When I came here in 1953 with Graham Aviation it was very hard to find a place to live so I decided to build a house. I heard a Mr. West had lots for sale. I went to the West home to see him and met Marion West. He told me I needed to see his brother, Slade. He also told me his mother was very ill and this was not a good time to talk business. She died a short time later. Today we will get acquainted with her.
She grew up in the great mansion known as St. Elmo in Columbus , Georgia . Information at the Davis-West House indicates it is very large with columns 40' feet high. For comparison the columns at Great Oaks are 24' feet high. When she and Dr. West married (1902) the influence of the very conservative Victorian Age had passed and the Gay Nineties were concluding and they were heading for the Roaring Twenties.
There was a popular artist named Charles Dana Gibson who had a great influence on the styles of the day. He was born in 1867 and died in 1944. He did mostly pen and ink drawings of beautiful women. They were known as the Gibson Girls. He was illustrator for most of the prominent magazines of the day. Following are two of his drawings.
We next show Mrs. West with Marian and Slade. Notice how much she fits the style in dress and hairdo. There is a considerable amount of Gibson's work in the Davis-West House. I judge the boys to be about 6 and 8 so that dates this picture to be about 1910. The picture was made in Columbus .
We now turn to her bedroom, it is the first room on the right as we go in the front door. It is called the St. Elmo Room because she brought the furnishings from her ancestral home. All the furnishings are of mahogany with fancy veneers and probably date from the late 1800's.