In the News

A Masterpiece Returns Home

“After more than a century, the portrait of Mary Porter Mayes has returned home to W. 6th Street (in Columbia, TN). The owners of the Mayes-Hatcher-Hill home (also known as Mayes Manor), David and Debra Hill recently acquired the portrait of the original owner of their home, which was painted by renowned artist Washington Cooper.

Spotting the portrait of Mary Mayes Porter on the McLemore auction site online, Michelle Cannon of the Maury County Archives contacted Kathie Fuston, owner of the Mayes-Frierson-Fuston home, to discuss the history of the portrait. Kathie researched the Mayes-Hatcher-Hill home preparing for the Maury APTA’s Christmas in Columbia Historic Home Tour and she recognized the subject of the painting to be the first lady of that home. After verifying the portrait’s listing on the Colonial Dames Tennessee Portrait Project database ( of more than 2400 portraits in Tennessee, Kathie notified the Hills who promptly began bidding for the painting.

There were some tense moments, according to Debra Hill, when they realized other serious bidders wanted this painting. However the Hills prevailed and Mary Mayes Porter has now come home.”

Mayes Portrait

Tom Price of the Polk Presidential Hall and Polk Ancestral Home is pictured above with David and Debra Hill and the portrait of Mary Porter Mayes, now home on W. 6th Street. (photo credit Michelle Cannon)

aBOUt exists to showcase the rich architecture and history in Columbia, Tennessee through highlighting properties owned by David and Debra Hill. Each property has gone through extensive preservation and restoration to become timeless landmarks of the community. Mr. and Mrs. Hill were presented with the Association of the Preservation of Tennessee Antiques (APTA) Virginia Alexander Volunteer of the Year Award in 2019 for their historic preservation efforts in Maury County.