Historic Homes of Alabama

Historic Gaineswood

Historic Gaineswood-Demopolis

Gaineswood is a grand plantation home in Demopolis. The house was completed on the eve of the American Civil War after a construction period of almost twenty years. It is the most extravagant plantation house ever built in Marengo County and is one of the most significant remaining examples of Greek Revival architecture in Alabama. The house and grounds are currently operated by the Alabama Historical Commission as a historic house museum.

Helen Keller's Ivy Green

Helen Keller's Ivy Green-Tuscumbia

Built in 1820 only one year after Alabama became the 22nd State of the Union, Ivy Green is a simple, white clapboard home design in typical Southern architecture. The main house is of Virginia cottage construction, with four large rooms on the first floor bisected by a wide hall. Each room boasts an individual fireplace. Upstairs are three rooms connected by a hall. Having survived untouched through the ravages of the Civil War, Ivy Green is maintained to the smallest detail in its original state.

Since 1954 Helen Keller's birthplace has been a permanent shrine to the "miracle" that occurred in a blind and deaf seven-year old girl's life. At that time Ivy Green was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Ivy Green
Magnolia Grove

Magnolia Grove-Greensboro

Nationally significant as the boyhood home of Spanish-American War hero and U.S. Congressman Richmond Pearson Hobson, Magnolia Grove is a Southern archetype of what many tourists expect to see in the Deep South. As Hobson's house, however, it presents a more fully-rounded interpretation of our complex regional history. In addition to his military fame, he was a Progressive-era politician who championed women's rights and civil rights, as well as a national leader in the fight against alcohol and drug abuse.

Magnificent magnolia trees and a beautiful boxwood garden surround the home. The mansion is filled with original family furniture and the walls are lined with portraits of the Croom and Hobson families. The site includes a detached kitchen and a slave house.

Magnolia Grove is a historic house museum located on 15 acres at the west end of Greensboro's historic district. The Greek Revival home was built around 1840 by Colonel Isaac Croom.

Magnolia Grove
W.C.Handy Home-Florence

W.C. Handy Home-Florence

The W. C. Handy Birthplace, Museum and Library, in Florence, Lauderdale County, was established to celebrate the life of musician and composer William "W. C." Handy (1873-1958), known as the "Father of the Blues." Handy himself donated the seed money to set up the museum, which now includes several buildings and houses a large collection of memorabilia, personal items, and objects relating to Handy's musical career. The museum draws more than 3,000 visitors a year.

Alabama Governor's Mansion-Montgomery

Originally built in 1907 for General Ligon by the architect Weatherly Carter, the current executive residence is in the Neo-Classical Revival style with Corinthian columns at the front. It features a spacious interior with a double staircase leading from the foyer to apartments above. A formal garden surrounded by a high ornamental wall originally covered the entire back lawn of the property which extends through the block to South Court Street. A pool in the shape of the state of Alabama was built in the mid-1970s, along with a stone grotto with waterfall.

Dexter Parsonage

Dr. Martin Luther King's Dexter Parsonage-Montgomery

The Dexter Parsonage Museum was the residence where Dr. King and his young family lived between 1954 and 1960. The Interpretive Center, located adjacent to the Parsonage, features a gift shop, restroom facilities and an orientation room for viewing videos and discussion groups on Dr. King’s family, community, and pastoral life. The permanent exhibit in the Interpretive Center includes a timeline of photographs of the 12 Dexter pastors who lived in the Parsonage, a wall of Pastoral Wisdom (inspiring quotes from several pastors), unpublished photographs of Dr. King, Dexter members, civic/business leaders, and Montgomery ministers active in the bus boycott; and historical accounts on the bombing of the Parsonage and other significant events. The nine-room clapboard Parsonage, built in 1912, has been restored to its appearance when Dr. King and his family lived there. Much of the furniture presently in the the living room, dining room, bedroom and study was actually used by Dr. King.

Dr. King's office
Laird Cottage

Laird Cottage-Demopolis

The Laird Cottage is a restored 1870 residence with Greek Revival and Italianate style. The building now serves as the headquarters of the Marengo County Historical Society. It has a museum that contains exhibits and works of Geneva Mercer, national and international acclaimed sculptor and painter from the nearby community of Jefferson.

Lyon Hall

Lyon Hall-Demopolis

Lyon Hall at Demopolis, AL (completed 1853, recorded in HABS, listed on the NRHP)

Antebellum | Demopolis in Marengo County

Lyon Hall, also known as the Lyon-Lamar House, is a historic Greek Revival mansion in Demopolis, Alabama. It was built over a period of three years by George Gaines Lyon and his wife, Anne Glover Lyons. The house was completed in 1853. The Lyons traveled to New York City to purchase furnishings for their new home. Lyon descendants lived in the house until the death of George G. Lamar in 1996. The house was donated to the Marengo County Historical Society in May 1997.

