This is among the grandest homes in Vienna, which has a wonderful historic district full of surprises like this one. It was built by P. G. McDonald from timber cut at his Dooly County farm. In the years following, it was owned by longtime Vienna mayor Jack DeLiesseline and his wife Ethyl, who was a well-known poet and camellia cultivator. It was purchased in 1976 by the Couch family, who have beautifully maintained and restored it ever since. Thanks to Laura Couch Fokes and her delightful mother, Diane Couch, for sharing the history of this special place. Diane’s love for the house and its history is truly inspiring.
Claire DeLand writes: The home has always been known as “Rose Hill” by the family. It was…the family home of the McDonalds. Ethel McDonald married John Thompson (Jack) DeLiesseline, a native of Charleston, SC., on June 18th 1912. They lived in Atlanta for quite a while and Jack was the Southeastern District Manager of the Remington Typewriter Company.
It was after he retired that they moved to Vienna to live in the family home [of] Ethel and her sisters – Vera Claire McDonald Shipp, Lilla Mae McDonald Ketchum, and her brother Middleton McDonald. Jack was elected Mayor and served for a number of years in that position. Ethel taught piano, voice and violin. She wrote several books, and was Poet Laureate of the State of Georgia. Her gardens were gorgeous places of peace and loveliness, and she started several new Camellia varieties over the later years of her life. She was my Great Aunt and I spent many wonderful summers with her and Uncle Jack at Rose Hill.
Vienna Historic District, National Register of Historic Places