The Manse

The Manse is registered as the oldest house in Jefferson. The one-story raised cottage is one of the most notable examples of the Greek Revival style in East Texas. It features an elegantly carved sunburst over the entrance, 14-foot-high ceilings with rich crown moldings and original heart-of-pine floors. Originally a two-room home, begun in 1839, the Manse is largely made of cypress wood. In approximately 1850, three rooms were added forming a U-shaped structure.

This home was first owned by Gen. James Harrison Rogers, Esquire. General Rogers was an important figure in the writing of Texas’ cessation documents which were signed at the home now named Secession Hall just one block away. In 1903, his family sold it to the Cumberland Presbyterian Church for use as its parsonage. From this time onward, it became known as the Presbyterian Manse or the Old Manse.

Though owned by the church until the early 1950s, it was not always the pastor’s residence. During the Great Depression years, the Manse is said to have been used as a boarding house and later as two apartments.

The Jessie Allen Wise Garden Club purchased the Manse in the 1950s, doing much to restore the property. In 1961, the garden club sold the Manse to Mr. and Mrs. Martin Jurow. Mr. Jurow was a well-known movie producer (Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Pink Panther series). They sold it to then CDR Laura Pace Omer, NC, USN, in the autumn of 1994.

CAPT Omer continued on active duty for 13 years during which time she undertook significant renovations including rebuilding fireplace chimneys. Her cousin Gordon Bingamon, AIA, designed the kitchen & the bath. In 2007, CAPT Omer retired from Navy after 30 years of service and moved into the Manse.

Captain Omer’s parents were young adults in Marion County and married in Jefferson in 1924. Laura still has a number of Pace relatives in the area.

401 E. Delta Street