Bluff Hall

Bluff Hall-Demopolis

Built by slaves in 1832, the hall was Allen Glover's wedding gift (10 years after the wedding) to his daughter and son-in-law Francis Strother Lyon. Corinthian columns grace the drawing room; a unique in-house kitchen is filled with period implements; an extensive period clothing collection is displayed throughout the house.


Bellingrath Home and Gardens-Mobile

Bellingrath Gardens and Home is the 65-acre (26 ha) public garden and historic home of Walter and Bessie Bellingrath, located on the Fowl River in Theodore, near Mobile, Alabama. Walter Bellingrath was one of the first Coca-Cola bottlers in the Southeast, and with his wealth built the estate garden and home. He and his wife, Bessie, lived in the home which has since been converted into a museum. Since the Gardens opened to the public in 1932, they continue to welcome visitors to enjoy year-round floral pageantry. Ten percent of all membership contributions go to the Bellingrath Gardens and Home Foundation's Endowment Fund. The site was listed on the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage on September 14, 1977 and on the National Register of Historic Places on October 19, 1982.


Bragg-Mitchell Home-Mobile

Built in 1855 by Judge John Bragg, the Bragg-Mitchell Mansion is a 13,000 square foot Greek Revival facing Springhill Avenue in Mobile, Alabama. Judge Bragg built the home for his wife and family to enjoy Mobile’s social season, Thanksgiving through Mardi Gras. The Bragg family split their time between the Mansion and their cotton plantation in Lowndes County outside of Montgomery. Judge Bragg died in 1878, and four additional families have owned the home since his passing.

The last private owner of the Mansion was the A.S. Mitchell family who purchased the home and property in 1931 for $20,000. They occupied the Mansion until 1965 and took great care in maintaining the home. It was during this time that the Mansion became such an icon of the city of Mobile.

First White House of the Confederacy-Montgomery

The First White House of the Confederacy was the Executive Residence of President Jefferson Davis and family while the capitol of the Confederacy was in Montgomery, Alabama. The house served as the first White House of the Confederacy from February 1861 until late May 1861, when the Confederate capital moved to Richmond, Virginia. Completely furnished with original period pieces from the 1850s and 1860s, the 1835 Italianate style house is open to the public. It has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1974. It is located across from the south side of the Alabama State Capitol, next door to Archives and History Building

Burritt On The Mountain-Huntsville

This unique museum of regional history is housed in the mountaintop home of Dr. William Henry Burritt. The remarkable 14-room mansion built in the shape of an X in the 1930's is insulated with 2,200 bales of wheat straw. The Historic Park contains restored farm buildings which interpret rural life during 1850 and 1900. Many nature trails wind through heavily wooded forest. The grounds, open year round, offer a breathtaking panoramic view of Huntsville and the Tennessee Valley. On a clear day you can see the Tennessee River and the towering NASA rocket test stands.

Weeden House-Huntsville

Built in 1819, the house at 300 Gates Avenue is now open to the public as the Weeden House Museum and Garden. Dr. William Weeden bought the house in 1845 and his descendants owned it until 1956. Now owned by the City of Huntsville, it is leased by the Twickenham Historic Preservation District Association and maintained as a 19th century house museum.

Earlier residents included John McKinley who lived in the house from 1824-1827, prior to serving as an Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. Banker-planter Bartley M. Lowe, first president of Huntsville Bank, lived in the house, and his portrait painted by John Grimes hangs in the house today. The Weeden family lived in the house from 1845-1956, except for during the Federal occupation of Huntsville during the Civil War when the home served as the living quarters of Federal officers.

Conde-Charlotte Home-Mobile

The gateway to Mobile's history, this c. 1850 Federal-style home was renovated from the city's first official jail. The Conde-Charlotte Museum has period rooms containing French, British, Confederate, and American antique furnishings, plus a charming walled Spanish Courtyard, that reflect Mobile's history under these five flags.

Richards DAR House-Mobile

The Richards DAR House is a historic house museum in Mobile, Alabama, United States. The Italianate style house was completed in 1860 for Charles and Caroline Richards. It is a contributing property to the De Tonti Square Historic District, which was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on February 7, 1972. The six Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) chapters in Mobile jointly operate and maintain the house.[3] It is noted by architectural historians as one of Mobile's best preserved and elaborate examples of mid-19th century domestic architecture

Fitzgerald Home-Montgomery

The Fitzgerald Home Museum-Montgomery

The Fitzgerald Museum operates out of the last extant house the Fitzgeralds lived in as a family during their lives. Construction of the home was completed c. 1910, and the Fitzgeralds lived here from the fall of 1931 through the spring of 1932. In the late '30s, the home was divided into a boarding house, and remained such until 1986 when it was saved from demolition by local residents Julian and Leslie McPhillips.

