Thanks to the AJC for this great story!
Virginia Hill was the talk of the town when she peeled off a roll of $100 bills to buy a Marietta house almost 70 years ago. This weekend, she will be the toast of the town.
The late girlfriend of Benny “Bugsy” Siegel shocked sleepy Marietta in the 1930s when she paid $11,000 in cash for the home on Church Street, north of the Marietta Square. According to local lore, the reputed “bag woman” for the Chicago mob bought the house for her mother because she wanted her to live in the best part of town.
Two years ago, Scott and Kelly Register bought the 1928 bungalow-style house and doubled its size. The public will get a chance to peek inside the house and five others in the Church-Cherokee Streets historic district during the annual Marietta Pilgrimage Christmas Home Tour on Saturday and Sunday.
The Registers decorated a room in Hill’s honor with pictures of her dancing, cooking and testifying about organized crime in Congress.
About 10 families have lived in the house since it was built, but a marker in the yard calls it by one name: “The Virginia Hill House.” The Cobb Landmarks & Historical Society supplied the plaque.
This is the 20th year for the tour, benefiting the historical group and Marietta Welcome Center & Visitors Bureau. Welcome Center Director Theresa Jenkins said about 5,000 people toured homes in the Whitlock Avenue historic district last year, raising $36,000 for the two organizations.
She said last year, the tour was named “Best of the Best” for special events by the Georgia Association of Conventions & Visitors Bureaus. The pilgrimage is also on the Southeast Tourism Society’s Top 20 Events in the region.
The houses are open 9 a.m.-6 p.m. and a candlelight tour, 7-9:30 p.m. Saturday; and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $12-$25.Information: 770-429-1115 or www.mariettapilgrimage.com.
—- Tucker McQueen