Monday, January 7, 2008

Davis-West House - Marianna

This beautiful old structure is the historic Davis-West House in Marianna. Originally constructed during the 1840s, it became the home in 1859 of Dr. Theophilus West.
Dr. West served in the Confederate forces from Florida during the Civil War and was a surgeon attached to the Army of Northern Virginia. He was among the men who surrendered with Gen. Robert E. Lee at Appomatox Courthouse in 1865.
The home stands in the northeast corner of the old section of the city of Marianna and, in 1864, was on the edge of town near the bluff overlooking the Chipola River. Confederate troops under Colonel A.B. Montgomery fortified part of the West estate during the spring and summer of 1864, but the earthworks were not used during the Battle of Marianna as the Union attack came from the west. C. Slade West, now deceased, remembered during the 1980s having seen the remnants of these works when he was a small boy. His father told him they were trenches dug by Confederate soldiers. No trace of them remains today.
The home itself, however, survives and is beautifully preserved. Now own by a local historic preservation group, it is open by appointment.
The local camp of the Sons of Confederate Veterans is named in honor of Dr. Theophilus West.


Jerry Rudd said...

The Mr. West who lived in the house around 1960 was a friend of mine when I was a young boy. My family lived a block down the street in a house owned by a Mrs. Little. I would walk up to the house and ring the bell (times were different then, and my mother let me roam the neighborhood). He would often give me beach sand that he had brought back from his home in Mexico Beach. I remember that there was a large painting of Mr. West standing in front of his beach house that hung in a room on the first floor on the left side near the back of the house. I also remember that remember that there was a room upstairs where he had military swords and other artifacts on display.

Jerry Rudd

Dale Cox said...

Jerry, I remember Slade West very well. I also remember the room up stairs with all of the artifacts and books. When he passed away, he left the home to the Chipola Trust and it is preserved intact today as it was when he passed. If you are in Marianna, you should give them a call and ask for a tour. I'm sure it would bring back many memories!