Ed. Note: Flip through the gallery to see the home's interior.
Chad Jones and his wife, Paola, have only lived in their home at 301 Old Hopewell Road for three years, but their connection to the building spans a century.
In the mid-1800s, Chad Jones’ ancestors, the McDonald family moved to Hopewell from Alabama, becoming one of the first families to settle in the area. McDonald patriarch John Robert McDonald was the original family settler. His grandson, citrus grower J.R. Jr., would later build the 10-room home on Old Hopewell Road with his wife, Texas, in 1903.
J.R. Jr. and Texas were active at Hopewell Baptist Church, where they both taught Sunday school classes.
“My family has been in Plant City for several generations,” Chad Jones said. “J.R. was a pallbearer for my great-grandfather, Matthew Jones.”
Though the Jones’ share a personal connection with the historic home, the family has decided to downsize. The home was placed on the market three months ago and is currently listed at $449,000 with four bedrooms and three bathrooms. The house is being sold by James Adair, of RealNet of Tampa Bay.
“It’s a fantastic house,” Adair said. “It’s been a wonderful project in learning history.”
In the book “Pioneers of the Hopewell Community,” J.R. Jr.’s great-niece, Winnie Holloway Frierson, recalls her childhood spent in the two-story home. A winding banister off of the front entrance intrigued her, despite never being allowed near it. She wrote:
“Look at that staircase! Oh, how I wanted to see what Aunt Texas kept in those upstairs rooms! But she always caught me as I would slip away and start to sneak up. To my dismay, I never got past the first landing. I really wanted to slide down that big banister.”
Though Frierson wasn’t allowed upstairs, she was allowed in J.R. Jr’s room. His bedroom was located in the left wing on the first floor of the house, complete with a fireplace that stayed burning during the winter months.
The fireplace in J.R. Jr.’s room is still intact, as well as the home’s original wood banister.
J.R. Jr.’s children, Annie LaDelle, Nell May, Chester Walter and Katherine Marzee, had upstairs bedrooms.
The children’s rooms have been converted. Two bedrooms were converted into a Jack-and-Jill style with a door between them. One bedroom was converted into a hallway that leads to the master suite.
The Jones’ have painted the exterior of the building. The kitchen was renovated in the 1990s, and the master bathroom was renovated two months ago. Two former porches have been closed in to form a breakfast nook and a makeshift homeschool room.
But the history of the home is alive and well. In the parlor off of the front entryway, one of the home’s original
doors remains intact. A plaque detailing the home as part of the National Register of Historic Places hangs on the front porch. Toward the back of the house, what is thought to be an original sink used by the help is still functioning in the laundry room.
The home is located on 5 acres of land, with a 150-year-old oak tree located in the backyard. The home features a two-car carport, a tool shed once used for smoking meat and a burn pit. The home features the original banister, as well as original flooring and glass windows.
Contact Emily Topper at firstname.lastname@example.org.