A Special Gift

Earlier this year we received a wonderful gift of historic photographs from William Bert Culpepper Jr. of Denver, Colorado. Among them was a previously unknown image of Sarah Coleman Ferrell (1817-1903) who created the original Ferrell Gardens at Hills & Dales Estate.

Bert and his sister, Mrs. Bart Macomber (Sally), are the children of Sally Lane Culpepper and William Bert Culpepper Sr. Bert and Sally’s mother was the great-great-granddaughter of Sarah Ferrell and the old photographs were passed down through her.

According to Carleton Wood, Executive Director: ‘We are so pleased to have this very special historic photograph in our collection. Only a few images of Sarah have survived so it is a real treasure.”

We believe the photograph dates to about 1894 and the identity of the two children with Sarah appear to be Mary Blount Ridley (right) and Sarah Ferrell Ridley (left). Mary and Sarah lived at Ferrell Gardens with their great- grandparents, Blount and Sarah Ferrell, after their mother died in 1889, so they must have had a close relationship. Plans are underway to create a new display of items and images related to Sarah Coleman and Blount Ferrell in the visitor center.

Special thanks to Troup County Historian, Clark Johnson for identifying the people and helping us untangle the family relationships.