Local artist Ann Ford will exhibit a collection of paintings and photographs of Hundred Oaks Castle at the Artisan Dep0t in Cowan, TN. The exhibit will run from October through November 10, 2012. A reception for the artist will be held Friday, October 12, 5-7 pm, 201 E. Cumberland Street. The public is invited.
Ann says, “My love of Hundred Oaks Castle began in the early 1960s when I first passed by. I was truly smitten. However I had to wait a few years in order to see inside this amazing structure.”
In the late 1960s Ann was a professional photographer and through the Professional Photgrapher’s Association of America, Julian Cavalier was able to locate her. He phoned from California telling of his book, “American Castles. He wanted to include Hundred Oaks in the book and asked if she would do the photography for him. An excited Ann agreed to do the photography and her photos of Hundred Oaks Castle were published in the book.
Hundred Oaks had been vacant for a few years and was in a state of neglect. Leon Hawkersmith gave her keys and permission from the Catholic Church to enjoy carte blanche and take all the photos she wanted. She spent almost an entire week snapping inside and out of this large manor. Ann says, “Not being a native of Franklin County, I was always overjoyed at this wonderful gift that Arthur Hadley Marks created and left behind after his early death. This magnificent landmark gave Winchester its identity for many years. My objective was to render paintings in oils, pastel and acrylic from my own photos showing the castle in better times and the sorrowful times as well.”
Arthur Hadley Marks began with a two-story brick home and through his creativity and knowledge of castles abroad, transformed the former plantation house to this castle, almost. For as much as he accomplished, the entire structure was never finished, especially the upper levels.
The home was located on six hundred acres and Mr. Marks named the home after the one hundred oak trees which he himself counted on the property. Many people have called this grand old manor home over the years including the Paulist Fathers, businesses, and several families. Many special events and some weddings have been held on the grounds. The plantation land was reduced from the original six hundred acres to twenty-five acres by the 1960s. Today the property may be even smaller.
Ann says, “I forever hold gratitude to the Catholic Church in Winchester for allowing me to spend time alone photographing and inhaling the mystique of the grand landmark and to Julian Cavalier for including me in his project and the smooth transaction between us.”
Photo of Hundred Oaks Castle by Ann Ford