Our Adventures With Retired Racing Greyhounds, Truly, Maggie and Walker



Sunday, March 3, 2013

Walking with the Hounds, Part 4

These are some of the homes on the street behind our house.  All of these are private residences - which I like very much.
This home was a red brick Victorian remodeled in 1911 into a European villa.  It was once a private home for the Presidents of Wesleyan College, then a "steam vapor" bath house (?), and now a private residence again.  The parties held by the various homeowners over the years are legendary.
Several years ago, I was driving to work very early in the morning.  It was still dark.  I was surprised to see a white greyhound standing on the front lawn of this house.  I didn't see anyone around the dog.  I stopped the car and walked back up the street - just to make sure the dog wasn't loose.  As I approached the house, I saw the dog push its way through the front door.  The door quietly closed behind it.  Later in the day, and thinking Truly and Maggie would enjoy a new greyhound playmate, I asked my friend who lives just across the street from this house, about the hound.  He said the homeowners had cats, no dogs.  He checked into it.  No greyhound - ever.  I know I didn't imagine what I saw.  I surely didn't dream it.  Maybe this was my first (and only) encounter with a downtown ghost? 
Two doors down from the "Ghost Hound House."  No hounds seen here . . . 
This English-medieval style home belonged to one of the area's premiere artists.  I understand the huge windows made the natural lighting perfect for painting.  The house sits on the tiniest wedge of property two streets.
Maggie and Truly know all of the houses where dogs live.
Officially, this is the Raines-Miller-Carmichael House.  We know it as the Oliver House.  It's on the National Register of Historic Places .  "The . . . (home) . . . is architecturally superb; classical details such as Ionic capitals, a full entablature, and pedimented gables are combined with aspects which express approaching Victorian characteristics - a spacious modified Greek cross plan, bay windows and multisided third story tower. Major interior features include an elaborate columnec niche found in the main stair hall and repeated in several rooms and the magnificent tour de force of a spiraling staircase in the central tower.  Elam Alexander's merit as an architect is exemplified in his other Macon structures. This is however, the most exemplary untampered-with survivor."
The Oliver's are very generous neighbors.  They regularly open their remarkable home for neighborhood association activities - Christmas Tour of Homes, picnics and movies on the lawn, and pool parties.

Truly and Maggie think all of its architectural significance is great.  However, their most favorite thing about the Oliver House is the two border collies who live here.  Those dogs sit on the front porch and fly down the steps when they see us.  There is a cast iron fence that keeps the collies away from us.  The barking continues until we're out of sight.  Those Brindle Kids think that's great fun!  They also think the small boys, the Oliver grandchildren, who climb in the trees are neat.
Walking around the block one day, I happened to notice the vibrant green of the grass in the tiny front yard of this house.  Stranger than really green grass in the middle of winter was the fact that Truly didn't want to smell it.  Upon inspection, I saw that the grass was PAINTED green.  Apparently, a photographer was coming for a professional shoot.  It was winter.  The grass was brown.  It needed to be green.  They painted it.  Simple as that.
As awesome as I think these homes are, this is unfortunately how we lose them.  A long-undetected roof leak results in substantial structural damage.  The elderly owner can't justify the repair expense and sells the structure "As Is."  A flipper buys it, usually to subdivide into apartments.  I hope that doesn't happen here but I do understand how concerned family members don't want their elders rambling around a 10,000 sq. foot, leaking and mildewey house.  The cost to repair damage of this nature will easily exceed $100,000.
I love the architecture of the city so much that I buy all the coffee table picture books I can find.  This WAS one of my favorites.


It was one of Truly's favorites, too.  :)

12 comments:

  1. I could read your walking posts all day. I don't know if you are a writer, but if you are, your neighborhood is filled with inspiration. I LOVE the ghost hound! Now you're sure you were going out that morning and not just coming in, right? (ha). In the first picture, I can just see one of those giant urns "accidentally" falling down and...(insert murder mystery). I hope their are many more "parts" to come.

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    1. Oh! The murder mysteries I could share about some of the people and places of this city. There was Anjette Lyles who in the 1950's decided to start poisoning people - which wasn't hard because she owned her own downtown restaurant. Then there's Chester Burge, from one of Macon's wealthiest families, who had his own murderous spirit. The there's the horrible, and recent, murder of a law student just down the street. Only her torso was found . . .

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  2. Holy smokes, that is some neighborhood you live in. Those houses are beautiful. My guys would love walking through there.

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  3. Your neighborhood is gorgeous! And I feel your pain about book-eating dogs -- Henry thought that books made fantastic snacks, too.

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  4. Gorgeous homes! Apparently those brindle kids share your taste in books!

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  5. I'm not sure what I'd do if either Blue or Bettina took a shine to books as snacks. After greyhounds, books are my world.

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  6. Oh my Dog, those houses are unbelievable! Is everyone a millionaire where you live :)
    Someone thinks that is an exciting read.
    Lynne x

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    1. No, as evidenced by the fact that I live here, not everyone is wealthy - Ha ha!

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  7. What wonderful buildings. Looking forward to more walks.

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  8. Wow ... where to start?

    Firstly, the story of the white greyhound is both sad and sweet. I imagine a long dead hound, still faithfully returning home to his family (also long dead) and being visible to us mere mortals occasionally.

    Secondly, the architecture you have shown us is simply gorgeous. My favourite is the Raines-Miller-Carmichael house (and I can hear my history teacher now, talking about Doric, Ionic and Corinthian columns!) and boy, would I love to live in a house like that ... if I had several million pounds and an army of servants! It's absolutely the most beautiful house I have seen for a very long time.

    And .. painted grass? AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! That is SO funny!

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  9. I love all your walking tours!

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  10. We absolutely adore all your walking tours! You must live in one of the most beautiful cities around. I wish we had more history to talk about here in our little town. Any chance you're coming to Greyhounds in Gettysburg? That's one of my favorite historical visiting spots!

    Bunny

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