When given the choice many years ago, she chose Fondren. That’s been a good choice for 75 year-old Margaret O’Beirne Williams, a Fondren resident and owner of Ye Old Lamp Design and Shades. “Fondren is an emerging, beautiful part of Jackson”, she told us, “and I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else”. Her business started in 1979 in south Jackson but moved to Fondren 26 years ago. “I’ve been offered incentives”, she told us, “to move elsewhere, but I wouldn’t think of it”. Convenience certainly plays a part, living two miles from her shop near Banner Hall, but it’s the people, the Natchez native said, that makes this feel like home. “I love the people – people of vision – people who don’t mind being different”.
Williams spends her time away from her business lending a helping hand. She’s been on the advisory board for Catholic Charities for 26 years and works in their resource and development division. Williams is also active at St. Richard Catholic Church and active as a taxi for those who need it. “I shuttle people around, taking them to eat, to appointments and to church”. In her spare time (she chuckles at the thought), she’s visiting her five living children, 13 grand children and two great grand children.
When thinking of how Fondren has grown and developed, Williams said she feels excited. “I’m glad people here have foresight to see possibilities”, she told us. “I get excited driving through the neighborhood and noticing things going on”. With so much variety and choice in such a small space, Williams said it’s an equation easily solved. “It all adds up to a beautiful place”.