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Group says purchase of historic home should wrap up this fall

VAIDEN — Organizers say the acquisition of Cotesworth as a cultural and heritage landmark should be complete by late fall.

The Greenwood Commonwealth reports state Sen. Lydia Chassaniol, R-Winona, told Carroll County supervisors this week that with the help of $2 million from Legislature and private donations, the ancestral home of 19th century U.S. Sen. J.Z. George will be purchased, restored and maintained.

Chassaniol said the house and grounds will be managed as a cultural center by a nonprofit foundation rather than by the state.

Cotesworth, George’s former estate, sits just outside of North Carrollton. He represented Mississippi in the U.S. Senate from 1881 until his death in 1897. He was previously the chief justice of the Mississippi Supreme Court. The J.Z. George High School in North Carrollton is named in his honor, which is less than two miles from his burial place in Mississippi City.

Chassaniol said the project can bring money flowing through the county in the form of tourists.

“You don’t have to house them, build schools, sewer systems. This is cheap economic development,” she said.

Tourists from many countries are already coming to the Delta to see historic blues sites, she said, and Carroll County can benefit from that tourism, as people also come to see Cotesworth.

Cotesworth was built around 1840 as a coach stop on the way from Holly Springs to Natchez. George leased it in 1853 and later purchased it as his home.

Some scenes for the movie “The Help” were filmed inside and outside the home.


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