Splinter Creek in Garden & Gun

A mod new neighborhood blends with the Mississippi countryside

When Ellen and Eason Leake bought 750 hilly acres near Oxford, Mississippi, in 1997, they considered it a simple timber investment. But one day Ellen decided to visit the tract. As she drove an old ridgetop logging road onto the property, she saw towering oaks and hickories among the pines. The views stretched on and on, and down below, in the wider valleys, she could imagine glittering lakes. “The land just revealed itself,” she recalls. “It was gorgeous.”

And so began Splinter Creek, a twenty-six-lot community that blends the Leakes’ love of place with their regard for modern design. More than four hundred acres of the property, named for a nineteenth-century settlement that once stood nearby, have been set aside for conservation. Hiking trails lace the forest, and spring-fed lakes, so clear they’re nearly Alpine blue, beckon paddlers and swimmers. Instead of chopping the land into pieces, architects drew lot lines that follow creeks and coves, and designed a dreamy plan of light-filled homes nestling into the natural topography.

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