On Saturday, December 3rd from 3 – 5PM, members of the Wilcox Historical Society and guests are invited to the annual Christmas Open House at Magnolia Glen – the Palmer-Barlow-Britt Home in Furman. Come enjoy fellowship and refreshments!
Magnolia Glen, circa 1833, was featured in Victoria Magazine’s 2020 Christmas issue and was the featured home of the 2021 New Orleans Antique Forum. It has been featured on numerous Wilcox Historical Society homes tours and is simply breathtaking decorated for the Christmas season.
Please plan on attending our next meeting, Sunday, October 9th, 2pm at Rosemary in the Millers Ferry area of Wilcox County near Camden.
Our speakers will be Mason McGowin, a descendant of the Mathews family; Carter Fowlkes, a descendant of the Cade and Mathews families, along with Rosemary owner, Brock Jones. They will share with us the history of the home and residents.
Rosemary Plantation sits near the Alabama River and was built on the highest land in the river valley. The home, circa 1856, was built for the Peter Early Mathews family on roughly 2,000 acres of land planted originally in cotton.
Near the home, a steamboat landing known as “Mattie’s Landing” named for Peter and Virginia’s daughter, Mattie, allowed for the transfer of freight and passengers.
Everyone is welcome to attend! We do hope our guests consider becoming a Wilcox Historical Society member and help us preserve the history of Wilcox County, Alabama.
(Click here for a link to our WHS Winter 2022 newsletter for history of Rosemary Plantation and the Mathews family.)
Our next meeting will be Sunday afternoon, September 18th at 2pm at the Wilcox Female Institute in Camden.
Dr. Ashley A. Dumas will be speaking on The Search for Mabila and Medieval Spaniards in Alabama.
“For more than a century, historians, archaeologists and anthropologists have scoured areas of west Alabama in search of the remains of Mabila – a fortified Indian village where, in October 1540, the forces of notorious Spanish conquistador Hernando de Soto clashed with Native American warriors under the direction of their dynamic leader, Chief Tascalusa.” This battle is believed to be the largest battle every found between Europeans and the indigenous people of North America.
Now supported by a growing collection of artifacts, Dr. Dumas and the University of West Alabama team are convinced they are within a few miles of finding the site of the town and the infamous battle.
Dr. Dumas is the Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of West Alabama in Livingston. She is an archaeologist specializing in the late prehistory and history of the Southeastern United States.
Everyone is welcome to attend!
The Wilcox Historical Society is sponsoring a classical music concert Saturday night, September 24th at 7:00 pm at the Camden ARP Church. Entitled “Mozart and Friends,” this concert marks the return of the Harvest Arts Ensemble to Camden. Following the concert there will be a reception and Art Show at the Female Institute.
The concert will feature a Harp Quintet including performers on Violin, Viola, and Cello in addition to Wilcox County favorites Madeline Cawley, Flute and Hannah Cope Johnson, Harp. The violinist and violist perform with the Nashville Symphony and the cellist just returned from a nationwide Broadway Tour of Oklahoma! Over forty tickets have already been sold for this concert. “We are thrilled to be hosting another world class concert in Camden” stated WHS President Lance Britt. “We hope everyone will seize this opportunity to experience an evening of fantastic music including Mozart’s Concerto for Flute and Harp.” To purchase tickets: eventbrite.com.
Our annual Christmas Open House will be held at historic Wakefield in Furman, Saturday,December 4th from 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm. Refreshments will be served and the house will be decorated for the season in preparation for a Victoria Magazine photo shoot the following week. Members and guests are welcome! We would like to thank members Tom and Sylvia Rushing for opening their home to us for this special event.
Christmas Concerts in Camden! Madeline and Hannah are coming back and they have added concert dates in Camden to their schedule! They will be performing their Christmas Concert at the Wilcox Female Institute Friday, December 17th and Saturday, December 18th at 7:00 pm. Friday night tickets are available at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/216424109337 Saturday night tickets are available at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/214206125287 These Concerts will be a wonderful way to celebrate the Christmas Season.
