The house at 330 North Walnut in Springfield is the home of Betty Doble. It is on the 2019 Christmas Tour of Homes, sponsored by the Robertson County Historical Society.
Part of the land was originally owned by Thomas Pitt and sold to R.H. Burnett in 1927.
Burnett had been named secretary-treasurer of Sprouse Bros. Company at the retirement of W.D. Sprouse in 1915. In 1925, Ed Sprouse retired, and Burnett became president of the company.
Thomas “Dock” Pitt was the son of John Pitt. John and Tobe Pitt owned Cave Spring Distillery, located off of Highway 49 East. The distillery made the famous Cave Spring sour mash whiskey, and Dock Pitt ran it.
When Springfield voted itself dry in 1903, one of the six saloons operating in town was Pitt Brothers. It closed with the others on April 30, 1903.
Most ironic it is that the land sold by distiller Dock Pitt in 1927 eventually was sold by Ethyl Humphrey to deacons of Springfield Baptist Church in 1936.
The deacons at that time were Dawson F. Shannon, Robert T. Randolph, Albert W. Moore, Hal G. Bernard, Walter S. Edwards, Milton G. Eckles, Shelby T. Gregory, Sherman Humphrey, Marvin L. Smith, C. Wells Burr, and Harold G. Gilbert.
The brick house became the Baptist parsonage. Many remember Grant Jones, the pastor, living there. He and his family were in Springfield from 1961 to 1970.
The room just to the right of the living room is thought to have been the pastor’s office or study.
The exterior of the red brick home offers several interesting architectural features. Arches tie everything together. Each set of windows has an arch. The entrance is a covered porch with an arch on each side, the front doorway forming a fourth arch.
Another unique part of 330 North Walnut is the bell that hangs outside near the entranceway. The owner’s grandfather owned a sand and gravel business on the Tennessee River near New Johnsonville.
At one point, a tugboat sank near the business. When the tugboat was raised, he was given the bell. It was taken to his home. There his dog Pac would pull a rope and ring the bell on command.
P.A.C. (Pac) were the initials of Betty Doble’s grandfather.
The home is bright and inviting, and the owner chooses the kitchen as her favorite room. Its airiness and cheerfulness made the choice for her. It is a charming home with a gracious hostess, a home that must be seen on the Christmas Tour.
Tickets for the tour, set for Dec. 8 from 1-5, are available only to Historical Society members until Nov. 8, when they will go on sale online. The cost is $20 to visit seven sites.
In the Eagle’s Eye is sponsored by the Robertson County Historical Society. Call 615-382-7173 for more information.