It is one of three homes on the Historic Upshur Museum’s 4th Annual Heritage Tour of Homes. The other two are the homes of Marie Bennett at 203 E. Butler and Jarom and Regina Tefteller at 803 N. Montgomery. Tickets at $10 are available at the Historic Upshur Museum or can be purchased on the tour 2-4 p.m. May 4.
There also will be a raffle for a stay at the Oaklea Manor House Bed and Breakfast in Winnsboro for $1 available at the museum. The drawing will be held at the end of the tour of homes.
To walk through these halls and stairs of the Marshall home is to walk thorough memories of the T.C. and Mitchell Marshall families, through memories of the Cotton sisters of a century ago, and of Frank and Lona Futrell, Frank Jr. and Hazel Futrell, proud owners of the house which Daisy Warren built when she opened Warren Avenue a century ago.
Built by the Boykins in 1937, the home was owned the longest by D.T. and Lora Craver. Craver was the Gilmer ISD superintendent in the 1950s and 1960s, and his wife taught in the high school. The Marshalls arrived in 2004.
After stepping though the white entrance door, one is immediately struck by the presence in the living room to the right of the entrance of the Yamaha Grand Piano, Loring’s birthday gift to Bill on his 50th birthday.
The center of the room is filled with a conversational grouping of a rose couch and two chairs appointed with dark reds which complement the cobalt and crystal collection on the fireplace mantel.
By the front door is a curio cabinet filled with Hummel figures the couple collected before the boys were born.
Flanking the doorway is a side table and wingback chair from Loring’s mother, Hazel Futrell, which once graced the home on Warren Avenue now the home of the Clines.
Before entering the dining room west of the living room are the china cabinets with both the couple’s Fosteria America and Navarre crystal and two sets of china, Royal Harvest (for Thanksgiving) by Royal Staffordshire and Loring’s grandmother’s pre-World War II Nortaki china.
Before leaving the living room, do not miss the alabaster bird bath once owned by Loring Marshall’s aunt, Miss Alice Cotton, who owned a jewelry store in Huntsville. The bird bath was a gift from a pastor who bought the gift in Italy during a sabbatical paid for by his “maiden lady” parishioner.
Side pieces with marble tops once belong to T.C. Marshall, Bill’s great-grandfather. One by the widows was converted by Myra Marshall with her son’s help into a desk for Mitchell Marshall, Bill’s father.
The secretary standing near the Yamaha belong to F.E. and Lona Futrell in the living room in the house on Warren Avenue. The inkwell and quill are reproductions bought by the couple in Williamsburg on a vacation trip.
The boy and girl figurines in the secretary’s cabinet retain the price tag from J.E. Croley’s Hardware a century ago when they were purchased for 75 cents. They were a gift from Blanche Buie and Janie Cook, two well-known ladies in the early Twentieth Century Club of which Loring Marshall is a member.
In the corner stands a lovely lamp converted from coal oil to electricity.
In the dining room west of the living room, the room is filled with the dining room suite which Lona Futrell commissioned for the dining room on Warren Avenue. The silver service traces its roots to Miss Alice Cotton and her jewelry store in Huntsville.
Adjoining the dining room is the kitchen with its modern central island, maple cabinets, and stainless steel double sink and double-door refrigerator. Compact and useful, the kitchen combines the modern convenience of a microwave with the tradition of the unpainted, stained wood grained appointments.
From the kitchen one proceeds to the family room where the couple spends much of their time. Here the walls are paneled in maple, and the ceiling as with the kitchen ceiling is redwood. Brown is the dominant color among the comfortable couches and the two lounge chairs for the couple as they watch their big- screen television. Portraits of Drew and Trevor, their sons, and a quilt by Mittie Covin, Loring’s mother’s mother, are the decorative features.
Before going upstairs, drop in on the guest bedroom and bath with its blue tile from the 1930s. Bill says this will be his room when he can no longer climb the stairs.
In the hallway adjoining the guest bedroom is a hall tree once owned by Aunt Ella Todd, one of the Cotton sisters, and two watercolors of Tallinn, Estonia, the native home of Aliis Marshall, Bill’s mother.
The whole hallway and stairwell was redone by the Marshall. Painted white with the molding in the natural wood tones of the maple, the change brings light into what could be a dark, foreboding area. On the landing halfway up is a Seth Thomas clock.
Upstairs, Bill likes to retreat to the sun room off the master bedroom. From there, one can look through a window down the entire bedroom hallway as four bedrooms fill the second floor: the parents, Drew’s room, Trevor’s room, and the grandchildren’s room. There are also two baths, one off the master bedroom with pink tile which is Loring’s, and one down the hall with burgundy and white appointments which is Bill’s.
Filling every extra space between the walls are 19 separate closets in which to place appropriate linens for bed or bath, clothing for the room’s inhabitant, or some of the many items the pair has acquired over the years.
On the master bed, the double wedding ring patterned quilt was made by Hazel Futrell. A small chair from the Elementary School reflecting Hazel’s years as a teacher holds a Teddy Bear.
Drew’s years as a Gilmer Buckeye playing for Coach Jeff Traylor (2001-2003) are highlighted by his jerseys and photos from those years.
Trevor, who graduated before they moved to this house, has the least personal impact, but has a lovely room appointed in blues for him.
Beds for Jim and Julia Marshall, children of Mitchell Marshall, now fill the grandchildren’s room. Each has a quilt for a spread.
Along the hallway, photos of the Marshall, Covin and Futrell families tie together all these many family connections as Bill and Loring Marshall celebrate their pasts and their present in their home on Tyler Street.