The oldest residential structure in Jackson, The Cedars means many things to many different people.
Historical site, wedding venue, art hub and event space — the grounds of this home have stood the test of time for more than 175 years.
Constructed around 1840 as a two-room galleried cottage by William Garland, The Cedars was originally part of a large tract of land known as Garland Plantation that spread from present day Northside Drive and State Street east to the Pearl River and Lakeland Drive. At the time, the location was outside of town, making The Cedars the last stage coach stop after leaving the city of Jackson before Canton.
Garland and his two brothers, Samuel and Burr, came to Mississippi from Lynchburg, Va., in 1832. While William built The Cedars, the brothers built dwellings down the hill where The Rogue/4450 now stands. William died in 1847 and the two siblings inherited the property. Leaving to return to Virginia at the start of the Civil War, the land was sold.
Over the years, the structure has changed slightly, most notably adding the plantation’s one-room schoolhouse, connected on the north end of the home. The home has had several owners, including Governor Hugh White.
However, the story of the Cedars almost ended 15 years ago. In 2001, the home was listed on the Mississippi Heritage Trust’s Most Endangered List. The structure was in need of repair and the location was now prized near the arteries of Meadowbrook and Old Canton roads. After the property was purchased for a large sum with the intent to develop into condos, plans fell through. The owners of the property offered the lot to the Fondren Renaissance Foundation, which took on the incredible task of “Saving The Cedars” – raising money to purchase the property and restore the house. Renovation work was completed in the summer of 2004.
As part of the revitalization, FRF received a matching grant from the Mississippi Arts Commission Building Fund to reuse the home as a community visual and performing arts center. In addition to being rented for weddings and events, The Cedars is used as an art gallery and for community functions, such as FRF’s Symphony at Sunset and the Four Seasons of The Cedars visual and performing arts series.
Written by Sophie McNeil Wolf and photographed by Madeline Tess Farmer for Find It In Fondren © Find It In Fondren
- Wheelchair Accessible
- Stage Available
- Venue Rental
- Off-site Food Allowed
- On-Site Parking