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Contents of historic mansion going on block

PORT GIBSON — The contents of an Old South mansion in Port Gibson are going up for sale.

An estate tag sale is set for Feb. 1-3 at the historic Oak Square home.

The Clarion-Ledger reports Oak Square was once the town home of a cotton planter. It was later divided into apartments. More recently it was restored as a bed and breakfast inn.

Cartwright Estate Liquidations is handling the estate tag sale, which is the first of three on the site. Second and third estate sales, which will include the contents of adjoining properties and Oak Square’s extensive attic, will be held in March and April.

A Gothic house stood on the site originally, probably 1850, and burned in 1905. It was salvaged and rebuilt in 1906 (a historic marker notes the dual date).

Bill and Martha Lum, each with family roots in the area stretching back to the late 1700s, bought Oak Square in 1976 as a retirement occupation, restoring it as a B&B that welcomed tourists through its heyday in the 1980s and 1990s.

“When my father died (in 1995), things took a different direction,” said their son, Doug Lum. The inn continued to operate until 2011; the customer base trended more toward extended stay, with guests housed in the other buildings on the grounds. The main house hasn’t been used as a bed-and-breakfast since the mid-1990s. It’s been locked up and preserved since.

The main house has passed to Martha Lum’s late daughter’s children; Martha Lum, now 88, has moved and is downsizing with the help of her son and his wife. Her surviving daughter lives in Ridgeland; grandchildren are spread from Texas to Washington, D.C.

“Many things have gone to children and grandchildren, but there’s just so much,” said Doug Lum, a local architect, who lives in a restored historic home with his family of six.

Such estates and collections demand resources. “It just takes everything. Mother was of another generation. And they were willing to do it,” Doug Lum said. “I’m raising children. We’ve got cars and gas and basketball and the things that we do.”

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