For detailed information on renting the Mary Gay House for your special event, please contact Mary Gay House office manager Elizabeth Scott, 404-378-2162 or via email .
The Mary Gay House
Your special event will be held in one of the oldest houses in the Atlanta area. Built around 1820, and placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975, the Mary Gay House in Decatur is one of the few antebellum homes in metropolitan Atlanta that escaped Sherman's torch.
The orginial restoration of the Mary Gay House, by the Junior League of DeKalb County, Inc., included four phases:
Moving the house from Marshall Street to its present location at Adair Park in Decatur
Stabilizing the house
Preparing the basement for use as headquarters for the League
Academic restoration of the two front rooms in the Federal Period style of 1815-1830 and an adaptive restoration of the rear portion of the house to the style of 1850
This restoration project encompassed eight years of research, planning and construction. We are grateful to the previous owners for donation of the house, the City of Decatur for leasing the site at Adair Park, the business and professional community for their endorsement and support, and most especially to the members of the Junior League of DeKalb County, Inc.
Mary Ann Harris Gay
Mary Ann Harris Gay (1828-1918), a Confederate author and heroine, is best remembered for writing an eyewitness history titled Life in Dixie During the War. In this book, Mary Gay recounts a series of daring exploits, including her forays across enemy lines to secure food and clothing for women and children of war-torn Decatur. Some of the anecdotes later inspired scenes in Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind. Mark Twain referred to Mary Gay in Tom Sawyer, in which some of her poetry is quoted.
During the war, Mary Gay hid winter clothing in her dining room ceiling and later smuggled it to Confederate soldiers. She refused to desert her home while her land was being occupied by the enemy. Mary Gay forever regretted that she was prohibited from taking up arms herself. After her brother was killed during the war, she supported his survivors and other family members by peddling her three books door to door.
The house where this spunky Southern woman spent most of her life and where she once watched the Union attack on Decatur, has been moved, expanded and extensively renovated. Part of the original structure still stands. We hope that you will join us for your special event and create a piece of history of your very own.