Meredith House was designed with live-in, hired help in mind.
The carriage house’s upper floor was originally used as servants’ quarters. The roughly 700 square foot floor plan included two separate bedrooms, a bathroom, and a kitchen. The space is currently being utilized by ESN Artisan Jewelry as an artist’s studio.
According to the 1940 Census, the Merediths had three individuals in their employ. Jessie Freeman was a 38-year-old White female employed as a Nurse (presumably tending to the Merediths’ 3-year-old daughter) and was living in the main house. She worked 72 hours per week, worked all 52 weeks of the year, and was paid $600 in 1939 (that is, a little over $11 per week).
Henry Hood was a 28-year-old African-American man employed as a Butler and was living in the carriage house. He worked 75 hours per week, worked all 52 weeks of the year, and was paid $520 in 1939 (that is, $10 per week).
Hellena Robinson was a 34-year-old African-American woman employed as a Maid and was living in the carriage house. She worked 75 hours per week, worked all 52 weeks of the year, and was paid $520 in 1939 (that is, $10 per week).
According to Chris McLoughlin, Julia Allen had been working for the Merediths prior to the McLoughlins residence starting in 1953. Julia Allen stayed on at Meredith House and was employed by the McLoughlins. She was described as about 5′ by 300# and with only one tooth but could “cook up a storm.” Julia had a dog named Pistol, which was a mostly white little mongrel. The McLoughlins also employed a butler/driver/yardman named Charles.
One of the other interesting features within the main house is a separate servants’ toilet room in the basement. The basement had the catch basin for the laundry chutes from the upper floors. It also had the cast iron laundry sink. And, it had the the help’s bathroom.
One thought on “The Help”
Fascinating as a southern who has an a vocation for 1920s-1946 Atlanta architecture and life’s and having grown up in Atlanta- that is the “old South” Atlanta with its typical southern “caste” system and racial divides, this information about the Meredith House – and its owners and the “help” is priceless.