Roughly half way through the 2017 session, the Mississippi Legislature’s performance is, as usual, subject to mixed reviews.
But there is likely to be little debate and no dissent from one of its latest actions — a concurrent resolution to “Recognize the legacy of the Robert and Madonna Snow family as pioneers of historic preservation in Mississippi at Waverly Mansion.”
Aside from the spelling error — it is Waverley Mansion — we find no fault in this move. It may be one of many such resolutions that are passed each year, but we find this honor to be well-deserved.
The Greek Revival Mansion, completed in 1852, is recognized for its architectural significance as well as its importance as a must-see attraction for visitors to the area — Waverley is open to visitors 365 days of the year.
The home is still under the loving care of Robert Snow and his daughter, Melanie.
Those who know the full story of Waverley understand the extraordinary efforts of the Snow family to restore and maintain this glorious old home.
For years the old mansion stood vacant and deteriorating after the estate fell into chaos. When Robert and his wife, Madonna (more commonly known as Donna), stumbled across the home in 1962 and purchased it, the mansion teetered on collapse.
The idea that the Snows could restore the property must have seemed like a fantasy at the time.
Had a wealthy person found the home and took on the daunting task of restoring it, that effort would have been rightly hailed as an honorable act of philanthropy.
But the Snows were not wealthy people, and what might have been a project requiring a few years for an affluent owner, became a life-long mission.
Piece by piece, broken window pane by broken window pane, rotted board by rotted board, the Snows spent the next 50 years slowly and lovingly bringing Waverley Mansion back to its original glory.
They raised their family there, and it was there Donna Snow served as the gracious hostess until her death in 1991 at age 67.
Robert Snow, now 91, still greets visitors while his daughter, Melanie, has taken over as host and tour guide.
The remarkable story of the Snows’ decades-long efforts to preserve a piece of Mississippi History will not be forgotten.
The Legislature’s resolution to honor their efforts is well-deserved — no matter how you spell it.
The Dispatch Editorial Board is made up of publisher Peter Imes, columnist Slim Smith, managing editor Zack Plair and senior newsroom staff.