There is no other place in the world a lay person can visit to learn of Scott and Zelda's legacy. Julian McPhillips, a Princeton graduate, co-founded the Museum on the grounds that, though Scott and Zelda never bought a home nor settled down, they deserved one.

Hank Williams Home-Georgiana

This 1850 house is the only home remaining that Hank Williams lived in prior to becoming a Nashville star. It opened as a museum in 1993 and displays memorabilia, artifacts, pictures and some of the singer's personal belongings.

Rowan Oaks-Leeds

The Thomas Rowan residence (also called Rowan Oaks or the Rowan Oaks Historical Home) is a farmhouse built by Thomas Rowan and his son John Rowan at 1900 Montevallo Road in Leeds.

Rowan moved to a 130-acre farm which he purchased at auction in 1846 and built a small house on the site in 1854. It was greatly enlarged by Rowan's son in 1904. The family remained in the house through another generation, with the last occupant passing away in 1979.

Builder Charles Kessler, Jr purchased the deteriorating property in 1998 to develop Woodruff Farms. He was persuaded to donate the historic house to the Historical Society.

The wood structure with deep porches and pine floors was restored by the Leeds Historical Society beginning in 1999. With help from volunteers from Leeds First Baptist Church the house was repaired, re-roofed, air-conditioned, furnished and landscaped for use as a reception hall.

Gorgas House-Tuscaloosa

The Gorgas House Museum is the oldest structure on the University of Alabama campus. Built in 1829, the building served as a dining hall, hotel, and residence for the University’s Steward. Converted into a faculty residence in the 1840s, it was one of seven buildings to survive the campus Civil War burning in 1865.

Now, named for the Gorgas family that occupied the home from 1879-1953, the Museum houses original Gorgas furnishings, memorabilia, and a collection of 19th century artifacts. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1971.

Mooresville Community

Mooresville Community-Mooresville

Mooresville is one of the oldest incorporated towns in Alabama, having been incorporated on November 16, 1818, when Alabama was still a Territory. The entire town, described as a picturesque early 19th century village, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Andrew Johnson, later to become to 17th president of the United States, lived in Mooresville as an apprentice tailor when he was a young man. The Union Army occupied Mooresville several times during the Civil War, and a few skirmishes were fought in the vicinity.

Mooresville Post Office

The 1840 post office is the oldest in operation in Alabama and has call boxes dating before the American Civil War.

Constitution Village-Huntsville

Forty-four delegates of the constitutional convention gathered here in a vacant cabinet shop on July 5, 1819, to organize Alabama as the 22nd state. John Boardman’s print shop, Clement Comer Clay’s law office, the Federal Land Surveyor’s office, a post office and sheriff Stephen Neal’s residence surround that cabinet shop.

Today, the shade trees watch over a proud living village that captures Alabama’s history and spirit. Constitution Village is a unique and unforgettable journey into Alabama’s past.

All photography by Art Meripol for Alabama Tourism. Text from Wikipedia and the home's websites.

Belle Mont-Decatur

Belle Mont is a historic Jeffersonian-style plantation house near Tuscumbia in Colbert County, Alabama. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on February 23, 1982, due to its architectural significance.

Belle Mont was built between 1828 and 1832 for Dr. Alexander W. Mitchell, a native of Virginia. Mitchell, a graduate of the University of Edinburgh, was also one of the first large-scale planters and slaveholders in the area. Mitchell sold the 1,680-acre plantation to another Virginia native, Isaac Winston, in 1833. It remained in the Winston family until 1941. The house and 33 acres were donated to the Alabama Historical Commission in 1983. It has been undergoing a phased restoration since that time and is currently operated as a historic house museum.

Pond Spring, The General Joe Wheeler Home-Decatur

Pond Spring, the General Joe Wheeler Home is located in Lawrence County in north Alabama. The 50-acre site includes 12 historic buildings, gardens, and archaeological features that date back almost 5,000 years.

The main structure on the property is the post-Civil War home of Joseph Wheeler who was a Confederate lieutenant general, a U.S. congressman, a Spanish-American War general, and only one of two generals to achieve the rank of general in the U.S. army after the Civil War. The site gets its name from the large spring-fed pond located on the grounds.

