editor of the Vicksburg Living Magazine, which has been awarded First Place by the Mississippi Press Association. She has also been the recipient of a First Place award in the MPA’s Better Newspaper Contest’s editorial division for the “Best Feature Story.”

Terri graduated from Warren Central High School and Mississippi State University where she received a bachelor’s degree in communications with an emphasis in public relations.

Prior to coming to work at The Post a little more than 10 years ago, she did some freelancing at the Jackson Free Press. But for most of her life, she enjoyed being a full-time stay at home mom.

Terri is a member of the Crawford Street United Methodist Church. She is a lifetime member of the Vicksburg Junior Auxiliary and is a past member of the Sampler Antique Club and Town and Country Garden Club. She is married to Dr. Walter Frazier.

“From staying informed with local governmental issues to hearing the stories of its people, a hometown newspaper is vital to a community. I have felt privileged to be part of a dedicated team at The Post throughout my tenure and hope that with theirs and with local support, I will be able to continue to grow and hone in on my skills as I help share the stories in Vicksburg. When asked what I like most about my job, my answer is always ‘the people.’

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