The beauty of the Broad Street mansions is a treasure of the Wiregrass. And as Mayor Billy Blackwell says, the face of Ozark.
“Any publication that we deliver from Ozark has a picture of this mansion in it,” Blackwell said.
Which is why when the Holman Mansion went into foreclosure, Blackwell says they couldn’t afford to lose it. The City of Ozark bought it at a price tag of $296,000.
“Everyone loves to see an old southern mansion. And this is certainly one of the grandest of them all,” he said.
The Mizell family called it home for more than 20 years. When the economy was good, businesses filled its historic walls.
Alice Faye-Mizell said, “As long as we had all those business we were fine. But, now we don’t. And we are at the age where we are ready to be with our grandchildren, and our children, and do a little traveling and enjoy life.”
And while the family says they are sad to see it go, they are glad it is in the hands of the city.
“It could be another venue for other events. We don’t know if a permanent office may be situated in this facility or not. We are going to put all the ideas out on the table and see what fits Ozark best,” Blackwell said.
And when it comes to the price tag, Mayor Blackwell says they would be happy to fill the gap from the general fund. But, says that keeping the southern charm available to tourists makes it worth every penny.
“The best use of this house is what the Mizell’s had done in the beginning, to do tours of the home and maintain the history and preserve it to make sure the legacy goes forward,” he said.
Mayor Blackwell says they will meet with communities with similar facilities like Selma and Eufaula to see how they run things, to get a better understanding on how to move forward. That process will begin once family moves to Montgomery by Friday.