Beers to speak at McRitchie-Hollis


As part of Historic Preservation Month, Elizabeth Beers, local historian and a former president of Newnan-Coweta Historical Society, will talk about the Summers-McKoy House restoration in a free program at McRitchie-Hollis Museum Tuesday, May 19, at 7 p.m.

“The Summers and McKoys were early settlers in the Hurricane District, both eventually owning large tracts of land in that area,” said Beers.

Some of the family members used the name Summers, and others just Summer. Among early family members were Elias and Elizabeth Beavers Summer, and Willie Snow and Mary McKoy Summers. Summers-McKoy Road in the Welcome community is named for the families. The home dates back to the 1830s.

“Members of the families served in the Confederate Army and the home was used to house some of the sick and wounded during the time the Confederate hospitals were here in Newnan,” Beers said.

Upon the death of the last member of the family living there in 1987, the house sat vacant for a number of years and the property changed hands several times.

“It was in an advanced stage of disrepair when Sonny Purvis and his grandson saw it and declared it a ‘broken house,’” said Beers.

“Mr. Purvis purchased it in 2010 and completed renovations and upgrades to make it the showplace it is today,” Beers said.

As part of Tuesday’s program, Beers will share photos and information on how the home was rescued from a neglected condition.

Established in 1973 by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, national Historic Preservation Month is co-sponsored by local preservation groups such as the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society, along with state historical societies, business and civic organizations across the country.

During Preservation Month, many events are planned to promote historic places for the purpose of instilling national and community pride, promoting heritage tourism, and showing the social and economic benefits of historic preservation. Thousands of people participate annually in Preservation Month celebrations.