The Neoclassical home was built in 1937 by Atlanta architect Kennon Perry (1890-1954) for Ellis Hardeman Peniston (1897-1963) and Mildred Willcoxon Arnall Peniston (1898-1958).
Mildred was the daughter of Arnall Mill president, Alton Wynn Arnall, and Ellis the son of local physician, Dr. Paul E. Peniston. After her father’s death in 1936, Midlred’s husband, Ellis, became the president of Arnall Mill in Sargent until his death. The Penistons had no children, but were very close to their nieces and nephews.
After Ellis died, he left the home to Mildred’s niece, Susie Mann Thomasson, who lived in the home with her husband, physician Dr. James J. Thomasson, Sr., and their four children until the late-1980s. The home was then purchased by the adjacent Newnan Hospital built in 1925 by Kennon Perry as well. Newnan Hospital renovated and converted the three-story, four-bedroom home into administrative offices. After Newnan Hospital merges with Piedmont and new hospital facility was constructed in another location and the once private home was purchased by the City of Newnan in the late-2000s.
After the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society received an endowment and furnishing from the estate of Edgar B. Hollis, Jr. of Newnan, the historical society and the City of Newnan arranged for the Peniston-Aranll-Thomasson Home to set up a new facility, the McRitchie-Hollis Museum in May of 2013. The historical society renovated the home to reflect colors and styles of the 1930s and 1940s that highlight some of the home’s original features, including five gas fireplaces, decorative crown molding and trim, and original hardwood floors. The museum is home to rotating exhibits that tell stories of Newan and Coweta’s past and culture. Docent-led tours include the history of the home, the story of the Penistons, and a tour of the current exhibit(s). The McRitchie-Hollis Museum is also available for event rentals and has already hosted Christmas parties, fundraising events, and weddings.