A few years ago, Memphis native Tom Green was waiting in line to enter his daughter’s sorority parents’ party. When he was finally able to get inside the venue, there were so many people there, he couldn’t hear anyone speak. When he began to dance with his wife and daughters, the floor felt like it might break.
This is when Green said he realized Oxford is lacking places to hold large events, and the idea for The Jefferson was born.
“When I saw the land, it reminded me of a small valley in Montana, rolling pastures, and a green timberline on an eight-acre lake for a great view,” Green said. “We were able to create a beautiful view for a ‘wow’ reaction of the building from the drive around the lake to the building.”
The Jefferson is Oxford’s newest venue space located off Highway 6. The 18,000-square-foot building houses weddings, sorority and fraternity formals, fundraisers and parties.
It has a 7,200-square-foot grand hall with a stage and bar and two other 2,500-square-foot rooms. The building has a rustic look and many materials used in the building process were repurposed from old buildings and projects Green has worked on.
It features cotton warehouse doors from the 1800s and chandeliers from an old Memphis church. Green said he’d like to later add a chapel, a few cabins, and a smaller event venue on the property.
The Highway 6 location is easily accessible and avoids heavy traffic that can occur in Oxford on Ole Miss game days. It also makes a fast turnaround for buses, which means fewer buses are needed for transportation of party guests.
In September, The Jefferson hosted its first university event. The Associated Student Body had the first “Everybody’s Formal” in honor of homecoming week. All UM students could attend free, and 1,500 students came.
“ASB was looking for a venue that could hold a lot of students comfortably,” said ASB President Austin Powell. “We were looking for a new venue that we could also showcase as well as the actual event itself. To say that I was happy was an understatement.”
Madalyn Blome, a UM junior who attended the formal, said the venue has character. “I enjoyed that there was plenty of room to dance,” she said.
Green paid tribute to Oxford resident and author William Faulkner when he named the event space The Jefferson. Faulkner set many of his stories and novels in Oxford and Lafayette County, but renamed the city “Jefferson” in his writing.
Green contacted a University of Mississippi English professor, and she helped him name the venue. He loved that the name is part of Oxford’s past.
Green once commuted from Memphis to Oxford every day, but now only makes the trip three times a week.
He has three daughters who attend UM, and he enjoys visiting them when he is in Oxford for work. Green’s wife opposes moving to Oxford, but Green said he doesn’t mind the drive.
When he’s not at The Jefferson, Green’s Oxford staff is there to answer phone calls, give tours and complete everyday tasks on location. Green can now attend his daughters’ sorority parents’ party with no fear of having to wait in line, not being able to hear anyone, or the floor bending as he dances with his family.
To learn more about The Jefferson, visit at http://www.thejeffersonoxford.com.