The Majors-Parchman Farmstead
The original owners of the land on which this house was built were Stephen and Rebecca Keith, who gave the land for the town of Mt. Vernon. From 1848 to 1882, the land went through a succession of five owners, including Joshua Foster Johnson, whose desk is now in the Parlor.
By 1882 the original acreage had been reduced to about 30 acres, bounded by Holbrook, Rutherford, Kaufman and Majors Streets. In 1882 the 31) acre farmstead was acquired by W. R. and Rebecca Selvidge, who owned it until 1886 and probably built the present house. Mr. and Mrs. J. H. Majors owned the house from 1889 to 1903 and sold off property to the south. When J. M. and Letitia Parchman bought the house in 1905, it consisted of the present three- quarter acre lot. The Parchmans, who owned the "dry-goods" store in downtown Mt. Vernon, lived here for over 50 years.In 1995 the house, in total disrepair, was completely restored by B.F. Hicks, who sold it to the Franklin County Historical Association in 1996 for its permanent headquarters. The house is also now maintained as part of the Association s museum complex.
Early Texas farmhouses typically had two rooms on either side of a central open hail (the "dogtrot"). This house has one room to the north (probably the original parlor/master bedroom, as it is larger) and three rooms to the south, with a curved side porch in addition to the front porch. Originally there was also a back porch with a well, or cistern, now enclosed. The style of this house is more in keeping with the late Victorian "cottage" style, which was popular in the last two decades of the 19th century.
The property is especially interesting for its three well-preserved outbuildings on the back side of the property: a smoke house, a hen house, and a small barn. Also preserved are over a dozen of the original pecan and walnut trees. Flowers and shrubs are in keeping with those of the period.
Furnishings and objects in the front hall and parlor of the house are mostly representative of the period (turn of the century) and many belonged to original Franklin County families. The Eastlake style, a late Victorian furniture style, is exemplified in the mirror over the mantel, marble top table and parlor chairs.
Paintings in the house were all executed by Franklin County residents, who studied art locally and lived and worked here from the 1890s to the 1940s. Some of the paintings are over one hundred years old.
The Majors-Parchman house also contains a collection of school memorabilia, a portion of which is always on display.