Dec. 9—MARIETTA — Underneath a ground-floor window facing Maple Street and beside her glittering Christmas tree, Dawn Greiner had laid out a series of sepia-tinted photographs.
One day many, many years ago, one of the women pictured, Greiner’s grandmother, was on her porch with a couple friends on that same street when a young man came walking down Maple. He had just returned from World War II and found his father sitting on his porch. They embraced, crying.
“She was a young girl,” Greiner said of her grandmother. “She’s 99 in a nursing home (now), and when she tells that story, she cries.”
Greiner’s house was one of five on display last weekend as part of the 35th annual Marietta Pilgrimage Christmas Home Tour.
Organized by the Cobb Landmarks and Historical Society and the Marietta Visitors Bureau, the tour every year opens a different set of historic homes in this city to anyone and everyone.
This year’s tour showcased the 116-year-old Moultrie Sessions Addition to Marietta, a neighborhood built by Moultrie Sessions on an 85-acre lot adjoining an estate on Kennesaw Avenue.
Although the houses still stand, the neighborhood has changed since they were first built.
Greiner lives in Magnolia Cottage, built in 1906 for a manager at the Brumby Chair Company, according to the pamphlet prepared for tour ticket-buyers. The pink house features a Victorian wrap-around porch and turret, and the front two bedrooms sport original, coal-burning fireplaces.
Greiner’s family has lived on Maple Street most of the past 100 years. She recalls her relatives describing a neighborhood that once had a cow in every backyard. One of them had a horse.
“My mom said she … was jealous that they had horses,” Greiner said. “She wanted to go ride the horse all the time.”
A couple doors down, the Cox-Brown-Parker House, built in 1908, served in its early years as the home of Raymond Cox, who owned a meat and grocery market on Powder Springs Street.
“The rear part of the property was used as a farm, with beef cattle providing meat for the store,” the pamphlet notes. And to think there was controversy in recent years over allowing backyard chickens in Cobb County.
The house has changed ownership three times since then. Purchased in 2013 by the Parker family, it no longer sports livestock in the backyard. But it still has traces of the era it was built in, like the large kitchen with a central butcher’s block, or the three-way fireplace.
Closets came later, explained Sarah Parker, whose parents own the property. Back in the day, houses were taxed by room. Closets, being a private, enclosed space, counted as rooms to the taxmen of yesteryear, and so most houses built at the time had none, to save …….