This is from an article in the News-Reporter that I found this morning and considered to be worthy of posting. The house pictured, I knew as a boy as "The Hitt House", since Mrs. Hitt lived there, with occasional boarders, like the Flanders family. My father knew it as Mrs. Parantha's, since she operated it as a medical care facility, where Daddy had his tonsils removed. Other people have bought it and restored it to its current state.
The home of Hal and Nancy Farris is one of many featured on the 2008 Christmas Tour of Homes.
"We're decorating the tree! Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Fortson cordially invite you to attend a tree trimming party on Saturday, December 14, 1885, at 7 p.m. Tom has cut down a beautiful pine tree to stand next to the fireplace in the parlor. Sallie has decorated the whole house for the occasion. Please join us for eggnog, a wassail bowl, and special Christmas treats."
The early years of Fortson Hill are rather vague, although it is believed to have been built around 1840. This elegant Federal style home was given to the Fortsons as a wedding gift by the bride's father. Sallie Fortson was the daughter of Gabriel Toombs and the niece of the famous Robert Toombs. It was remodeled for the couple and the work was completed in December of 1884. It is likely that the remodeled structure incorporated the original building. The kitchen of that first building was separate from the rest of the house because many homes of the time were destroyed by kitchen fires.
Over the years many changes have been made to Fortson Hill. Victorian touches were added during that era. Porches, shutters, windows and doors have been added and removed. Old square bricks found buried on the site and some from the old Johnson Hotel were used to fashion steps and a wall.
More recent residents, including present owners Hal and Nancy Farris, have added modern conveniences. There are three full bathrooms, a breakfast room and a new kitchen. Lovely dentil molding was added to all the rooms. The charm of yesteryear has also been retained. Heart pine floors, twelve foot ceilings, numerous fireplaces and a refinished walnut stair railing and mantels recall the beauty of an earlier age. During the 2008 Christmas Tour of Homes Hal and Nancy graciously opened their doors to welcome the visitors.
The 2008 Christmas Tour of Homes was scheduled for Friday and Saturday, December 12-13.