Alice Hinman Hand Callaway, the eleventh of twelve children, was born to Judson Larrabee and Florence May Hollis Hand in 1912 in Pelham, Georgia. When Alice was 8 years old, she came to LaGrange and attended a beautiful wedding reception at Hills and Dales. Alice’s older sister, Virginia, had just married Cason Callaway, son of Fuller E. Callaway Sr. The wedding was in Pelham with an additional reception later in LaGrange. The year was 1920; 8-year-old Alice and 13-year-old Fuller Jr. were young attendants at Cason and Virginia’s wedding.
As the years went by, Alice visited her sister in LaGrange and as a teen strolled in the gardens with young Fuller Jr. As Alice herself stated,
“we fell in love on the curved stone bench in the sunken garden.”
Alice and Fuller married in August of 1930. They built a home just to the west of Hills and Dales on Vernon Road and called it “Honeymoon Cottage.”
Fuller Sr. passed away in 1928 and his wife Ida Cason Callaway died in 1936. Hills and Dales stood empty. The brothers, Cason and Fuller Jr., arrived at an agreement and Fuller Jr., along with Alice and their 2 young children, moved into the family home. Alice, just 24 when she took charge of this extraordinary estate, was immediately drawn to the gardens. Her mother-in-law’s home was beautiful and she felt a tremendous responsibility to be a good steward of the house and gardens.
Twelve years later, Alice decided to consult with an interior decorator and put a few “new touches” on the home. Sarah King Small of Atlanta, Georgia, came to LaGrange and assisted Alice in various re-decorating projects at Hills and Dales.
The sentimental side of Alice is evident in her decision to commission a custom made conversational sofa to place in her living room. The design of the sofa was inspired by the curved stone bench in the sunken garden where Fuller had courted Alice almost 20 years before. Saybold & Cleland, a small furniture maker in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, created the sofa in 1948. This unusual curved sofa is upholstered in pale peach silk velvet, is skirted, and has arms that roll low to the seat cushion.
Visitors are always interested in learning the personal stories behind furniture in the home. The story of Alice’s custom sofa is featured in the orientation film at the Visitor Center and guests frequently ask about the sofa on tours. This unique story is often a topic of conversation among our guests. Alice and Fuller would be pleased that visitors are enjoying this family treasure that brought them so much pleasure and enjoyment.