Featured Property: The Estate of Audry & Sherwood Bailey, Sr.

The Estate of Audry & Sherwood Bailey, Sr.
Pass Christian, Mississippi

Audry Shivers and Sherwood Bailey, Sr. met in fall of 1946 in Jackson, Mississippi and were married Valentine’s Day of 1947. Both were Depression Era children who grew up in families of modest means in Jefferson Davis County and Scott County, Mississippi. Sherwood served in World War II in General George S. Patton’s Third Army.

Sherwood and his three brothers, H.C. Bailey, Sr., George C. Bailey and Woodrow W. Bailey, founded Bailey Lumber & Supply Co. in Jackson, Mississippi in 1947. Sherwood moved to Gulfport, Mississippi in 1951 to expand the family business. The company now has locations in Ocean Springs, Bay St. Louis, Brandon and Meridian.

In addition to heading Bailey Lumber in Gulfport, Sherwood was an active member of the Gulf Coast business community. In the early 1960s, he owned and operated five Holiday Inn franchises throughout the Mississippi Gulf Coast under the parent company, Gulf Shores, Inc. Another venture, Bailey Homes, developed several subdivisions in Gulfport, Ocean Springs and Biloxi. He was also a member of the Gulf Coast Investors Club, the Home Builders Association of Mississippi and King of the Gulf Coast Carnival Association in 1979.

Mrs. Bailey was a former member of the Junior Auxiliary of Gulfport, Merry Maskers, Gulfport Yacht Club and First Baptist Church of Gulfport.

The Baileys were planning to build a house on the beach in Gulfport when a serendipitous conversation with Audry’s friend, Karen Graham, changed her mind. Graham, a Mississippi native best known for being the first spokesmodel for Estée Lauder, had a beachfront home on East Scenic Drive in Pass Christian and urged Audry to consider the house next door to hers as it had just come on the market. The couple fell in love with the house (known as the McCutcheon-Ewing House) and decided to scrap the plans to build in Gulfport and instead put in an offer on the stately Greek Revival home in Pass Christian.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the McCutcheon-Ewing House was built by the McCutcheons of New Orleans in 1850. In 1938, Shreveport Times publisher John Ewing purchased, renovated and raised the home to two stories, with two distinctive stairways off each side of the front entrance. The home’s impressive flat-roofed portico doubles as a front porch.

The Baileys began a major renovation shortly after purchasing the property in 1978. They added a 1,500-square-foot guest cottage where they lived until the work on the main house was complete. Mrs. Bailey worked closely with Jim Westerfield of Westerfield Antiques & Interiors in Jackson to decorate the historic 6,000 square foot home. Bailey and Westerfield filled the home with Georgian furniture, antique carpets, Asian porcelain, fine art and more.

The Baileys hosted political fundraisers, wedding receptions and even part of the Miss USA swimsuit competition at the iconic house. A 2013 article in South Mississippi Living recalls when Good Morning America’s Diane Sawyer and Charles Gibson made an impromptu stop at the house on their way from New Orleans to Beau Rivage Casino and Resort for an appearance. The two were admiring the homes along Scenic Drive when they decided to stop and knock on the Bailey’s front door. Audry was packing for a trip and had just washed her hair, but invited the unexpected guests in to tour her home, which ended up airing on GMA.

New Orleans Auction Galleries is pleased to offer paintings, antique furniture, porcelain and more from the Estate of Audry and Sherwood Bailey, Sr.