History of the L.Q.C. Lamar House
June 1868-June 1869 Virginia and Lucius Lamar paid the note on two lots, approximately 30 acres, in the northern part of Oxford, Mississippi.
Fall 1869-April 1870 The couple built a modest Greek Revival house as recorded by their son-in-law and Lamar biographer Edward Mayes:
"This home was the slowly earned fruit of hard labor at his profession; for at this time his practice had so increased that he, with his moderate ideas in that particular, described it as 'very large.'"
1888 Lamar, now a Supreme Court Justice, transferred the house to his oldest daughter, Fannie L. Mayes. In the 20th century, the house passed through a series of owners.
May 15, 1975 The National Park Service officially designated the Lamar House a National Historic Landmark in the category “Political and Military Affairs 1865-1900."
Its Statement of Significance reads as follows:
"From about 1868 to 1888, this was the home of Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus Lamar (1825-1893), Mississippi statesman. In 1861, Lamar resigned his seat in Congress and drafted a Mississippi Secession Ordinance. During the war, he served the Confederacy as a soldier and diplomat; afterward, he was a leading Southern spokesman for reconciliation during Reconstruction. Exponent of Southern industrial progress and leader of the “New South” movement, late in his career Lamar served in the U.S. Senate, as Secretary of the Interior, and on the Supreme Court.”
2000The Mississippi Heritage Trust included the Lamar House on its “Ten Most Endangered List,” with this explanation:
"A classic case of 'Demolition by Neglect,' the last remaining house in the state with ties to Lamar will be lost without intervention. If this house were in Virginia, it would be a state shrine."
January 29, 2004 The Oxford-Lafayette County Heritage Foundation bought the house with a $425,000 allocation by the Mississippi Legislature. The house was badly deteriorated and parts of its foundation had collapsed.
May 2004 It was declared a Mississippi Landmark.
July 2004 It was declared an Oxford landmark. Restoration funding included a National Historic Landmark grant, a Save America’s Treasures grant, a Mississippi Community Heritage Preservation Grant, and allocations from the City of Oxford and Lafayette County, Mississippi.
May 2007 Restoration began, following standards of the Secretary of the Interior.
June 2008 The $1,500,000 restoration concluded.
June 8, 2008 Lamar’s restored house was formally dedicated. Summer 2008, the house was transferred to the City of Oxford.