Gillette House

The roof over the front porch of the house at 507 River Road finally gave in to the weather and gravity over the weekend, but just ahead of the wrecking crew, it appears. The house is planned for renovation and rejuvenation.

Mother Nature apparently beat the wrecking crew over the weekend to the 110-year-old porch of what has been called the Gillette House at 507 River Road.

The porch had been held up by four-by-fours as it awaited a rebirth at the hands of new owners, Bill and Beth Mayton of Greenville.

The Maytons purchased the dilapidated treasure about 13 months ago with the intention of rebuilding it to resemble its previous glory and turning it into an events center for weddings, parties and community functions.

To help his crew avoid commuting from Greenville for the project, Mayton also bought the house just to the east of the Gillette House to give them a place to stay. They spent a good portion of the last year working on that house, but moved dumpsters near the front porch of the Gillette House in the past couple of months.

In a phone call from Greenville Monday morning, Mayton was surprised to learn the porch was down and believed his crew must have taken it down. But with one four-by-four sticking through the rotted roof, it appeared the frequent rains this spring could have been to blame.

Either way, the porch roof was coming down anyway to allow workers to replace the roof of the house and then rebuild the porch.

Papers found inside the Gillette House indicate it was finished a couple years before the houses along Grand Boulevard were begun. It was built by T. Staige Marye, a community leader in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

The front entrance to the 5,177-square-foot house was designed to resemble a showboat, a fancy, floating theater that brought singers, musicians and plays down the Yazoo and Mississippi rivers in the 1800s.

It is called the Gillette House after the family that owned it since the 1940s but finally couldn’t afford to keep it from crumbling.

Contact Gavin Maliska at 581-7235 or gmaliska@gwcommonwealth.com.

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