One hundred and fifty years ago, Carroll County lawyer and future U.S. Senator James Zachariah George purchased several hundred acres of rolling farmland, including a roadside inn. He enlarged the structure into a stunning Greek Revival mansion and named it for his friend, Mississippi Supreme Court Chief Justice Cotesworth Pinckney Smith. In the late 1880s, he added a landmark hexagonal library on the south lawn to house his vast collection of law books.
Cotesworth and its library remained in the George family for multiple generations. In 2013, Senator George’s great-granddaughter, Katharine Saunders Williams, deeded the home and several acres of land over to the non-profit group, Cotesworth Culture and Heritage Center, which had acquired the library in 2010.