"George and Charlien McGlothin are truly dedicated
"The Clay Faulkner home is the third old house
"This time, it took them 4-1/2 years."
--"The Best Restorations in America,"
Bob Vila's American Home Magazine
About the people behind the restoration ...
George McGlothin left a career in management
to come back to his home town of McMinnville and restore Falcon
Rest. As school children who came for a tour reported in the
local paper, "Mr. McGlothin loves his house." He
can tell stories about it at a mile a minute. That's probably
why Middle Tennessee's Sunday magazine described him as "a
walking encyclopedia dressed in a tuxedo."
In addition to starring in our four
history-based group shows, George's favorite pastimes are
restoring old houses, buying for his Victorian Gift Shop,
and rooting for the New Orleans Saints football team (he's
been loyal to a fault -- but it finally paid off!).
George's wife Charlien took weekends
and holidays off from her job as a NASA public affairs writer
to help with the restoration. Since 1995, she's devoted full
time to serving as Falcon Rest's general manager and master
chef, and using her PR experience to get the word out about
Falcon Rest -- including developing this web site. Her South
Louisiana heritage is reflected in their mouth-watering menu
from the Gent
The Day that Changed Our Lives
Did you ever have a day that completely
changed the course of your life?
Mine came in March 1989.
That's when I attended the auction of the
old hospital building where my sister was born ... out of
curiosity ... and ended up in the tourism business.
We'd already restored two old houses, so
when I showed up at my parents' home in McMinnville, Tenn.,
and told them I was looking for local investment property,
Mother asked, "Did you know they're auctioning off the
old hospital?" After all, it had been a magnificent Victorian
mansion before being disguised as a medical facility in the
1940s, '50s and '60s.
Dad said: "Don't tell him that. He
might go buy it!"
I was intrigued enough to go look, and what
I saw wasn't encouraging. An aborted demolition of the hospital
additions had left the back of the buildng looking like a
bomb had hit it. Still, the mansion's original beauty shone
Even more intrigued, I went to the auction.
The hospital estate made the opening bid. I bid $50 more --
just so I wouldn't waste the trip -- and nobody else said
The next thing I heard was the auctioneer
declaring, "Going once, going twice, SOLD to that sucker
over there!" OK, maybe he didn't say "sucker,"
but given the magnitude of the restoration, he probably could
We hired some folks to tear down the rest
of the hospital additions and put on a new roof, but the long-suffering
Victorian Lady and I literally did 95% of the restoration
ourselves. I spent a year of my life under the mansion doing
wiring and plumbing. When I started, I was handsome, had a
full head of dark hair, and my sanity. Just look at me now!
After 4-1/2 years of plumbing, wiring, plastering,
woodworking, and painting, we were ready to share Clay Faulkner's
resurrected mansion with the world. In 1997, the National
Trust for Historic Preservation rewarded our efforts with
a first place prize in their Great American Home Award competition.
Old-house lovers from all over the world
have toured Falcon Rest. For many, the visit is extra special
because they are not only meeting the owners; they are meeting
the people who actually did the restoration.
It tells them there is hope for those wonderful old buildings
out there, and that it doesn't take the government or multi-million
dollar grants to rescue them. Hopefully, we're inspiring lots
of other regular folks like us to become historical environmentalists,
and recycle architectural treasures that would otherwise be