Christmas in Furman will be Sunday night, December 19th. The historic homes will all be illuminated and a beautiful sight! The driving tour begins at dusk. A Christmas Musical Service will be held at 6:00 pm at the newly restored Bethsaida Baptist Church, circa 1860, in Furman.
We hope you enjoy a wonderful holiday season of celebration with family and friends!
We are pleased to offer two concerts at the Wilcox Female Institute in Camden on Friday, September 10th and Saturday, September 11th at 7PM featuring French Impressions music of Debussy, Saint Saens and more! Musicians Mary Grace Bender, cello; Madeline Cawley, flute; and Hannah Johnson, harp, as presented by Harvest Arts!
Purchase your ticket for Friday night: here or Saturday night: here.
Set on the Eastern Side of Wilcox County, Historic Furman, Alabama, is the site of the Wilcox Historical Society’s Tour of Homes, Saturday, March 26, 2022. This year’s tour includes nine homes and two historic churches. Registration will be at Furman Methodist Church both Friday and Saturday. All ticket holders will need to register at the church to receive an arm band, brochure and map.Your arm band is needed for all events!
The Tour this year will include the Purifoy-Lipscomb Home, c 1840; Moore-Burson-Rushing Home, c 1885; Wakefield Plantation, c 1840s; Magnolia Glen – the Palmer-Barlow-Britt Home, c 1833; Laura Ann – the Watson-Moorer-Tabor Home, c 1860; Rockwood – the Cox-Robbins-Kennedy-Snyder Home, c 1855; Deerfield – the Perdue-Williams-Estes-Suggs Home, c 1895, Fox Hill, c 1840s and Patience Plantation, c 1841. The two churches on the Tour will be Bethsaida Baptist Church, c 1858 and Furman Methodist Church, c 1882. Also on tour is the original Alabama Baptist Newspaper building – first published in 1843.
For our VIP Guests, the weekend starts with a Welcome Reception Friday Night, March 25, 2022, at 6:00 pm, on the grounds of Historic Wakefield Plantation in Furman. This special event will feature wine and hor d’oeuvres provided by one of our Platinum Sponsors, The Pecan on Broad in Camden, Alabama. Valet parking will be provided. Cocktail attire.
Our special guest speaker at the reception will be P. Allen Smith. Mr. Smith is often described as one of America’s most talented garden designers. Read more about him below.
Also at the reception enjoy music from Tommy Ward. Mr. Ward has been compared to Frank Sinatra and Michael Buble. He is a singer and musician with a classic sound and silky voice. See below to listen to one of his recent YouTube videos.
Tickets are available online (see link below) and will be available for purchase the day of the Tour and Friday beginning at 5:00 pm.Members – please note: the $10 discount can only be given on tickets purchased locally.
–Schedule for Friday, March 25th (for VIP ticket holders only): Registration at Furman Methodist Church opens at 5:00 pm. Welcome Reception at Wakefield begins at 6:00 pm. Reception Guest Speaker, P. Allen Smith begins at 7:00 pm.
–Schedule for Saturday, March 26th: Breakfast at The Brittany House Antiques in Oak Hill from 8:30 -10:00 am. Registration at Furman Methodist Church opens at 9:30 am. The Tour of Homes from 10:00 am – 5:00 pm. Lunch at the Furman School and KayBri from 11:00 am – 2:00 pm.
-The Tour of Homes on Saturday, March 26th is from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm central time.
–Lunch locations Saturday, March 26th – 11:00 am – 2:00 pm will be in Furman at KayBri located at 8654 Freedom Farm Road aka County Road 59 in Furman (across from Bethsaida Baptist Church) and at the Furman Community Center located at 8191 County Road 59 in Furman. Lunch at the Community Center will be catered by The Pecan on Broad. Please see below for lunch menus.
–Pop-Up Shops featuring The Pecan on Broad, Fox and Hen, Black Belt Treasures and Coast to Coast Hardware -all from Camden, will be located at the Furman School.
–Restroom locations on Saturday will be at Bethsaida Baptist Church, Furman Methodist Church, KayBri, Little House – Moore-Rushing Home (stop #9 – behind the house in the boot room) and the Furman School.
