Greene County hosts tour of homes, churches
special to The Star
Oct. 9, 2002
EUTAW, Ala. This year's annual tour of homes and churches in Greene County, Ala., will offer new stops to those interested in Victorian and antebellum homes, antiques and fascinating church architecture.
This year's home tour allows you to visit homes from several different periods. Four Oaks, which has not been open to the public since it was shown on a Christmas tour seven years ago, was begun in 1823 as a modest home for its owners.
As the family's fortunes grew, the home was enlarged and embellished. The home's most extensive refurbishing, in 1850, added front rooms with 14-foot ceilings, heart pine floors, plaster medallions, and a portico with octagonal columns.
The Herndon-Liverman House was built in Erie, Ala., in 1829, and moved to the Eutaw area in 1843. This home, sometimes known as the "Half-House," was built in the typical New England Salt Box style by some of the first pioneers to this area. It has not been on tour for five years, and has had much work done to the grounds and interior since that time.
The Murphey-Dunlap House, is an example of a typical Southern raised cottage. Built in 1847, it has unusual features, including a brick-floored winter kitchen in the basement, beautiful heart pine floors, and a sweeping staircase. A small dependency in the back and wonderful period furnishings add more interest to the site.
The builders of Oakmont loved the classical Greek Revival style, but were practical, modern, turn-of-the-century people. The exterior of the home boasts huge columns and a "widow's walk" in the earlier 1850s style.
The interior was constructed with "modern" Victorian conveniences. The home, built in 1908, has been shown on past tours, but has had much work done to both the gardens and interior this year.
A tour of the homes of Eutaw would not be complete without including Kirkwood a showplace for Alabama and the entire Southeast.
Construction of the home began at the peak of the South's prosperity in 1860, but was halted by the Civil War. It wasn't completed for more than a century, using the original blueprints found in a hidden storeroom in the attic.
In addition to the home tours, several other sites of interest will be open. There will be four churches open to the public including the Ebenezer Presbyterian Church in nearby Clinton, Ala..
The Historical Society has gathered all available funds and has done a great amount of restoration to the interior this year. The plaster ceiling and walls of the church have been restored and painted, and the original feather-grained pews have been cleaned.
This church has a simple exterior and an elegant interior, reminiscent of some of the early churches of rural towns in Virginia.
In addition to the tours, there are several other events are planned. There will be an antique show, held in downtown Eutaw, sponsored by West Alabama Antiques.
Jimmy Charles, who owns West Alabama Antiques, is known for antiques typical of the antebellum period and for frequent estate auctions. The antique show is a wonderful chance to get on the auction mailing list.
There is another unusual feature to the tour this year. Several Victorian and antebellum homes are for sale. An open house is planned on Saturday in the homes that are still available for sale at the time of the pilgrimage.
It is hoped that people who are in the market for homes, love the ambience of old homes, and can't resist Eutaw's very reasonable property prices will buy homes and join the community.
Ticket sales for the tour will begin at the Vaughn Morrow House, the historical society headquarters, at 8:30 a.m. Saturday. There will be coffee and pastries available for purchase, along with snacks, homemade cakes, pies and rolls, all baked by the ladies of the Mennonite community in Geiger.
Bob Fielder, an antique silver dealer from Montgomery, will set up inside the headquarters with hundreds of items of silver flatware, many from discontinued patterns. This is a chance to find the missing items from your grandmother's silver service. Lunch will be available on the grounds.
WANT TO GO?
What: Greene County Tour of Homes and Churches
When: Oct. 12, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Oct. 13, 1 p.m.-5 p.m.
Tickets: $20 for adults; $12 for children under 12. Group tickets are available for groups of 10 or more at $15 each.
For information: (205) 752-7233 or (205) 372-9878