Fayette, Mississippi, United States
When Tere and Mac Thomas purchased Laurietta, a long abandoned farmhouse on a 680 acre property in Fayette, Mississippi, they knew they had a long road ahead of them. Built in the 1820s, the neglected home was a “broken-down shell of a house” that would ultimately be brought back to life following a three-year gut renovation. “If we were going to do it, we wanted to do it right,” said Mac. Country Living reported, “That meant hiring a crew and crane to lift the 2,770 square foot house onto supports, where it sat for more than a year during repairs to its foundation and the installation of new insulation, plumbing, and electricity.” Photos of the exterior have been circulating the internet for years. “The couple rebuilt both chimneys and added a hand-crimped aluminum roof.” Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Tere visited the Historic Natchez Foundation to research the house. Country Living reported, “Expecting to find records and renderings, at best, she was stunned to discover Laurietta’s original fanlights, banister, a porch column, and a mantel in the nonprofit’s basement. She also learned that a second mantel had been adorning a fireplace in a nearby house; its owners returned the piece upon hearing of the restoration.” Tere also found an old journal kept by the daughter of the man who built Laurietta. The journal described what the interiors had original looked like. “There are still scars and burn marks around the fireplaces, but I didn’t want to replace all the floors,” says Tere. “Those imperfections are part of the story. Besides, Laurietta’s not a grand house.” The house sits on 680 acres with rolling, wooded hills and a three-acre lake. Photography by Bjorn Wallander.