Hills & Dales Estate is now the home of a beautiful, early 1900s, white wicker bassinet in which Alice Hand Callaway slept as a newborn. Her parents, Judson Larrabee and Florence Hollis Hand, reared nine children at Highland Villa, their home in Pelham, Georgia. The cradle was purchased about 1910 and was used with their last three children: Henry, Alice and Clara. Through the years a long list of Hand descendants began their lives sleeping in this cradle. The bassinet was generously loaned to us by descendants of Christine Turner Hand. Bill and Susan Elliot traveled from Nashville, Tennessee to deliver this treasure so that it could be shared with our guests. During the 2010 restoration of the Callaway home, a sitting room on the second floor was taken back to the days of Fuller Jr. and Alice’s children. A family picture was used as a guide to decorate the room as it was in the late 1930s and 1940s, when it was Fuller III and Ida’s play and nap room. Custom-made wallpaper was replicated depicting nursery rhymes of “Jack and the Beanstalk,” “Rub-a-Dub-Dub, Three Men in a Tub” and “Ring Around the Rosie,” making the fun room appropriate for both boys and girls.
The Hand bassinet has appropriately joined the ranks of family treasures in the play room. These include a hand-carved wood crib used for generations by Callaway infants and a large wicker pram for long strolls around the estate. There are many other precious pieces of family memorabilia in a corner cupboard original to the room including a collection of international dolls and colorful Bill Ding stacking wood soldiers. Also in the room is a beautiful doll made in the likeness of Ida Callaway Hudson when she was a little girl, wearing a dress matching one of Ida’s (today’s American Girl Doll!).
After walking through the 30 rooms of the home, particularly the children’s play room, we hope our visitors feel the love of family and hear the laughter of years past when the home was occupied by a vibrant and energetic family.