Hermitage House now on historic register
Published 7:00 am Friday, December 30, 2016
A Picayune home that is more than 150 years old was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
It was once the home of the Crosby, Kimball, Cook family and Roland families.
Frank and Lynne Burger, the current owners of the Hermitage House, bought the home in 2009 after it sat dormant for almost three years.
Since becoming the owners of the iconic home, they have put a lot of work into restoring it, which paid off on September of this year when the couple received a letter from the Mississippi Department of Archives and History stating that their home is now on the National Register of Historic Places.
Receiving that designation was a long road, Lynne Burger said. Due to some changes in filing for and requesting the designation, she said it took her four years. But that process would have been cut in half if she had the correct instructions the first time she filed.
Some of the documentation required to file for the designation included topographical maps and photos of the home.
To achieve that historic designation, they repainted other walls in historic colors to maintain accuracy to the timeframe in which it was built.
As for benefits to having a home designated as a historic place, Frank Burger said the only one he notices is a slight tax break.
Picayune Main Street Director Reba Beebe said this new designation is the first structure in Pearl River County to be added to that list. The only other location in the county on that list is the Tiger Hammock archeological site. However, there are several locations in the county listed as historic landmarks, Beebe said.
Lynne Burger said she continues to find new things about the property, which entails 12 acres, three structures and more than 20 rooms in the main house. Her most recent finds on the property include fireplugs and a horseshoe.
After purchasing the property, they also found a marble mantle under the house she speculates came from Italy. It now adorns the fireplace in the master bedroom.
City Manager Jim Luke said the home’s new designation is historic.
“This is where Picayune was born right here,” Luke said.
There are still some renovations to complete around the property. Lynne Burger said she and Frank still have work to do to the kitchen, master bathroom and sunroom. And, the pool has a leak, which Frank Burger said he discovered has been a problem since it was installed in the 1950s.
Lynne Burger has some advice for anyone interested in restoring an old home.
“You have to have patience, time and determination,” Lynne Burger said.
That’s because while working on one aspect of a home, something else tends to break, she said.