Donnell House Is In The Spirit of Christmas With Holiday Dazzle!

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There were festive holiday carols performed by Nedia Keel & pianist Shaun Pugh for the guest of the Donnell House on Friday night. Songs such as 'Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas', 'Feliz Navidad', 'Frosty the Snowman' and 'Winter Wonderland' to mention just a few put the guests in the holiday spirit.

Nedia's beautiful strong voice sang out these memorable songs just as we remembered in our youth, with Shawn Pugh complimenting each one on the piano with a special emphasis or an animated gestures made the guest comfortable, smile and even sign along. Mr. George Anthony entertained the guest of the Donnell House on Sunday afternoon with his amazing vocals while playing the piano.

The refreshments made by Margaret Abernathy were extraordinary! Perfectly decorated and chosen, so lovely they were most appropriate for Christmas time.

Patsy Parmer and Rita Majors were exquisite in their appearance of period dresses which brought Christmas of the past to life as they greeted guests at the Preview Party and Holiday Festival tours.

The members of the Donnell House do a magnificent job of launching the Christmas Season every year and this year is no exception. The exquisite Tablescapes and magnificent Christmas trees and decorated mantels are generally found only in Christmas catalogs!

Our sincere gratitude to Pat Lewis, Jacque Reeves, Margaret Abernathy, Debra Enfinger, Ellie Frost, Charlotte Turner, Alice Cosco and her husband Phil, Meg McCain, Kathryn Davis,  Lisa White, Guy McClure, Ida Terry, Kathryn Davis, Patsy Parmer, Rita Majors and the Jr. Civitans. Our appreciation also goes to those individuals and businesses who participated in decorating trees, mantels, chests, tablescape tables and preparing the placement chart (Ellie Frost and Carolyn Stair).

Thanks to the Athens Garden Club, Marilyn Batts, Carol Whited, Holly Carpenter, Tillie Daniel, Brenda Daniel, Myrna Burgreen, Linda Beasley, and Shirley Garvin, for their work on the wreaths for the front door, front windows and the 40 foot swag surrounding the door and portico.

This year's winner of the Holiday China Giveaway Drawing is Ms. Jane Lusk of Athens.

To contact Nedia Keel or email  phone: (256) 665-1508

To contact Shaun Pugh email phone: (404) 372-4727 or (256) 233-5956

To contact George Anthony email
George has played the piano for 20+ years, he play guitar and sings. He performs for weddings, parties or any special occasion.

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Teresa Todd
November 21st 2010

A bit of History about the Donnell House:

Rev. Robert Donnellís home was completed in 1851. The study which is now the gentleman's parlor was a favorite gathering spot for men who called, while their ladies were entertained in the opposite parlor.

The Donnell family was forced to leave their house due to bankruptcy in 1869, they moved to the Druid Grove plantation at Greenbrier, founded by Mrs. Donnell's grandfather, Col. Lewellyn Jones. The log cabin which currently sits at the Donnell House, was first located at the Druid Grove in the 1830ís. It was donated by Ed and the late Don Horton, and moved by funds obtained by State Representative Tommy Carter and an anonymous gift allowed us to restore it.

Donnell House has been used for a boys' school and has served as the residence of school principals until 1970, when the late Julian Newman, Sr. retired.  It is currently used for hosting special events and guided tours.

In the 1970s, a campaign to save and restore the house was initiated by local historians and authors Christine W. Edwards and Faye A. Axford. Local citizens, businesses and Donnell descendants contributed to the restoration of this historical landmark.

In 1994 the house and log cabin were incorporated under the Donnell House Board, which holds a 99 year lease from the Athens City Board of Education. The Donnell House was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.