Beesley-Milwee House

172 W. Warren Avenue

This building was constructed around 1885 for use as Kate Beesley’s millinery shop, which is to say she was a hat maker. It was purchased by George Edward and Hallie LaVigne in 1916. George was a truck farmer.

During the 1920s, the simple one-story, rectangular shop was significantly altered to add a second story and porch. With the additions, it matches with the Classical Revival Style.

George and Hallie’s daughter, Aldia LaVigne, married Rayburn T. Milwee. The couple moved into the home in the 1930s and raised their family there.

Rayburn became a prominent citizen and educator. He was elected the county school superintendent and oversaw schools during the tumultuous days of integration. Rayburn supported funding black schools, despite angry citizenry. He was assaulted in his office by a parent upset about their daughter having a black teacher. Despite this, he persisted. When Lyman Memorial School was relocated to its present location as Lyman High School, the former school became a middle school and was named in Rayburn’s honor.

The LaVigne-Milwee descendants lived in the home until the 1990s.

Tom Milwee, beside the home (Lewis House is visible) with Longwood Inn across Warren Ave