A Victorian Beauty
Article and Photos by Kathleen Walls
|The Claremont House
People are talking about a certain Victorian beauty in Rome Georgia.
She may be up in years a bit but she is certainly not over the hill.
This charming Victorian Lady is coddled and pampered by the McHaggee
family, Chris, Holly Iris, their three cats, Loki, Desil and Trey,
and a few chickens. Iris has fallen in love with the white chicken..
Actually Chris and Holly do all the coddling and pampering, not to
mention the hard work, while three-year old daughter Iris and the
just offer their considerable charm.
As might be expected, such a beauty has quite
a history. She was completed in 1882 after three years of work
and his wife Florence. Hamilton was from Macon: Florence Paterson
was from Athens but they
moved to Rome because its infrastructure was not as devastated from
the War between the States.
For the three years of its construction, the Yanceys lived in a tiny
cottage still in use in the rear of the mansion. It was worth the
wait. The new home, named Claremont for Florence's favorite cousin
Clare De Graffenried, was the perfect example of Gothic Second
Empire Victorian. It features the classic Mansard roof,
Red and gray slate tiles in five different shapes. gothic
arch over the door, shallow bay windows, a
cupola and turret and dormer windows that all lend an air of
elegant mystery. It was only the
fifth house built in East Rome and just a gorgeous today as
it was when the Yanceys
in to it.
It was a showplace as well as a home. it had
14 foot ceilings, rich heart of pine woodwork and
14 inch crown moldings, an indication of the great wealth of
the family. There were 11 coal burning fireplace to keep it warm and
a safe that would be the envy of Donald Trump.
|The Elizabeth Room
The Yanceys owned all the land around the house which they planted
mainly in wheat , and Hamilton practiced law until the flood of 1886
law library and he
changed professions to become well respected in the insurance field.
Like any family they had to
face life's ups and downs. They raised eight children, three boys
and five girls, in Claremont House's spacious rooms.
One of the girls, Julia, died when she was only four. It is said
that her spirit still plays in one of the upstairs bedrooms. Their
youngest daughter was also named
Clare, for her aunt.
The elder Clare worked for the labor department in Washington , D.C.
She would visit the factories and mills and write essays about the
In later years, the house passed to Hamilton
Jr., called Ham, the third son and his wife, Nell Junkin Yancey.
When Nell died, Ham sold to house to another lawyer.
It passed out of Yancey
hands. Over the years other
owners came and went with the house finally becoming a bed and
breakfast in 1982. It still
changed hands about every three years. That is until Chris and Holly
bought it in 2003. Once again it seems to have found its place in
|One of the
Claremont House cats
||Holly makes her
Those who visit cannot help but fall under
its spell. It has even
drawn in movie producers.
Tears of Bankers and All Hollows Eve- Lord of the Harvest have both been filmed
partially in the Claremont House. If
True Blood ever features
the King of Georgia, I am sure he will want to
live in the Claremont
|One of the Claremont House dining
||The Claremont House Parlor
does one decide between the French toast or the quiche?
When you visit, you will be drawn in by the
charm and atmosphere––not to mention the scrumptious breakfast the
McHagges serve. The ball and claw tubs and high Victorian beds will
transport you to an more elegant time.
You could wander the halls, rooms and grounds for weeks and
still find new hidden treasures to brighten you stay. This elegant
old lady still knows how to charm a guest.
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