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Fairmont/ John Smiser House

Fairmont on Mooresville Pike in Columbia was built 1831-1837 by John Smiser (1778-1840) and Mary Eva Turney Smiser (1780-1844).

Photo by rossograph

They married in 1800. The three-story mansion was built in Federal and Greek Revival style. He was a lawyer in Natchez, Miss. In 1810, the couple moved to Maury Co. and John at some point became a sheriff in Williamson Co. While the Smiser family entertained regularly, John and then Mary died relatively soon after the mansion was built.

After her parents’ deaths, Ellen Smiser inherited Fairmont. She had married James Gray Booker (1809-1846) in 1835. Booker was son of wealthy planter Peter R. Booker with tremendous property holdings in Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama, and nephew of Merritt Booker. The Booker plantation was adjacent to Fairmont. James inherited much of his father’s estate.

Next, their daughter, Mary Turner Booker Clopton (1837-1920), married Britton Drake Clopton (1835-1881) in 1858, and they resided there. The Clopton family owned Clover Bottom through Hoggatt family connections. Fairmont acreage spanned from Mooresville Pike to Pulaski Pike.

In 1931, Lex Watson (1892-1951) and Willie Mae Sander Watson (1892-1977) purchased the property. They married in 1912. He was a pioneer in the Tennessee Walking Horse area as well as miniature mules. Then it was converted to a retirement facility, then went private again.

In 1983, it was owned by Cary W. Pulliam, M.D., a vascular surgeon. At some point, he had a residence on Sullivan’s Island, SC NRHP 1983 See Clover Bottom


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