Charles Patterson House
The Charles Patterson House was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1994. Portions of the content on this web page were adapted from a copy of the original nomination document. [†] Adaptation copyright © 2011, The Gombach Group.
The Charles Patterson House (also known as Camelia Gardens) is located in a late nineteenth century suburban development just south of the grid plan of the old town of Natchez at 506 South Union Street. The easterly facade of the Charles Patterson House fronts onto South Union Street and the southern side elevation fronts onto Harrison Street. The two-story, frame, Queen Anne house rests upon brick foundation piers and is surmounted by a cross-gabled, asbestos-shingled roof pierced by one interior brick chimney with corbeled cap and clay chimney pots. An octagonal tower with bell-shaped roof and clapboard siding is embraced by the angle of the cross gable. A historic photograph, located after a recent restoration, documents shingle siding and an original elaborate finial on the tower, both of which are now missing.
The Charles Patterson House is finished in clapboard except for the pedimented gable ends, which are covered in fish-scale shingles. The pedimented gable ends feature a tripartite arrangement of windows set under a molded, peaked cap on the facade and a small louvered opening with triangular head on the northerly side elevation and westerly rear elevation. On the facade, the eaves of the gable-end deeply overhang the canted walls of a semi-octagonal bay which features paired sash with molded, peaked caps on the facade. A double-tiered porch extends from the canted corner of the bay and wraps around the octagonal tower . The porch features turned posts and a turned baluster railing but was once more elaborate with a spindle frieze, bracketed posts, and an unusual balustrade made up of spindles and panels. The existing railing was installed before World War II. A small, one-story porch, trimmed like the major porch of the facade, shelters two bays of floor-length windows on the southerly side elevation. A double-tiered porch, similarly trimmed, shelters a portion of the rear elevation. The horizontal divisions of both the front and rear double-tiered porches extend around the entire body of the house as a molded cornice, belt course, and baseboard.
All windows of the house are filled with one-over-one, double-hung sash and the unsheltered single window units are closed by louvered shutter blinds. The main entrance doorway is transomed and filled with double-leaf doors with glazed upper panels. The secondary entrances on the lower and upper facade are each transomed and filled with a single-leaf door with glazed upper panel.
The interior of the Charles Patterson House exhibits outstanding integrity and is elaborately trimmed in millwork and hardware typical of the Queen Anne style. Almost all of the original millwork retains its original unpainted finish, and the wood of door and stair panels is curly pine. Door and window openings feature symmetrically molded surrounds with well detailed corner and plinth blocks. Doors are five-paneled and set beneath transoms, and almost all original brass hardware survives. Sliding, or pocket, doors separate both the entrance vestibule and dining room from the parlor and stair hall. The mantelpieces reflect classical motifs and most have over-mantel mirrors. The fire chambers retain their original tile surrounds, coal grates, and decorative cast iron covers. All original brass lighting fixtures survive and combine both gas and electric lighting. The staircase is located in a generous stair hall that functions as a secondary parlor. It is entered in a short unrailed flight that extends in a northerly direction to an intermediate landing, where it turns to continue in a southerly straight flight to terminate in the second-story hallway. The stair features square paneled newels, spool-turned balusters, and a stringer decorated with small, applied wooden pyramids.
The only outbuilding is a two-story garage and guest house that was built in 1992.
The Charles Patterson House is one of the most architecturally significant Queen Anne style residences in Natchez, Mississippi. This significance rests upon its high degree of architectural finish, its architectural integrity, its well documented history, and its association with local builder Robert E. Bost and the locally prominent Patterson family. The integrity of the house extends to the survival of the original lighting fixtures, plumbing fixtures, and hardware. Construction on the house began shortly after July 13, 1898, when the property was acquired by Charles V. Patterson for $1,500 (Adams County Deed Book 3P:431). Charles Patterson and his wife, the former Bessie Rose, hired local builder Robert E. Bost to build the house at a cost of $4,500 (Horace Patterson, son of Charles and Bessie Patterson, interviewed by Mary W. Miller, preservation director of the Historic Natchez Foundation, at Natchez, February 9, 1994).
Charles V. Patterson was a partner in Chamberlain and Patterson Staple and Fancy Dry Goods Store, which was established on Main Street in the nineteenth century by his father Samuel L. Patterson (Will Book 6:32). The National Register property Belvidere, a local Greek Revival landmark, was built in 1838 as the residence of the Samuel L. Patterson family (Belvidere, Adams County, National Register File, Mississippi Department of Archives and History, Jackson). Charles V. Patterson operated Chamberlain and Patterson until his death in 1908; his widow continued to reside in the house until her death in 1951 (Deed Book 6Q: 125). The house remained in the Patterson family until 1990, when it was purchased and subsequently restored by Herbert and Marjo Miller.
Builder Robert E. Bost (1863-1946) came to Natchez from Florida about 1890 to participate in the construction of the non-extant Natchez Hotel, married Annie Davis from Natchez, and remained to establish a general contracting firm (The Natchez Democrat, October 14, 1926, and Bit Valentine, granddaughter of Robert E. Bost, interviewed by Mary W. Miller, preservation director of the Historic Natchez Foundation, at Natchez, February 9, 1994 and The Daily Democrat [Natchez], January 23, 1904, p.7). Bost is documented as the contractor of at least thirty Natchez buildings, most built from plans supplied by the firm (Robert E. Bost, Research Files, Historic Natchez Foundation, Natchez, Mississippi). The firm's buildings represented a variety of styles with the majority representing the Queen Anne, Colonial Revival, and Bungalow styles. For a brief time, Bost was in business with architect C. Sedgewick Moss, and the two collaborated on the construction of the 1921 First Baptist Church (The Natchez Democrat, January 5, 1921, p.5).
Adams County, Mississippi. Chancery Clerk. Deed Books 3P, 6Q.
Adams County, Mississippi. Chancery Clerk. Will Book 6.
Mississippi Department of Archives and History, Jackson. National Register File. Adams County. Belvedere.
The Daily Democrat [Natchez], January 23, 1904.
Historic Natchez Foundation, Natchez, Mississippi. Research Files. Robert E. Bost.
The Natchez Democrat, January 5, 1921.
The Natchez Democrat, October 14, 1926.
Patterson, Horace, son of Charles Patterson. Interviewed by Mary Warren Miller, preservation director of the Historic Natchez Foundation, at Natchez, Mississippi, February 9, 1994.
Valentine, Bit, granddaughter of Robert E. Bost. Interviewed by Mary Warren Miller, preservation director of the Historic Natchez Foundation, at Natchez, Mississippi, February 9, 1994.
† Mary Warren Miller, Preservation Director, Historic Natchez Foundation, Charles Patterson House, Adams County, Natchez, MS, nomination document, 1994, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.