General Info for the 2021 Tour of Homes

TOUR OF HOMES GENERAL INFORMATION:
Our Tour includes seven homes, two churches, and several sites downtown.
Everyone must bring their ticket to registration either Friday afternoon or Saturday to the Wilcox
Female Institute, our tour headquarters, 301 Broad Street, Camden, AL.
REGISTRATION HOURS:
Friday, March 26th – 4:30 pm – 6:30 pm
Saturday, March 27th – 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
• When you register you will exchange your ticket for an arm band that will get you into the
Welcome Reception and Tour of Homes. The Benefit Ball requires a separate ticket.
• We will you provide you with our 2021 Tour Brochure and Map at registration.
We will hold all events rain or shine. However, in the event of rain or saturated ground, we will
require you to either remove your shoes or wear shoe covers while in our Tour Homes. Each home will
have shoe covers available for your use.
The Tour of Homes Saturday, March 27th, hours are 10:00 am – 5:00 pm.
We will be following a number of safety protocols this year. At registration everyone will have their
temperature taken before receiving their arm band. If someone has a temperature they will receive a
full refund and will not be allowed entry. Masks must be worn properly inside at all times. Sanitation
stations will be set-up at each home with hand sanitizer, extra masks, etc.
Entry into the homes will be limited to small groups. Where possible there will be one entrance and one
exit. The Reception at RiverBend and Breakfast at the Brittany House are outdoor events (under tents),
but proper table spacing and food distribution protocols will be used. By taking these extra measures
we are doing all we can to ensure the health and safety of everyone.
There is no parking at RiverBend on Friday night. You must park in downtown Camden and ride
one of our courtesy shuttle buses to and from the Reception. They will run from 5:15 pm – 9:00 pm
except during Mr. Farmer’s talk at 7:00 pm.
RiverBend and Wakefield are not open for tours on Saturday. You can only see them by attending the
Welcome Reception or the Ball.
You do not have to register at the Female Institute to attend the Breakfast at The Brittany House
Antiques in Oak Hill. Simply show your ticket or Eventbrite printout for admission.
BREAKFAST, SATURDAY MORNING 3/27
The complimentary breakfast at Brittany House Antiques in Oak Hill (5921 AL Highway 21, Oak Hill,
Alabama – 15 miles from Camden) is Saturday morning from 8:30 am – 10:00 am. Please use proper
social distancing throughout the morning. This is a self-serve breakfast. There will be tables and
chairs for your use and you will be provided individual utensils to pick-up your food. The menu
includes: Homemade biscuits, ham, fresh fruit, breakfast pastries, coffee, and orange juice.
Here is the complete Tour of Homes Weekend Schedule:
Friday, March 26
4:30 pm – Registration opens at the Female Institute, 301 Broad Street, Camden, AL
5:15 pm – Shuttle Buses start running. There is no parking at RiverBend.
6:00 pm – Cocktail Party Begins at RiverBend
7:00 pm – James Farmer’s talk begins
9:00 pm – Last shuttle returns to Camden
Saturday, March 27
8:30 am – 10:00 am – Breakfast at The Brittany House – 5931 AL Hwy 21, Oak Hill, AL
9:00 am – Registration opens at the Female Institute – 301 Broad Street, Camden, AL
10:00 am – 5:00 pm – The 2021 Tour of Homes
7:30 pm – The Inaugural Pilgrimage Benefit Ball at Wakefield begins
Lunch locations Saturday, Saturday, 3/27 – 11:00 am – 2:00 pm
The Pecan on Broad – 110 Broad Street – Stand alone restaurant and gift shop, large menu
Masonic Lodge – 201 Broad Street -The Masons will be offering a Bar-B-Que lunch on the grounds of
their historic building.
Wilcox Female Institute – 301 Broad Street – Blue Spoon Catering is offering a sit-down lunch inside
the historic building. They will be offering Chicken Salad or Pimento Cheese Sandwiches and sides.
Gaines Ridge Supper Club – 933 AL Hwy 10 – Historic Gaines Ridge will be offering lunch from 11am
– 2pm. Dinner service will start at 4 pm. RESERVATIONS ARE REQUIRED.

GET TICKETS TO THE TOUR!

