More About the Malloy-Jones-Shaw home
The house was designed by nationally known architect George F. Barber of Knoxville, Tennessee, and is based on Barber's own family home. Barber designed at least 51 homes currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is the finest and best preserved example of Late-Victorian architecture in Greene County, Alabama. The house itself is so perfectly illustrative of free-classic Queen Anne architecture that it is shown as an example of the style in Virginia and Lee McAlester's seminal A Field Guide to American Houses.
Barber researcher Michael Alcorn, AIA, has called the house "a lesson in the artistic treatment of an upper middle-class home and the embodiment of gracious Edwardian living". The facade and most of the interior details are virtually unchanged from the day it was completed in 1906.
Greene County and its county seat, Eutaw, best known for their antebellum Greek Revival homes, suffered a prolonged economic downturn following the War Between the States and the demise of its cotton-based economy. Only a handful of fine large homes were constructed in the 50 years following the War, and none approach the level of detail and preservation found in Dr. M.L. Malloy's home. The home was constructed in 1906 for Dr. Martin Luther Malloy and his wife Laura Malloy, by a now-unknown contractor from Meridian, Mississippi.
The design is by George F. Barber, who operated one of the largest mail order architectural firms of the era, yet each set of plans were personally modified to suit the client's wishes and reproduced by hand. Rosemont was published as design #552 in Barber's Art in Architecture catalog of 1902, and as design #756 in his American Homes catalog of 1905. An almost identical floor plan to the Malloy house was featured in the January, 1906 Keith's Magazine of Homebuilding as design #A116. Only one other example of Rosemont is still known to be in existence - a mirror-image house built in 1907 in Columbia, Mississippi. (It's on the National Register, too!) We were fortunate enough to visit the Columbia house, which has been masterfully restored by Robert and Betty Bourne, and it is a source of inspiration for us in our renovation process.
Exterior and interior details are a happy marriage of Victorian fancy and elements derived from the classical Orders. The front formal rooms (gentlemen's parlor, ladies' parlor, hallway and dining room) are all original and unmodified, and feature very ornate woodwork that retains its original finish and has never been painted. The finely detailed wainscoting, columns and fretwork are unparalleled in Greene County homes of the period, and are virtually identical to those in Barber's own Rosemont in Knoxville, which has since been destroyed.
Dr. Malloy was a physician and later proprietor of Eutaw Drug Store who located in Eutaw in March of 1905. He purchased the lot on the corner of Wilson and Boligee on June 22, 1905 for $750.00. The construction of the prominent new residents' home on the busy corner was big news in this small town, and its progress was well reported by the local press. Materials were unloaded at the site on June 15, 1906; construction of the foundation began June 22; and work was completd on November 2, 1906.
The Malloys raised four children in the home, which also served as an adjunct hospital during the influenza epidemic of 1918. Dr. Malloy was stabbed outside his office on the town square, and died as a result of those injuries on December 27, 1922. His widow sold the home to J.C. Jones and his wife Eunice on July 7, 1925 for $5,000.00. J.C. Jones was a merchant in Eutaw. He lived in the home until his death in 1964. The Jones raised 3 children, and Mrs. Jones lived in the home until her death in 1991. The Jones' daughter sold the house to us (the Shaws) on January 11, 1996. We have undertaken a comprehensive restoration of the house while making our home among the mess, and somehow we even found time to make our own little heir, our son Tag (born on October 5, 1998!)
Our House ...In the Middle of Our Street.
Decorative fretwork separates the Ladies' Parlor from the alcove.
Detail of the carved lion's heads on the mantle in the Ladies' Parlor.
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