Home renovation reveals 'hidden house' in Ocean Springs

Home renovation reveals 'hidden house' in Ocean Springs
Published: Mar. 27, 2017 at 3:49 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 27, 2017 at 5:27 PM CDT
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OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - A home renovation project in Ocean Springs has turned into something of a history lesson. Restoration work at a house on Iberville Dr. is revealing some interesting findings.

Developer Karen Bryant wasn't expecting a "house within a house" when she purchased the historic property. But, that's exactly what she discovered.

"It's listed as a Victorian property, but the walls have revealed a very different story. A little cabin. A little cabin hidden in a larger cabin," said Bryant. "A couple days ago, they pulled off this wall, and you can see the swoop of the cabin to the peak."

Her research of the property dates the original structure to the 1850s.

"These white boards were commonly used in frontier cabins, settlement cabins. They are cypress. They are white washed for the interior, because it was thought it was a cleanliness issue," Bryant said, pointing to the large, white colored lumber.

White washed boards also provided some degree of illumination in an otherwise dark and gloomy cabin.

Revealing the true history of the cabin literally required peeling back the layers.

"Keep in mind, when we purchased this home, we were looking at green shag carpeting with about four layers of flooring. The walls had three to four layers. The trim around the doors and windows had three layers of trim," said Bryant.

Located near the springs on Iberville Dr., this residence was once home to the mayor of Ocean Springs.

"Frederick Weed was the first official mayor of Ocean Springs. He and his wife, Alice, were from Vermont. Vermont Ave. is named for Mr. Weed," Bryant explained.

Following a few months of restoration, this historic property will become a four-bedroom, single family residence. It's an opportunity for new owners to make their own history there.

"Imagine the stories and lives that have passed through these walls," said Bryant, who admits she's fallen in love with the old home.

The property is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Frederick Weed was mayor of Ocean Springs from 1899 until 1910.

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