Thomas E. Watson purchased the house that he would christen “Hickory Hill” in 1900. Watson extensively renovated the home before occupying it in 1904. He added the impressive portico, numerous Greek revival elements, and extended the rear of the home. The side porches were added around 1912.
Watson was quick to adopt modern conveniences. Hickory Hill’s original electricity was generated on the grounds. Two water towers facilitated indoor plumbing. Hickory Hill is surrounded by a variety of support structures including a barn, corn crib, smokehouse, pigeon cote, car garage, peacock run and a one room school house built for Watson’s two granddaughters.
The interior of Hickory Hill reflects, with stunning accuracy, the home’s appearance in 1920. Most of the furniture belonged to Watson and is placed in its original location. His upstairs library and bedroom have been recreated. Period wallpapers have been recreated from fragmentary evidence. Victorian lighting illuminated the rooms; artwork original to the house once again hangs in correct locations.