Fire destroys Antebellum home in Canton

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CANTON — An investigation continues into the fire Saturday afternoon that destroyed the circa-1850 Shackelford House here that was being restored.

The Antebellum home at 326 E Peace St., caught fire about 3 p.m. It was being renovated and the owners were supposed to move in this week. No injuries were reported.

Canton Fire Chief Kenna Pierce said that his men were on the scene for about six hours trying to contain the fire. The state Fire Marshals is conducting an investigation into the origin of the fire.

“We have an investigation in process,” Pierce said.

Police Chief Otha Brown said that the house looked like a total loss when he drove by and Pierce echoed that assessment.

“Everyone was so excited to see the renovation and now devastated!” said Laine Poole Flynn in a Facebook post live video from her in-law's home across the street.

The property has a rich history in the city. Ward 3 Alderman Les Penn said that he has been told the building served a variety of purposes during the Civil War including a war office and a hospital.

“It’s just so sad. The Shackleford House, like all the antebellum homes in Canton are such a big part of our city. My heart breaks for the Babb family,” Penn said. “The work they had done to the house was beautiful as they allowed everyone to follow along on instagram at Houseofbabb. Without speaking to the owners, I dont know what the possibilities are for the future. Hopefully there are options, but I honestly do not know. I haven’t had any conversations. It’s so refreshing to see a young family put that amount blood, sweat, and tears into an old home, to invest in Canton the way they had with The Shackleford House. For this to have happened, its just really sad. Prayers for them.”Monty Permenter of Ridgeland said that the fire was “heartbreaking.” He said he heard a story that milk cows were housed on the second floor of the building so that a direct supply of milk was available for the sick and wounded during its time as a hospital.

The two-story brick antebellum home was built by Judge C. C. Shackleford. 

The house was built of solid brick walls three- to fourteen-inches thick. Fourteen-foot ceilings were in most rooms.

There was a central breezeway with large rooms on both sides. 

A description in a Canton Library digital collection said in recent times it was occupied by members of the family with original furniture, china and glassware being used. 

There was a partial third floor area with large attic


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