Two Cordova natives will exchange vows in front of the historic Long House in Cordova on Saturday afternoon.Cathy Wylie Savage and Michael Stewart will be the first couple to get married at The Long …
Two Cordova natives will exchange vows in front of the historic Long House in Cordova on Saturday afternoon.
Cathy Wylie Savage and Michael Stewart will be the first couple to get married at The Long House Wedding and Event Venue.
The former home of city founder Capt. Benjamin Long was purchased by Cordova native and Jasper attorney Andrea Lewis Pate in August 2011 after it suffered extensive damage in the April 2011 tornadoes.
"I just hope for Andrea's sake and for the people of Cordova that this is just the beginning of an up and coming business that will bring the Cordova we all know and love back," Savage said Friday afternoon.
Savage and Stewart are both members of the Cordova High School Class of 1978.
Savage, a longtime friend of Pate's, requested to be married on the lawn in front of the Long House before she knew about the plan to open it as a wedding venue.
"I remember my mom telling me stories about the house when she was a child, and I can remember going in it when it was owned by the Gurganuses. It's a special place, and it was very meaningful for me to celebrate my town, my classmates and family and friends of Cordova," said Savage, who has lived in Georgia since 1986.
The Long House has undergone a series of renovations since 2011, including the addition of a new roof and replacement of the east wall.
Most of the downstairs will remain closed for the wedding, though one room has been prepared as a dressing room for Savage and her bridesmaids.
In recent weeks, a crew of workers have added new landscaping and rebuilt the rock wall in front of the venue.
Cordova residents have been very supportive of the improvements.
"When we're outside, everybody waves or beeps their horn or gets out to say, 'Y'all sure do have it looking pretty up there.' It's like the whole town takes ownership of this house," Pate said.
Several other brides have expressed interest in having their wedding at the Long House, and Pate has booked two birthday parties as well.
"I can't think of anything better to bring this house back to life than to fill it full of people," Pate said.