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/wilcox-historical-society-pilgrimage-tickets-88612435179

GET TICKETS TO THE BALL!
There are a limited number of tickets remaining to this year’s Benefit Ball at Wakefield, Circa 1847. It
is the only opportunity to see this beautiful home during the weekend. To get tickets to go:
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/89193884309

We would like to thank our Platinum Sponsors for their generous support!
The Pecan on Broad
Global Medical Products
UB Community Development, a community development partner with United Bank
Bailey Dunagan Properties & Investments
We look forward to seeing all of you this weekend!

2021 Wilcox Historical Society Tour of Homes

Featured

March 26 – 27, 2021

Due to the continued coronavirus pandemic, the Wilcox Historical Society has rescheduled its Tour of Homes in Camden, Alabama to March 26 – 27, 2021. If you had already purchased a ticket to the Pilgrimage in 2020, it will be honored in 2021.

The entire weekend will operate as originally scheduled with two exciting additions. James Farmer will still be the Guest Speaker at RiverBend Plantation on Friday night, March 26th. However, the expanded Tour now includes seven homes and two churches on Saturday, March 27th. The Brittany House Antiques at Oak Hill will provide ticket holders breakfast that morning as originally planned. In addition, the Inaugural Pilgrimage Ball, sponsored by the Furman Historical Society, will be held at Wakefield in Furman on Saturday Night, March 27th.

If you currently have a reservation at Liberty Hall Bed & Breakfast or the Capell House at Pebble Hill Bed & Breakfast, you will still have your rooms in March unless you call and cancel your reservation. Visitors staying at other hotels/venues must contact your provider to change your reservation.

As a thank you for your patience and support, two historic sites have been added to our Tour of Homes! The first addition is Pleasant Ridge, circa 1844. This tall-columned “big house” is not only the last extant brick antebellum house in Wilcox County, but also one of less that a dozen brick homes of the period to survive in the Black Belt.

We are also adding the historic Antioch Baptist Church. Opened in 1885, it is one of the oldest African-American churches in Wilcox County and was a crossroads of the civil rights movement. In fact, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke at the church twice in 1965.  

Other historic homes on the tour are: Yaupon – the Mathews-Tait-Rutherford House, circa 1840, River Bluff – the Beck-Bryant-Talbot House, circa 1840s, the Beck-Darwin-Coats House, circa 1846, the Strother-Gibbs House, circa 1900, House on the Hill – the Liddell-Phillippi Home, circa 1834,  and Liberty Hall – the McDowell-Harris home (hall and formal rooms only).

The Camden Associated Reformed Presbyterian Church will also be open for Tour. The building of the ARP church is almost four decades older than the church founding. The ARP congregation was organized in 1890 and they purchased an antebellum building, constructed in 1849, from the dwindling congregation of the Camden Cumberland Presbyterian Church. 

Other historic sites on tour are the Old Shoe Shop Museum, the Beck-Miller Law Office, circa 1840s and the Old Wilcox County Jail, constructed 1889 as well as the Tour and WHS headquarters, the Wilcox Female Institute, constructed in 1849 and Dale Lodge No. 25, constructed in 1848.

Please know the decision to move the Tour of Homes again has not been made lightly. We are keenly aware that many of you planned travel months in advance and adjusted those plans to join us for the Tour. Ultimately, the public health and safety of both our guests, homeowners, and our community must be our number one priority.

We will be following strict COVID protocols. Everyone will have a temperature check upon arrival, masks must be worn properly indoors at all times, and admittance to homes will be in small groups. We will also have sanitization stations at each site as well. It is our primary goal to keep everyone safe during a wonderful Tour!

Finally, you can help us immensely by continuing to spread the word about our date change and that tickets are still available. Tickets are available at  Eventbrite.com and locally at The Pecan on Broad  and Black Belt Treasures in Camden and The Brittany House Antiques at Oak Hill.

We hope to see you all in March!

For more information, please contact 256-975-7616.

2019 Wilcox Historical Society Tour of Homes

Wilcox County Historic Homes Tour 2019

Enjoy the day in Wilcox County touring historic homes and buildings while celebrating Alabama’s 200th birthday!

Join us Saturday, March 23 in beautiful Camden, Alabama as we celebrate our state and county history through a tour of many of the areas most well preserved, historically significant structures. The tour will be held from 10 AM to 5 PM.

