Enterprise-Journal from McComb, Mississippi on March 1, 2009 · Page B001
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Enterprise-Journal from McComb, Mississippi · Page B001

McComb, Mississippi
Issue Date:
Sunday, March 1, 2009
Page B001
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BY KAREN FREEMAN ENTERPRISE-JOURNAL One ofMcComb’s most historic and recognized homes is throwing open its doors to the public for special occasions. The two-story Brentwood, located at 601 Delaware Ave., was built in 1912 by the Hilborn Holmes family, who owned McComb’s Holmes Brothers Mercantile Store. But since 1940, Brentwood has been in the family of Julius and Elizabeth Brent and their descendants. The graceful home is an example ofNeoclassical Revival architecture and the only known structure ofits kind in McComb. The home was a popular place for local residents to have parties and other gatherings. The Brentwood foyer leads into several large parlors and a dining room —each with its own ceramic tile fireplace. The ornate living room ceiling features decorative plaster and a French mantel. Other features in the house include leaded glass doors, brought from New Orleans, 12-foot ceilings, huge pocket doors, several verandas and porches and cypress columns and pilasters. Lumber for the home was carried by horse-drawn wagons from Natchez, and millwork came from the old J.J.White Lumber Company. A small kitchen, a bathroom and one bedroom also are on the first floor. The second floor contains bedrooms and a bathroom. Julius and Elizabeth Brent and their daughter, Virginia Helen, lived inHolmesville, and in 1919, they moved to McComb. Mr. Brent bought many parcels ofland, including property that was the old McComb airport runway (now Rawls Drive), as well as the property where First Baptist Church is located. According to a historical report provided by Brent descendant Elizabeth Dunnaway ofOcean Springs, Julius Brent gave money to hometown people during the Great Depression because they couldn’t get money from banks. Brent also donated the land to build the North McComb Baptist Church and parsonage. Brent was the owner ofBrent’s Grocery Store and Brent’s Specialty Shop. He built the two-story building that formerly housed Holmes Furniture Store, and helped build the old McComb High School, as well as many other buildings in McComb. In the 1940s, Julius Brent served two terms in the state Legislature. When the home became for sale, Julius and Elizabeth bought it and named it Brentwood. Mrs. Brent and her sisters, Carrie Roach and Ruth Roach Poole provided many meals for family and friends. The Brents’ daughter, Virginia, her husband Joseph and their three children,Virginia, Elizabeth and Joe Walker often visited Brentwood. The house was a place for weddings, dedications and birthday parties. And during World War II, Mrs. Brent allowed wives ofsoldiers at Camp Van Dorn in Centreville to stay in her home so they would be nearer to their husbands. Julius Brent’s grandfather, Confederate Col. Preston Brent, was in charge ofmore than 200 men in the Brent Rifles Regiment in Holmesville during the Civil War. His descendants still have the medicine cabinet Col. Brent had during the war, along with his wife Fannie’s black lace dress and bonnet. The Brent Rifles Chapter, United Daughters ofthe Confederacy, took its name from the regiment. Brentwood was placed on the National Register ofHistoric Places in 1988, by Julius Brent’s granddaughter, Elizabeth Dunnaway. Owners, Elizabeth Walker Dunnaway and Barbara Walker Burrows, inherited the home through their mothers, Helen Brent Walker and Virginia Walker Burrows, and their grandparents Julius and Elizabeth Brent. Now, Willis and her aunt Elizabeth Dunnaway have decided to share their special home with the public. It will be leased for small weddings, receptions, bridal showers, parties and business meetings. A ribbon cutting and open house will be held at Brentwood on Friday, March 6, at 4 p.m. Anyone who would like to book Brentwood Memories for a special occasion may do so by calling Barbara Willis/Brentwood Memories LLC at 248-3777. ENTERPRISE-JOURNAL, McCOMB, MISSISSIPPISUNDAY, MARCH 1, 2009 B1 www.enterprise-journal.com The historic Brentwood home onDelaware Avenue in McComb is open for the public to make their own ‘Brentwood Memories.’ AARON RHOADS | ENTERPRISE-JOURNAL At top, the piano room in Brentwood is complete with antique piano and organ. Above is a photo of Confederate Col. Preston Brent, whose grandson, Julius Brent, bought the house at 601 Delaware Ave. in 1940. It’s been known as Brentwood. Big history Brentwood house offers glimpse back in time Above, an old spinning wheel and setee placed under stained glass windows is shown at the top of the staircase at Brentwood. At right, little girls dressed up for a birthday party file down the staircase at the historic home. SUBMITTED

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