LONGTIME MISSISSIPPI AUCTIONEER DWIGHT STEVENS IS SELLING THE 7,000-SQUARE FOOT ADAMS-FRENCH MANSION HE’S CALLED HOME FOR 14 YEARS
The magnificent Greek Revival antebellum home is at 301 North Meridian Street in Aberdeen.
ABERDEEN, Miss. – The magnificent 7,000-square-foot Greek Revival antebellum home at 301 North Meridian Street in Aberdeen known as the Adams-French Mansion is up for sale. The owner and seller is Dwight Stevens, the longtime auctioneer and owner of Stevens Auction Company in Aberdeen, a town situated halfway between Columbus and Tupelo, on US Hwy. 45.
“I’ve been residing in this wonderful old mansion home for a long time, and have cared for it and restored it to its full antebellum glory,” Mr. Stevens said. “But I’ve reached the point in my life where I don’t need all that space and it’s time for me to downsize and simplify a bit. I’ll be living not far away in a small gingerbread antebellum cottage that will suit my needs just fine for now.”
The new owner will be buying a five-bedroom five-bath home with a large entry hall, a spiral staircase, grand parlor, formal dining room, downstairs guest bedroom suite, modern kitchen and laundry room. The basement features a full workout gym. The third floor has a home theater with additional party space, along with a bathroom and a stairway leading to the widow’s walk roof.
On the second floor, there is a massive master suite totaling over 800 square feet. Accompanying on the opposite side of the hall are two guest bedrooms. The home also has an elevator that goes from the basement to the second floor. Jib windows upstairs and downstairs raise to enter the balcony and porch. In essence, no expense was spared and every detail was lovingly tended to.
The grounds of the Adams-French Mansion comprise 3.3 acres that also includes a 1905 church that’s currently used as a wedding chapel. The property sits atop a hill, a stately example of the majesty of antebellum homes in Mississippi. It is located three blocks north of downtown. “I’ve been told it would cost about $3 million to replace this home and land today,” Mr. Stevens said.
Stevens is just the mansion’s third owner. It was first built in 1856, by Col. John Cox, who gave it to his daughter, Mary Jane, as a wedding gift. She lived there until her death in 1899, having had two marriages along the way: to Robert S. Adams, a banker who died in 1873, and Anderson French, a banker and a doctor who passed in 1928 (hence the name the Adams-French Mansion).
Upon Mr. French’s death, the mansion sat idle for a few years until it was bought by the Masons, who used it for meetings and events. Mr. Stevens purchased it in 2002. It needed work, but he was up to the task. Stevens and his family were already steadfast supporters of Aberdeen and the state of Mississippi, and he had a grand vision to make Adams-French a premier auction facility.
He went right to work, restoring and refurbishing the mansion to its original grandeur. The process took several years, and after it was finished Mr. Stevens used it as a showcase for his most prominent estate auctions, three times a year. Then, tragedy struck: a fire swept through the building about ten years ago, damaging much of the inside and forcing yet another restoration.
“I had two choices after the fire,” Stevens said: “Walk away altogether or go all-in and make the place even better than before.” He chose the latter, and no expense was spared. “Every inch of that home has been refurbished and we only used the finest materials available,” he said. “We even hired the best architects from Germany to recreate the staircase, which they did on-site. All the lamination, curving and staining was done by them to perfection to reflect the 1856 original.”
While the historical integrity of the mansion was elevated on a grand scale during the renovation, much modernization was smartly implemented, too. The mansion now has a new roof, all new plumbing, a new Trane heating and air system with three gas units, new 60-gallon water heating system, an alarm system with cameras, and new insulation for the walls, ceilings, floors and attic. “Whoever buys this fine home will be getting the very latest in energy efficiency,” Stevens said.
Other features include sturdy storm windows, four ceramic tile bathrooms and a full modernized kitchen, with granite cabinet tops and all stainless steel appliances (which come with the home, as will all window treatments and light fixtures). “The new occupant will be enveloped in a sense of history but they’ll have all the most modern creature comforts at the same time,” Stevens said.
Stevens was involved in another disaster recovery project, in 2005, after Hurricane Katrina. At the Governor’s request, he helped in the retrieval and storage of the historic, antique furnishings of Beauvoir, the last residence of Jefferson Davis, the President of the Confederacy. Over ninety percent of the furnishings in the historic landmark were recovered, restored and later returned.
Because Mr. Stevens is a Realtor as well as an auctioneer, he will be acting as his own agent for the sale of the Adams-French Mansion. Interested parties may call him at 662-369-2200; or, send him an e-mail at email@example.com. A private tour or appointment can be arranged, for serious buyers only. For information and photos, click on www.AdamsFrenchMansion.com