Shorter Mansion-Eufaula

The Shorter Mansion is a Classical Revival-style historic house museum in Eufaula, Alabama. The two-story masonry structure was built in 1884 by Eli Sims Shorter II and his wife, Wileyna Lamar Shorter, but it burned in 1900. The house as seen today was built in 1906 and was designed by architect Curran R. Ellis of Macon, Georgia. Eli Sims Shorter died in 1908, but his wife resided in the house until 1927, when it was passed to their daughter, Fannie Shorter Upshaw. It was in turn inherited by Upshaw's daughter, Wileyna S. Kennedy, in 1959. The Kennedy family moved away from the city and the house was purchased by the Eufaula Heritage Association, initially formed in order to buy and restore the house.

Fendall Hall-Eufaula

Built in 1860 by Edward and Anna Young, Fendall Hall has been home to five generations of the Young family. The Italianate house contains elaborate and rare interior decorative painting dating from the 1880s, complemented by the striking black and white marble floor entry. Among its many treasures are family and period furnishings, marble mantles, hand-plastered crown-molding and Bohemian pocket doors.

The house is now open to the public after being purchased by the Alabama Historical Commission (AHC) in 1973 for preservation as a house museum. It is restored and interpreted to the 1880-1916 occupancy of the home

Sturdivant Hall-Selma

Sturdivant Hall, also known as the Watts-Parkman-Gillman Home, is a historic Greek Revival mansion and house museum in Selma, Alabama, United States. Completed in 1856, it was designed by Thomas Helm Lee for Colonel Edward T. Watts. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places on January 18, 1973, due to its architectural significance. Edward Vason Jones, known for his architectural work on the interiors at the White House during the 1960s and 70s, called it one of the finest Greek Revival antebellum mansions in the Southeast

Kenworthy Plantation-Eutaw

Kirkwood is a historic antebellum plantation mansion located in Eutaw. It is a Greek Revival style house with Italianate influences. The house has two primary floors and a large cupola crowning the low-pitched hipped roof. The roof eaves are ornamented with wooden brackets. A monumentally scaled portico with Ionic columns wraps around two sides of the house.

Kirkwood was built by Foster M. Kirksey, a cotton planter and cotton broker. Kirksey began building the house in 1857. Construction on the nearly completed house was halted by the Civil War. Kirksey lost a considerable portion of his fortune with the economic collapse of the south. He was able to retain possession of Kirkwood but he was never able to complete the house with the lavish details he had originally planned or to maintain it properly. The house remained in the Kirksey family until 1961. In 1972, Roy and Mary Swayze bought the home and began renovations with Mr. Swayze doing much of the work himself. When the Swayze’s painted the home in 1977, it was its first coat of paint since 1912 and took 200 gallons of paint. The Swayze family spent 15 years restoring Kirkwood. For their efforts, they was awarded a National Trust for Historic Preservation Honor Award in 1982.

Kenworthy Hall-Marion

Kenworthy Hall, also known as the Carlisle-Martin House, Carlisle Hall and Edward Kenworthy Carlisle House, is a plantation house two miles west of the Marion courthouse square. It was built from 1858 to 1860 and is one of the best preserved examples of Richard Upjohn's distinctive asymmetrical Italian villa style. It is the only surviving residential example of Upjohn's Italian villa style that was designed to suit the Southern climate and the plantation lifestyle. It has a massive four-story tower, windows of variable size and shape with brownstone trim, and a distinctly Southern division of family and public spaces. The building was designed and constructed for Edward Kenworthy Carlisle as his primary family residence and the centerpiece of his 440-acre estate. It, along with some of its surrounding ancillary structures, was declared a National Historic Landmark in 2004. The house and a purported ghost are featured as a short story in Kathryn Tucker Windham's 13 Alabama Ghosts and Jeffrey.


Reverie is a historic Greek Revival mansion built circa 1858 in Marion, Perry County, Alabama. It now serves as a historic house museum. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as a contributing property to the West Marion Historic District and was recorded by the Historic American Buildings Survey. Four white Doric columns of brick, covered with stucco, give this Greek Revival mansion it's monumental appearance. The house features a massive frieze board with dentil moldings which surrounds the entire home. Board siding and double hung paned windows are all original. A cupola or belvedere with classical balustrade sits atop the low-hipped roof and there is also a balcony above the entrance.

The mansion is a standard four-room over four-room house with a spacious central hall and grand, unsupported staircase, but also has two story cabinet rooms on the east and west sides. These flanking rooms were unusual at the time and, together with the portico, made the design quite distinctive. Two outbuildings survive: the original kitchen, now connected to the house, and a brick smokehouse.

All caption material taken from the various home web sites or Wikipedia.


All photos by Art Meripol for Alabama Tourism

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