And now, Jane Stewart Bird has one of her own, she calls it her “grand lady, wrinkles and cracks and all.”
Bird’s home is in Eutaw in South Alabama, and has been a featured stop on the Green County Historical Society’s yearly Tour of Homes, which takes place this year Oct. 10 and 11.
Bird often returns to Talladega to visit family, and also to enjoy the April in Talladega tours when she can.
She and others in the Greene County Historical Society are issuing a “warm welcome” and offering a good time to their Talladega friends, hoping many can come for this year’s tour.
Bird left Talladega when she went to college and lived in Tuscaloosa for a number of years.
She and her husband moved to Greene County when they bought their Federal style home 17 years ago.
Built in 1826-just seven years after Alabama became a state-the Birds’ home sits on four acres.
“It was a complete re-do,” Bird said. “And the bad part is we actually lived in it while we were restoring it.”
The house was in such bad shape even the ceiling was hanging down in places, Bird said.
“If we hadn’t come along when we did, I feel like it would probably have been in utter despair before too long,” she said. “Like most people will say, it truly is a labor of love to do this,” she said. “And it takes people who enjoy doing this kind of thing. I feel like these old homes are ours to take care of.”
Bird has researched the history of her house, and discovered that a Presbyterian minister who earned his Ph.D at the University of Georgia built her house.
There are five homes on the Greene County tour this year.
The Asa White-Colson House was built in 1838 by Asa White and one of its interesting features is a two-tiered covered gallery that runs across the front of the house. The gallery has six doorways to the porches, which are trimmed with distinctive millwork. A grand staircase goes from the first to the third floor. It’s architectural style is considered transitional between Federal and Greek Revival. The home is now owned by Fred and Vickie Colson, descendants of Henry McGiffert, who bought the home in 1877.
Everhope Plantation was built in 1852 by Nathan Mullin Carpenter. The antebellum home was part of a 662 acre plantation and is classic Greek Revival. Four great columns welcome visitors to the front entry, which opens into a central hall with two rooms on each side on both levels. The house is completely restored and is owned by David and Patti Harmon.
Built in 1840 by William F. Pierce, Merrifield is a raised cottage style house and the main living area is on the second floor, over a full house ground story. Walls in the house are 12 inches thick. Rooms are placed “four over four,” and there is a wide center hall.
The Head Gillum House has an open floor plan with very high ceilings and is a story and a half. A stairway is in the rear of the house. The three dormer windows and the porch balustrade were added later, the house was originally built in 1857. The house is now owned by John and Linda Gillum, who have recently completed restoring the house.
The Victorian house known as Aunt Carrie’s House features its construction date of 1895 incorporated into the gingerbread used on the façade. The house has been restored by owners Larry Sexton and Michael Turner.
Also open for the tour this year is the Vaughn Morrow House, the center for the tour and the place where tickets are sold. It is located at 310 Main Street in Eutaw. St. Stephens Church and First Presbyterian Church are also open both afternoons.
Tours take place Saturday and Sunday, from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Saturday and from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. Sunday.
Lunches and snacks will be available and there will also be a sale of baked goods and a display and sale of silver flatware. There will also be an estate jewelry sale and a display of coin collections.
Tickets for the tour are $20 for adults and $10 for children. They will be available the days of the tour at the center (the Vaughn Morrow House).
You may call 205/372-2326.