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Newborn Tour of Homes – Do you have a skeleton in YOUR closet?


One of the most striking homes on the Newborn Tour of Homes is the Porter Manor House and Gardens, for several reasons.  One, it’s one of the few three-story homes in town, Two, it was originally designed to be the dormitory for the Palmyra Institute and Three, it is going to be opening as a Bed and Breakfast soon!  Oh, and also it was my Aunt Bertha’s house!

Newborn Tour of Homes

The Porters, who ran a store in downtown Newborn, owned it from the turn of the previous century.  I have a store ledger inscribed J.G. and F.R. Porter, 1899-1900.  Only the first two stories were lived in, as the W.R. Porters (Uncle Bill and Aunt Bertha) had a small family.  The third story was, and still is, unfinished.  When my dad, Charles Williams, was a child he used to sneak up there with his cousin Helen Porter (Conger) to see what Helen’s uncle Dr. Porter (who practiced later in Rutledge GA) had stored up there – a SKELETON!  OK, it was a skeleton designed to teach anatomy but EEEEK!  Can’t you imagine the thundering of kid’s feet as they ran back away from the spiderweb-covered bones three at a time!

Newborn Tour of Homes

Nowadays the home is getting lovelier by the moment, thanks to the exquisite taste of Susan Oliveto decorating the inside in a spare but inspiring Swedish/eclectic décor, and her husband Chris Dapkus’ horticultural design genius touch in the surrounding gardens.  While you are there, don’t miss the handcrafted kitchen countertop – which was a stately black walnut tree in their yard several years ago until felled by the tornado of 2011. 

Porter home Mellie Pitts Bill Porter Mary Mitchel

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