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Cookin' up memories with Cedar Oaks

Despite the fact that Oxford is known for its history, there is one piece of history that doesn’t get much attention.
Cedar Oaks is a home that was built on the Square in 1857, where the Downtown Inn & Suites is now located. It survived the Civil War and many other acts of destruction.
Three women saw the danger in losing the historical house, so they went through a rigorous process to relocate the house off Sisk Avenue. Over the years, groups of women have worked to keep the house from being destroyed and have gone further to make it a place where the history of Oxford can be displayed.
The Cosmopolitan Club and Centennial Study Club have worked together in the past promoting Cedar Oaks, but once the city of Oxford owned the home, the clubs joined their efforts in restoring it. They call themselves the Cedar Oaks Guild.
“The city would like to use it for small weddings, which we did in the past,” guild member Charlene Ott said. “That’s how we raised money. Right now, we are trying to make it more of a museum that people would like to visit.”
Laurie Triplett, who is also a member of the guild, wrote a cookbook that covers all things Southern. The book features a Southern words dictionary, essays that Triplett wrote pertaining to the South and many other trinkets of Southern knowledge.
“I always felt very strongly about having sit down meals with my children when I raised them,” Triplett said. “I always cooked, so the children always sat down to eat. That’s the way American life used to be.”
Triplett went on to say that her children had a huge respect for the way they emphasized food and the art of cooking. Even when Triplett’s son was in junior high, he was asking about how to cook meals.
“I started realizing I needed to write some stuff down because we all grew up with grandparents and aunts and uncles who everybody kind of hung out with in the kitchen, and you watched them cook or helped them cook,” Triplett said.
In attendance will be “Spirits of Oxford,” which are famous Oxonian characters, wandering around the event. The guild also sponsors an annual event that takes place around Halloween and is dedicated to showcasing the spirits in cemeteries.
The event is a social gathering, but the purpose is to raise money for the Cedar Oaks Guild and bring recognition to its cause.
For 48 years, the Cedar Oaks home has been taken care of by Southern women who see the importance of it in Oxford’s history, and it will continue to be taken care of by the women of guild.
“It’s all Oxford history,” Ott said. “I mean, that house was almost burned down in the Civil War. I think you can’t forget your past. I think your past is so important.”
The Cedar Oaks Guild is hosting a relaunching event at the Oxford Conference Center on Thursday, Oct. 13, where Triplett’s book will be for sale and complimentary snacks will be offered along with a cash bar. The event will last from 6 p.m to 9 p.m. and is open to the public.