The historic Steel House on Poplar is becoming a new Airbnb soon, thanks to Tony and Gwen Alexander.
The Alexanders, both Philadelphia natives, purchased the property in 2020 and aim to have the house open for rental over the internet within the next two weeks. Container Barn House
“We chose this house because we loved it and we love Poplar Avenue,” Tony Alexander said. “We knew it was the perfect house for an Airbnb, and we originally didn’t even know the history behind it.”
An Airbnb stands for "Air Bed and Breakfast," and is a service that lets property owners rent out their space to travelers on the internet looking for a place to stay.
The Steel House was built by Willard Hays and Richard Molpus not long after World War II in 1945, and the late Sarah Steel owned the house for years.
“Willard Hay’s daughter Lynn Ferguson sent us information about the house,” Alexander said. “Once we bought the property we had so many people tell us about how they had lived at that house or were even born there.”
He said inspiration to buy the property struck when he was traveling back and forth from Philadelphia to Columbus, Ga., (where his wife used to teach) every other weekend, and how he wanted a place to stay in Philadelphia in between trips.
“My father was in the military and while I was born in Philadelphia, I lived in Georgia for most of my life and traveled to many different states and military bases with him,” Gwen Alexander said. “I retired from teaching in Georgia in May 2022. However my roots are in Philadelphia, and while I miss Georgia, I feel a good sense of peace here and I’m pleasantly surprised by how much I love it.”
Tony Alexander owns Steve’s on the Square, and Gwen is a Talented and Gifted (TAG) Teacher at Neshoba Central.
“We looked at this property and we knew it was the perfect area,” Tony Alexander said. “Renovating it to be an Airbnb has been a lot of work. When we first bought the property, we worked on the hardwood floors, put down new tile floors in the bathroom, installed new countertops, painted the kitchen, and more on one side. Gwen worked on the other side of the property, including changing the lighting, colors, and more.”
The Alexanders aim to have the Airbnb open for rental within the next two weeks and plan for people to use it while visiting Philadelphia for the Neshoba County Fair, wedding parties, class reunions, and other events.
Gwen Alexander said she and her husband attended the grand reopening of the Ellis Theatre in December and observed the amount of people who attended from out of state.
“I saw so many people and it was exciting for Philadelphia,” she said. “This town is about to explode and people are going to want a place to stay, and this new Airbnb will be an option for them.”
For more information about the Airbnb, contact Gwen Alexander at (706) 329-2915.
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