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History of the Eudora Welty House

Eudora's parents moved to Jackson in 1904 when the city's population was under 10,000. Most residents lived downtown or very close by, and the Weltys were no exception. Their first home was located a block north of the Mississippi Supreme Court on Congress Street. By 1922 Jackson's population had more than doubled to over 22,000 and the city extended its borders to reflect that growth. The family moved to a new home on Pinehurst Street in 1925 when Eudora was 16 and about to graduate from Central (or Jackson) High School. Their Tudor revival-style house was designed by the same Fort Worth architects who built the Lamar Life Insurance Building downtown where Welty's father, Christian, worked.

Eudora Welty House

When the Weltys moved to 1119 Pinehurst Street, the Belhaven neighborhood was emerging as Jackson's first suburb. Pinehurst Street was still a gravel and dirt road; the sidewalk stopped at the east end of the block at Olive and Pinehurst. Four blocks to the west on the main artery of North State Street, a trolley ran to downtown Jackson. Belhaven University, formerly Belhaven College, moved to its current location across from the Weltys' house in 1911.

Christian Welty had purchased several additional lots when he first purchased the site for the family's Tutor Revival. This included a lot to the immediate east where Eudora's eldest brother, Edward, an architect, built a duplex to generate extra income for the family after Mr. Welty's premature death in 1931.

The house and its extensive garden remained Eudora Welty's primary home until her death in 2001. Eudora donated her home, its books and letters to the Mississippi Department of Archives and History in 1986 through a living estate. The house remains one of the most intact literary homes in the country and was designated a National Landmark in 2004.