Friday, November 25, 2011

Tour of Homes Preview: Doyle House

The Friends of the Library annual Christmas Tour of Homes is Sunday, December 4, 2 - 5 pm. Admission is $15 for one ticket or $25 for two tickets. Tickets may be purchased at the Armstrong Library, Natchez Pilgrimage Tours, or at any of the homes the day of the event. You can tour four beautiful homes in any order and have refreshments at Stratton Chapel. This is the second preview of one of the homes. The first home was previewed earlier this week, and the last two will be previewed next week.

Doyle House
704 State Street
Home of Chesney & Marc Doyle

One of three, almost identical, two story houses built by J Foggo Dixon in 1880, 704 retains its original front porch and Victorian gingerbread. In 2007, Marc and Chesney Blankenstein Doyle undertook a complete renovation. In Spring 2011, they finally moved in with their twins.

Keeping the original footprint of the house, the Doyles created a three bedroom/three bath home with all modern amenities. Seven roofs were removed to install new architectural shingle. Central air and heat were added for the first time.

The family has been in the home since 1939. Her mother (Kathie Boatner) lived there until she married Rawdon Blankenstein in 1957. Their four children knew 704 as “Gram and Biggie’s house.” Their grandmother and great aunt had always run a tight ship, evidenced by the typewritten “Privileges and Rules of this Playroom” from 1942 that Gram created for Kathie and her playmates, including “P.S. When grown-ups want to use the front gallery please vacate!”

Wednesday was Gram and Biggie Day. Sliding down the banisters was allowed with adult assistance. Wooden blocks tied to socked feet with string were ice skates for sliding across the wool rugs. Gram even convinced the children that wire brushing the mildew off patio bricks was fun!

The dining table, a favorite gathering spot, was on the steamboat Springer when it sank near Rodney. The table was rescued and sold to Chesney’s greatgrandfather, Alfred Vidal Davis of Tacony Plantation in Vidalia.

Tour hostesses include Kathie Boatner Blankenstein’s childhood friends, all of whom were subject to the 1942 Rules.

No comments:

Post a Comment