City Directories and History: 1946 – Vivian H. Ketchen, 1963 – William I. Long, 1975 – Same
This imposing structure “The Neely House” on the corner of Ebenezer Road and Grady Drive with its large Corinthian columns was in the 20th century the home of William Ivey Long and his wife Mary Long, both long-term theatre directors and educators. Dr. Long was the head of the drama department at Winthrop University and Mary, the theatrics teacher at Rock Hill High School. The Longs had originally lived on Winthrop’s campus, on what is now Park Ave., Ext., before you reach Cherry Road. The Long family, including children Billy, Bobby, and Laura all grew up in the theatre both at Manteo, N.C. and other sites. All three Long children continue being professionally involved in designing costumes, theaters, education, and performances.
Prior to the Longs living here, the house often referred to as Ebenezer’s Mansion, was the Neely House, constructed in the late 19th century. Dr. Alton Brown who resided next doors wrote, “I do not remember old Mrs. Neely, although she was living when I was a child. She had one daughter Vivian… she married a Mr. Bee Ketchen. He was part owner of a cotton gin across the railroad (meaning across Ebenezer Rd., and the parallel railroad beside it) and a threshing machine. I worked on summer with him traveling the country thrashing grain. Carolyn Neely grew up and married Clarence Senn, they had a large farm with was originally the Neely farm. ” He goes on to say that he had many a great hunt at the Senn farm, often on Wednesday afternoons he would invite my father Frank S. Fairey to accompany him. It was my experience that I also tagged along and learned to hunt doves on the Senn farm as a very young boy.
A family descendent, Peggy Palmer wrote, “My great grandfather built the Neely-Long house and also probably the one next door to it. My great aunt, Vivian Lee Neely Ketchen lived there probably during the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s until her death. It was then sold to the Longs who painted over the border in “Witt’s” (Mrs. Ketchen) bedroom! My Mother (Carolyn Ogilvie Neely Senn) was her niece. When we moved to Rock Hill and began to operate Snow White Dairy, we lived in the next door house until the house was built on the farm (now burned). My sister (Carolyn (Lyn) Neely Senn Skews) and I lived with Witt when each of us attended first grade at the Ebenezer school.” – 2015
The Neely – Long house was sold out of the Long family’s possession in 2012. A highly influential member of the family is designer Mr. William I. Long.
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