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Dignified Mamie Cerf deeded farmhouse to city

It seems whenever local history is discussed, a common topic is the 1969 razing of Ennis’ most prestigious old home, the Cerf Mansion. It was a time when commercial progress was in the forefront and preservation rarely considered. Built by businessman Isadore Cerf for his wife, Mamie, in 1904, the palatial 14-room house that took up half a city block was a replica of the hospitality pavilion at that year’s St. Louis World’s Fair. Designed by Corsicana architect H.L. Lockhead, the Cerf house was made of cypress and fitted with mahogany paneling, Italian marble fireplaces and gold-leaf fixtures throughout. Isadore Cerf died in 1923 and Mamie in 1962. Childless, Mamie deeded her house to the City of Ennis to use “for the good of the people, no matter what race or creed.” By that time, the Cerf Mansion was one of Ennis’ claims to fame, renowned as an ideal example of Edwardian era southern architecture. In the1930s, the landmark was featured in Architectural Digest and by photojournalist Dorothea Lange in Life magazine. Read stories like this and more in your latest edition of The Ennis News. Be informed, subscribe today!

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Posted by on Aug 13 2018. Filed under History of Ennis, Lifestyles. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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