…I suppose this home has always been called the old house, but let’s call it the Old Monarch. It has been a refuge for the stranger… who was passing through. None were ever turned away, but found a welcome inside its wall for warmth, food and rest and, we might add, a cup of hot coffee…
The beloved Old Monarch which cannot, I suppose, stand forever.
Melissa Ozella Miller Upshaw
Melissa Ozella Upshaw expressed in Lydia of the Valley her concern that the family’s beloved Old Monarch would just gradually
slip back to the earth. Under the stewardship of descendants of Reuben and Lydia Rice and Black River Technical College, not only is the house preserved but it will share its story with students and visitors alike for generations to come. Lee and Samantha
Rice were among those descendants. Their daughter, Wanda Lee, below, and her husband James Vaughn provided generous support for the new pavilion named for her parents in
recognition of their lifelong support of education. The pavilion with restrooms and public parking was designed by preservation architect Tommy Jameson of Jameson Architects P.A. of Little Rock, Arkansas.
The Rice-Upshaw House and Site are available for tours and special events. For information please contact the Office of Development, Black River Technical College.