thomas sellari

Thomas-Harper-Sellari House
251 N. Grand Ave.

Imagine sipping tea in this gracious old Victorian.  Advertised in the magazine “Homemaker” in 1930 as a successful tea room located on four acres on the outskirts of Brownsville, the Thomas-Harper-Sellari House was known as “Green Acres.”

This home was built by John Hicks Thomas, brother of R. G. Thomas who built the McLemore-Thomas House across the street on Key Corner.   The J. H. Thomas family experienced the devastation of the Civil War first hand, as son Robert S. Thomas was killed at the Battle of Shiloh.  His grave can be seen at Oakwood Cemetery.

This intricate Victorian home began life in 1856 as a simple four- room cottage.  It is thought to have faced Key Corner rather than Grand Avenue.  It was expanded to a “mansion of thirteen rooms” in the 1880’s. The double porch containing elements of Eastlake design, hood molds over windows and the frontice pieces around the doorways on both the first and second floors was added in 1883.  John H. Thomas is listed as a carpenter in the 1860 and 1870 censuses.  Was it his skilled hands that created the beautiful Victorian trim?

College Hill Historic District