–Furman is located about 35 miles from Greenville off I-65, about 40 miles from Selma, and 21 miles from Camden. From Mobile via I-65 Furman is 155 miles, from Birmingham – 153 miles, and from Montgomery – 74 miles.
-Hotel availability in nearby Greenville – Best Western, Comfort Inn, Days Inn, Hampton Inn and Holiday Inn Express.
P. Allen Smith, often described as one of America’s most talented garden designers, is the product of five generations of southern nurserymen. His foundational childhood experiences in planting naturally led to an appreciation for horticulture, genetic diversity, plant pairing and for an orderly and holistic approach to work. Later, as a garden and landscape graduate student in England, his design processes were refined to embrace each site’s unique characteristics and the needs of each unique commissioning family. Eschewing fashion, Mr. Smith identifies and sensitively accentuates the natural gifts of the landscape, imparting balance, harmony and beauty in the classic tradition of Palladio, Brown, and Repton. His designs are an expression of his client’s lifestyle and their legacy melding site with living material and improvements to create environments that mature and improve with the seasons. And Mr. Smith’s many esoteric interests and insights allow for a myriad of inclusions such as ornamented aviaries, sheep pastures, walled gardens, fruit orchards, kitchen herb gardens, container gardens, stumperies, rare rose collections, wildflower and pollinator fields, apiaries, ponds, and architecturally appropriate built structures and follies. The result for his clients are timeless gardens and landscapes.
Part of Mr. Smith’s life mission is to share his knowledge and enthusiasm for design and beauty. His generosity of spirit has produced a significant body of accessible work for the public. To date, he is the author of six bestselling books, host and producer of one of PBS’s most successful and award-winning television shows, he runs a media enterprise focused on garden design and health, he is a speaker at many of the country’s important architectural and historic homes (and opens his own home to the public each Spring and Fall). He is regularly quoted in national publications and was a regular garden contributor on the Today Show and Good Morning America. Mr. Smith’s work has been featured in the New York Times, The Washington Post, Architectural Digest, People Magazine, Elle Décor, House Beautiful, Traditional Home, Southern Living, Southern Accents, Flower Magazine and over 100 additional publication titles. Mr. Smith is deeply passionate and involved with preservation and conservation efforts. In addition to green building and material use in his designs, he is a trustee of Winterthur House, a former board member of the Royal Oak Society (of the British National Trust), is a certified fellow of the Royal Horticultural Society, an honorary member of the Garden Club of America, the Honorary President of the Herb Society of America, and a life member of the Livestock Conservancy, Rare Breeds Trust (UK) and the Society for the Preservation of Poultry Antiquities. He is a TEDx speaker and the founder of the Heritage Poultry Conservancy. Mr. Smith makes his permanent home with his partner, two Scottish Terriers, and hundreds of heritage birds in Arkansas, where his voracious appetite for new projects, design challenges and sharing his love of the garden with new friends takes shape at his design studio and farm. His visit is sponsored by The Pecan on Broad, The Fox and Hen in Camden, and Bailey Dunagan Properties & Investments.
Tommy Ward, jazz crooner from Las Vegas, will be our musical guest at the VIP Welcome Reception on Friday night!
Menus for Saturday’s Lunch
A SPECIAL THANKS TO OUR 2022 TOUR OF HOME SPONSORS
Platinum Sponsors – The Pecan on Broad, The Brittany House Antiques, Fox and Hen Camden, Bailey Dunagan Properties & Investments, Laura and Schley Rutherford and John and Zoe Hunter
Gold Sponsor – Town-Country United Bank
Silver Sponsors – Coast to Coast Hardware Camden, Handiman Building Supply, Garland and Lathrop Smith and Black Belt Treasures Cultural Arts Center
Bronze Sponsors – Wilcox Progressive Era, Commissioner’s Pit Stop, Whitaker Drugs, Camden Jewelry & Gifts, McGraw-Webb Chevrolet, Urban Cookhouse, Holman Insurance, Community Neighbor Bank, Big Daddy Lawler, Wilcox Area Chamber of Commerce and Albritton’s Florist