The six historic homes on tour this year include the Bell-Moore Home – RiverBend (built in the late 1840s), St. Mary’s Church – the Hamilton Home (built 1857), the Sterrett-McWilliams Home (built 1851), the Capell House at Pebble Hill (built c. 1850), the Bethea-Strother-Stewart Home – Pleasant Ridge (built c. 1844) and the Jones-McIntosh-Hicks Home (built 1869).

Also on tour will be the Old Shoe Shop Museum in downtown Camden along with the tour headquarters – the Beck-Miller Law Office (built in the late 1840s). As a special feature two buildings downtown that are being renovated will also be open so you can experience the work in progress – The Pecan on Broad (the old Williams Pecan Company building) and the Old Wilcox County Jail (built 1889).

For lunch enjoy BBQ and sides at the Dale Masonic Lodge (built 1848) prepared by local members of the lodge or a chicken salad plate by Jackson’s Chicken at the Wilcox Female Institute (built 1849) from 11 AM – 2 PM.

Tickets to the tour also include admittance to the Welcome Reception on Friday evening, March 22 at 6 PM, at the Wilcox Female Institute featuring live music from harpist Katherine Newman and a presentation from Sarah Duggan on the county’s impact on our statehood. Ms. Newman is a member of the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra and holds a Master of Music from Auburn University where she studied with the legendary Marjorie Tyre. Guest speaker Ms. Duggan is the Coordinator and Research Curator of the Classical Institute of the South, a project at The Historic New Orleans Collection that documents historic decorative arts made or used in Gulf South. Hor d’oeuvres will be served at the reception.

Tickets are on sale now. They can be bought locally at Black Belt Treasures Cultural Arts Center in Camden or at The Brittany House Antiques at Oak Hill or online at eventbrite.com. Click here for the link to order online. Tickets can be purchased the day of the tour at tour headquarters – the Beck-Miller Law Office in Camden. Ticket prices are $35 for adults, $25 for WHS members, $10 for all students and children 6 and under free. Members please note that in order to receive your $10 discount your ticket must be purchased at Black Belt Treasures.

Before beginning the tour, please remember to pick up your brochure, map and wristband. Items will be available beginning at 5:30 PM at the Wilcox Female Institute on Friday, March 22 or Saturday, March 23 beginning at 9:30 AM at the Beck-Miller Law Office.

Let us know if you have any questions! We can be reached at P O Box 464, Camden, Alabama 36726, wilcoxhistoricalsociety@gmail.com or on the Wilcox Historical Society Facebook page

We look forward to seeing you in March!

Alabama Historical Association Fall Pilgrimage in Camden

AHA Tour

We are very pleased to welcome back the Alabama Historical Association to Camden! Not since 1980 has the AHA held a meeting in Wilcox County.

Friday, October 26 will be the pre-meeting in Furman at 1:30 PM.  The tour begins at Bethsaida Baptist Church. The sites to see in Furman will be Wakefield, Bethsaida Baptist Church, Furman Methodist Church, the Moore-Burson-Rushing home and the Palmer-Britt home and the newly restored Deerfield – the Perdue-Estes-Suggs home. Several special presentations are planned for the afternoon.

Also on Friday in Furman, the Britt family is hosting a full reception following the tour of their home for all participants.

The meeting will begin Saturday morning, October 27 in Camden. Registration, coffee and book sales will begin at 9 AM at the Dale Lodge. At 10:30 a program by Camden native, Daniel Fate Brooks will begin at the Camden United Methodist Church. After lunch beginning at 12:30, tours of homes in Camden and other sites will begin. The sites to see in Camden include the Jones-McIntosh-Hicks home, the Bagby-Beck-Horn-Liddell-Burford home, the Thompson-Spurlin-Matthews-Curry home, Old St. Mary’s Church-Hamilton home, the Sterrett-McWilliams home, the Wilcox Female Institute, Camden Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, the First Presbyterian Church, Dale Lodge, the Camden United Methodist Church, the Shoe Shop Museum, and the Black Belt Treasures Cultural Arts Center. Tours will end at 5 PM.

