LIVINGSTON, Ala. (WTOK) -- There's a home in Livingston that was built in 1832 and has been a landmark of the city ever since. However, the big mansion became run down and faced a seemingly bleak future. Now it has new life.
(Photo Source: WTOK-TV)
Sidney Collins Freeman grew up in this 1830's antebellum mansion known as Lakewood. She was part of seven generations of family that have lived here at one time or another.
However, the house grew into a state of disrepair and when Sidney graduated from Mississippi State, she moved back to Livingston.
"It was sad. It really broke my heart, because I knew that if I didn't do something, that possibly it would fall in or someone would come and offer us something we couldn't turn down," said Freeman. "It would be lost forever."
Without any remodeling experience at all and at age 22, Sidney then set out on a mission of restoring her beloved 6,800 square foot home.
"I had a crazy idea, and said 'I want to fix the house.' We affectionately call it the "Big House and our guest cottage is called the Cottage," said Freeman. "So I said I want to fix the Big House up, and my parents thought I was crazy."
Since beginning the rebuilding project, Sidney got married on these grounds and her husband Jake has whole-heartedly joined in the effort. While there is still work to be done, Lakewood now is one of West Alabama's top venues to hosts weddings, social events, and even bed and breakfast.
"This whole idea that my husband and I were gonna restore my family home and not allow others to come and enjoy it just seemed kind of silly," said Freeman. "You never know who you're going to get to meet and you never know what their story is and what their lives are like and to get to meet these different people has been really really great."
The Lakewood mansion in Livingston: returned to it's former glory of yesteryear by the grit and determination of someone who made a lot of memories in this magnificent house. And she hopes her children and many others will too.
The Lakewood House is located on Washington Street across from the University of West Alabama campus.
You can find them on Facebook at "The Venue at Lakewood."
You can call them at 205-499-8252.
Lakewood will also be featured in the March edition of Southern Living magazine.