Pam Mora sits on her back porch recalling the memories of her grandparents’ house that she now calls home in Chireno.
“As a little girl I would stay here a lot. My mother and daddy lived up the road,” she said. “It’s sentimental. I remember we would have big Christmases in the formal living room.”
Her grandfather, Roy Atkinson, built the house in the early 1930s for his new bride, Bernice Sanders. The house sits on 380 acres and was known as Big A Ranch in the early days of the home.
“In the front of this house he made that big A and this was the Big A Ranch,” Mora said. “When people came through to buy cattle or crops or sale or anything, he would say, ‘Come on down and look for the Big A Ranch.’ It has always been known that was our brand. My granddaddy had an angle iron and he would brand the whole side of the cow with an A.”
Walking through her house, Mora points out the floral wallpaper in the dining room, which is original to the house.
“This wallpaper was put up in 1958, the same original wallpaper,” she said. “You can tell in the creases, but it’s sentimental and I don’t want to give it up. I just love it.”
She then enters a bedroom that hosts the original bed frame and furniture her grandmother bought.
“My grandmother would pick cotton that was left over and she would save it,” she said. “She saved up and saved up and saved up the money. They went over to Center and there was a furniture store over there. My grandmother bought this bedroom suite with the furniture at the furniture store.”
The store then shipped the furniture by train and then was picked up with a horse and wagon to take it to the house.
With a home full of memories and original pieces, Mora said she has had to do some upgrades. She had to do “a little extra plumbing” and add central heat and air. She has also added a closet and placed granite counters in the kitchen. Even with the small remodeling projects, she has been able to keep the same look and feel of the house that her grandfather built.
“He did not finish but the third grade, but he had a vision and he could just see things,” Mora said. “Today there is no telling what he could do with whatever.”
He built a well on the back porch, which was unheard of in the early days, Mora said. Also, the original fireplace sits in the living room with the original brick painted white. Mora describes her home design as country chic and calls her house a “girl’s house.”
As Mora looks over the house and remembers her favorite memories, she recalls each Sunday when her family would gather for lunch and eat fried chicken cooked by her grandmother. She smiles as she remembers the “good memories” she had with her grandmother and their close relationship. She inherited the house after her grandmother passed away in 1985.
“I just wish my grandmother could see some of the things that have been done and the improvement of the land,” Mora said. “And we’ve been able to keep it and maintain it because so many people have to sale to make it. We’ve had to pinch pennies with the taxes, but we’ve been able to maintain it. And my grandmother would just be ecstatic, she would just love it.”