An Art Piece of Preservation, LaGrange, Georgia’s Hills and Dales Estate Celebrates its Centennial in 2016

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Hills-and-Dales-Estate55a943eec4ea3.JPGIn 1832, only four years after the city of LaGrange was founded about an hour southwest of Atlanta, Mickleberry and Nancy Ferrell started building a home on their land just outside of town, and Nancy began laying out a formal boxwood garden on their property. When their daughter Sarah inherited the land, she expanded her mother’s garden, and opened it to the public for the citizens of LaGrange to enjoy. She maintained the gardens herself until her death in 1903, and in 1911, textile magnate Fuller E. Callaway purchased the property where he used to play as a boy. He commissioned a grand home from noted Georgia architect Neil Reed, his first residential commission, to complement Sarah’s gardens and in 1916 the family moved into their new home, called Hills and Dales. Eventually, Callaway’s son Cason would move to Pine Mountain, Georgia, where he would found Callaway Gardens. His son, Fuller Jr., inherited Hills and Dales and raised his family there, his wife Alice lovingly caring for its famous garden as had her mother-in-law Ida and Sarah and Nancy Ferrell before her. A horticultural masterpiece, Hills and Dales features collections of rare plants, almost all of which are original to the property during the time of the Callaway family’s occupancy. The boxwoods growing there today are all either original to Sarah Ferrell’s 1841 garden or are cuttings from her original boxwoods. After Alice’s death in 1998, the property was bequeathed to the Fuller E. Callaway Foundation for the enjoyment and benefit of the public, and has been maintained as a historic house museum and garden. Hills and Dales is a rarity in that the house was designed to complement the extant garden, and is one of the finest examples of preservation in the South.