The registration fee is $40 per person which includes lunch on Saturday. Registrations must be received by October 17. Registration is available online using PayPal at www.alabamahistory.net.  Or checks payable to Alabama Historical Association can be mailed to: Alabama Historical Association, c/o CMD Center for the Arts & Humanities, Pebble Hill, Auburn University, AL 36849. Questions? Email alabamahistory@gmail.com.

Homes of the River’s Bend Tour

Homes of the River’s Bend Tour – March 25, 20172017-Tour-of-Homes-Brochure-Cover

Enjoy the Spring Tour of some of our area’s most beloved homes.

This year’s theme is “A Tour of the River’s Bend” as we open up homes in Canton Bend, Possum Bend, Sedan, and Camden.

Tickets are available at the Gee’s Bend Ferry Terminal and Black Belt Treasures Cultural Arts Center.

$20 for adults
$10 for youth.

For advanced tickets/group rates or additional information, please call (334) 682-4929.

 

Wilcox County Plantation Tour – September 27, 2003

The Wilcox Historical Society is sponsoring a special event on Saturday, September 27, 2003 in which historical homes, churches, and other sites in the Dry Fork, Possum Bend, Canton Bend “Plantation Bend” area of the Alabama River will be open for tour. The pilgrimage will start at 9:00 AM and conclude at 6:00 PM.  Tour headquarters will be the Wilcox Female Institute located on Broad Street in the town of Camden.  The price will be $15 for adults and $5 for students. Lunch will be available at GainesRidge Dinner Club and the Belleville Restaurant.  Funds raised from the event will be used to maintain the Female Institute, Beck-Miller Law Office, and to aid in the restoration of the Dunn-Fairley-Bonner Home which has been donated to the Wilcox Historical Society.

Homes scheduled to be on tour include “Youpon”(shown herein), Dry Fork Plantation, and many others which will announced in the Spring.  In addition, the Dunn-Fairley-Bonner Home, the Beck Miller Law Office, Canton Bend Methodist Church and Cemetery, and Camden Cemetery will be available for tour

Furman Spring Pilgrimage – April 12, 2003

Wakefield in Furman

The Furman Civic Club is sponsoring a one day event on Saturday, April 12, 2003 in which historical homes, churches, and sites in the Furman area will be open for tour. The tour will start at 9:00 AM and conclude at 6:00 PM. Tour headquarters will be the Furman Community Center (old school) located on Highway 59. The price will be $10 for adults and $5 for students, and lunch will be available at the school. Funds raised from the event will be used to maintain the Community Center and fund National Historic District signs to be placed on Highway 21.

Homes scheduled to be on tour include “Wakefield”, the classic steamboat gothic house featured in Silent in the Land, Patience Plantation, the Purifoy/Lipscomb home featured in Kathryn Tucker Windham’s Thirteen Ghosts and Jeffrey, “Fox Hill”, recently restored by Don and Katrina Bell, the Stabler Home, the Palmer-Barlow-Britt Home, and several other homes not previously on tour. In addition, Bethsaida Baptist Church, Furman Methodist Church, Palmer Cemetery, Old Snow Hill Cemetery, and Snow Hill Cemetery will be available for tour.

Furman was designated a National Historic District in 1999 and has many antebellum homes and structures still standing. The town has a fascinating history beginning circa 1802 when the first settlers came to the area from South Carolina. Most of the Wilcox County towns were settled by Scotch and English settlers, and Furman also to some degree. However, many of the early settlers of Furman came from the South Carolina low country and were of French ancestry. The Snow family settled on the high hill now the site of Old Snow Hill Cemetery around this date, and thus the present day Furman community was known as Snow Hill. It was renamed Furman at a later date, and a new community was founded a few miles to the west – Snow Hill. Furman Academy was a popular school in the late 1800’s and is the predecessor of present day Huntingdon College in Montgomery.

Some fascinating persons came from this small town, including Elkanah Burson, an attache’ to General Robert E. Lee. Mr. Burson, a original member of the Wilcox True Blues company and later to serve in the Alabama House of Representatives, delivered the Confederacy surrender papers to General Ulysses Grant at Appomattox. He then returned home to Furman. (His great granddaughter is now the owner of Wakefield.) Some direct descendants of these original settlers still own homes and property in Furman, and will be hosts at the pilgrimage.