Lovette becomes a friend of Merrehope
NEW MEMBER Betsy Lovette was the first to join the "Save Merrehope for Me" campaign as a member of Friends of Merrehope. The campaign is a fund-raising program underway to save historic Merrehope and the F.W. Williams homes in Meridian. Photo by Carisa McCain / The Meridian Star.
By Penny Randall / staff writer
Aug. 31, 2002
Merrehope may have been built years ago, but one 18-year-old East Mississippi Community College student said she believes it remains important to Meridian.
Betsy Lovette even joined the fight to help save the historic home by becoming the first member of the "Save Merrehope for Me" campaign.
Merrehope was built in 1858 by one of Meridian's original settlers, Richard McLemore, as a three-room cottage.
The Meridian Restoration Foundation purchased the home in 1968 and began to restore it to its original beauty. It opened to the public in 1972.
The nearby F.W. Williams house was built around 1886 by Frank W. Williams as a wedding present for his wife, Mamie. That house was moved to its present site near Merrehope in 1979.
Over the years, the homes have deteriorated; extensive repairs on the interior floors and walls are needed.
The porch and exterior of the homes are in need of paint. A $50,000 roof is needed for the F.W. Williams home, which has been damaged from leaking rain.
Merrehope has recently received some help through a $38,000 grant from the Riley Foundation. But the grant is a "challenge grant" meaning the Meridian Restoration Foundation must match the money by January 2003 in order to receive the funds.
During the next months, several events will be held to raise funds to match the grant. The public is encouraged to participate in the "Save Merrehope for Me" campaign.
To find out more about the "Save Merrehope for Me" campaign, call 483-8439.