Holston House (Location Key)


Along with the jail, the Holston House is the oldest continuously standing building in Jefferson. It began as a tavern, founded by Alexander Holston, one of the town's original three white inhabitants. As Requiem for a Nun notes, it is "still" exists in mid-20th century Jefferson, with its "original log walls and puncheon floors and hand-mortised joints . . . still buried somewhere beneath the modern pressed glass and brick veneer and neon tubes" of the "hotel" owned and managed by descendants of the first Holston (7, 167). According to The Mansion, the traditions it preserves are not those of the town's frontier origins but of Victorian gentility: it "still clung to the old ways, not desperately nor even gallantly: just with a cold and inflexible indomitability" so that "no man" dined there "without a coat and necktie and no woman with her head covered" (421). According to Requiem, the kitchen of the Holston House is the site of "the settlement's first municipal meeting" (12). The hotel is also where Sutpen stays when he arrives in Jefferson in the 1830s and where, in The Unvanquished, Colonel Sartoris shoots Joanna Burden's ancestors during Reconstruction. (By the way, in The Town, the Episcopal church is referred to as the oldest extant building in Jefferson - Faulkner is nothing if not inconsistent.)

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