Tullis-Toledano Manor of
Thomas S. Tullis (TomTullis @ aol.com)
Very few historic homes in the United States have borne the Tullis name.
One of the few that did was the Tullis-Toledano Manor in Biloxi, Mississippi.
The home was built in 1856 by Christoval Toledano as a present for his bride,
Matilde Pradat. It was considered a striking example of Greek Revival architecture.
The home was purchased in 1939 as a summer home by Garner H. Tullis of New
Orleans who was President of the New Orleans Cotton Exchange. The home sustained
significant damage from Hurricane Camille in 1969 but was subsequently restored
to its original beauty. It was sold in 1975 by the Tullis family to the
city of Biloxi and has since been a popular museum and local attraction.
Many young couples were married on the beautiful grounds of Tullis
as it was called locally. Sadly, the Tullis-Toledano Manor was completely
destroyed by Hurricane Katrina that ravaged Biloxi on August 29, 2005. The
huge Grand Casino barge that was moored in the Gulf near the home was washed
ashore by the hurricane, lifted up, and crashed down on top of the Tullis
Manor. Nothing is left of the home except rubble. This article is an attempt
to document some of the beauty of the home.
Tullis-Toledano Manor prior to Hurricane Katrina. Photo
by Emily Chastain; used with permission.
Tullis-Toledano Manor in 1936 (Top: view from the front,
or south; Bottom: view from the rear, or north). These photos are from
the Historic American Buildings survey, documented in the Library of Congress
American Memory collection, http://memory.loc.gov/,
where the home is referred to as the Filbrick home.)
Side view of the Tullis-Toledano Manor.
Photo from the outside stairs on the front porch, by
Emily Chastain; used with permission.
Photo of a lighted replica of the home purchased several
years ago by the author.
After Hurricane Katrina
The Grand Casino barge sits on top of the area where
the Tullis-Toledano Manor previously stood. The barge was thrown ashore
and turned 180 degrees from its mooring to the right of this photo.
Satellite photos before (left) and after (right) Hurricane
Katrina. In the before photo (taken Nov. 13, 2001), the Tullis-Toledano
Manor is hidden in the trees on the left of the photo, just inland from
the coastal highway. The Grand Casino barge can be seen at its mooring
in the lower-right of the before photo. In the after photo (taken Sept.
2, 2005), the Grand Casino barge has been torn from its mooring and deposited
on the site of the Manor.
Some of the decorative fascia board of the home can be
seen amid the rubble. The inset shows its original location on the home.
Photo provided by David Preziosi, Executive Director of the Mississippi
Remnants of the home, including its famous red brick,
can be seen under the barge. Photo provided by David Preziosi, Executive
Director of the Mississippi
Garner Hugh Tullis (1893-1966)
Editors Note: The following information about Garner
Hugh Tullis, owner of the Tullis-Toledano Manor from the 1930s to
1960s, is extracted from an article by Richard G. Tullis and Carita
Moore Curtis which originally appeared in The Claiborne-Jefferson Genealogical
Society Quarterly, Vol. 6, Nos 3, 4, & 5 (1998). Garner Hughs
Tullis ancestors were as follows: Hugh (b. 1857), Eli (b. 1832), Garner
Hugh (b. abt. 1793), Daniel (b. 1747), William (b. 1715), and Robert (b.
by Richard G. Tullis and Carita Moore Curtis
GARNER HUGH TULLIS, the son of HUGH was born on 10 April 1893 in St.
Joseph, Tensas Parish, Louisiana and died in 1966 in Apalachicola, Florida.
Garner Tullis studied law at Tulane University but left to pursue a career
in the cotton business. From 1909 until 1923, he was employed by various
cotton firms. In 1923, Garner established a partnership in New Orleans
with Robert E. Craig and Malcolm Brown, known as Tullis, Craig and Company
(later Tullis, Craig and Bright when Edger A.G. Bright joined the partnership).
The firm became one of the most important cotton brokerage firms in the
South. Garner Tullis served three consecutive terms as President of the
New Orleans Cotton Exchange. He took a prominent role in securing donations
for the purchase of ambulances for the British and French armies before
the entry of the United States in World War II and, later, served as Commander
of the volunteer Coast Guard assigned to guard the docks in New Orleans
during the war. In 1957, he joined the securities and investment firm
of E.F. Hutton and Company of New York City and served as resident manager
and general partner in New Orleans.
Garner Hugh Tullis married Mary Lee Brown on 6 October 1916. She was
born on 21 July 1897 in Omaha, Nebraska, and died on 7 July 1984 in Louisiana;
she was the daughter of William Henry Brown of Cincinnati, Ohio, and Lulu
McCullough of Galveston, Texas. He was chosen Rex, King of Carnival for
the 1935 Mardi Gras. The Tullis-Toledano Manor, the family's summer residence
in Biloxi, Mississippi, is now used as an historical and recreational
site. The presentation of the "Christmas Trees of Tullis", featuring
trees decorated by various ethnic groups in Biloxi, is an annual event
at the manor.
Garner H. and Mary Tullis had four children. Garner H. Tullis, Jr. (1923-1931)
died as a child. Malcolm McCullough Tullis married Lawrence M. Barkley
of New Orleans and they had three children (Laurence M., Garner Tullis
and Malcolm Barkley). Mary Lee Tullis married Norman E. Eaves and they
became the parents of three children (Mary Lee, Priscilla and Penelope
Eaves); she later married Albert Bruce Crutcher, Jr. and they had three
children (Allison Bruce, Albert Bruce, and John Tullis Crutcher). Eli
Watson Tullis married Molly Ferrell and they had four children (Molly
Riffin, Eli Watson, Garner H. and Westley Luther Ferrell Tullis); his
second marriage was to Deborah Beaird and they had two children (Deborah
Ashbrook and Rachel Beaird). He was chosen Rex, King of the Carnival for
the 1997 Mardi Gras. At the time of his death in 1966, Garner Hugh was
survived by thirteen grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
What happened to the Tullis-Toledano Manor is just one example
of the devastation that Hurricane Katrina caused throughout the Gulf coasts
of Louisiana and Mississippi. These areas still need help. Two of the
websites where you can make donations include the American Red Cross (www.RedCross.org)
and Habitat for Humanity (www.Habitat.org).
The City of Biloxi has also produced a DVD and photo album, Katrina
& Biloxi, which can be purchased online at http://biloxi.ms.us/katrina_and_Biloxi/DVD_Album.html.