2020 Wilcox Historical Society Tour of Homes

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MOVED TO SEPTEMBER 25-26!

Due to the corona virus outbreak, the Wilcox Historical Society has rescheduled its Pilgrimage in Camden, Alabama, from March 27 – 28 to September 25 – 26, 2020. If you have already purchased a ticket to the Pilgrimage it will be honored in September.

The entire weekend will operate as originally scheduled. James Farmer will be the Guest Speaker at RiverBend Plantation on Friday night, 9/25. All six homes will be open to tour Saturday, 9/26, and The Brittany House Antiques will provide ticket holders breakfast that morning as originally planned. In addition, the First Annual Pilgrimage Ball, sponsored by the Furman Historical Society, will be held at Wakefield in Furman on Saturday Night, 9/26.

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 September unless you call and cancel your reservation. Visitors staying at other hotels/venues must contact your provider to change your reservation.

This decision has not been made lightly and we are keenly aware that many people planned travel months in advance to join us for the Pilgrimage. Ultimately, the public health and safety of both our guests and our community must be our number one priority.

Again, please know how much we value your continued support of our Pilgrimage and regret any inconvenience this will cause. We feel however that rescheduling this special weekend to September 25 -26, 2020, is the only responsible course of action in these most unusual circumstances.

We hope to see you all in September!

For more information, please contact 256-975-7616. Tickets are available at wilcoxhistoricalsociety.org at The Pecan on Broad, Black Belt Treasures, and The Brittany House Antiques in Oak Hill.

Following is the original Tour information:

Camden and the surrounding area will be the site of the Wilcox Historical Society’s 2020 Tour of Homes!

Join us Saturday, March 28 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 historic homes on tour this year include Yaupon– the Matthews-Tait-Rutherford Home, River Bluff Plantation – the Beck-Bryant-Talbot Home, the Strother-Gibbs Home, House on the Hill – the Liddell-Phillippi Home and the Beck-Darwin-Hicks Home.

This year’s tour also includes a Living History event at Liberty Hall! Company F of the 31st Alabama Infantry CSA and the 20th Kentucky Volunteers USA will be camping in the pecan grove on the grounds. They are a family unit of reenactors that represent both sides of the Civil War. At 10:30 AM, 1:30 PM and 3:00 PM they will reenact the day the Union troops arrived at Liberty Hall. At 12 PM Living Historian Scotty Myers will portray Jefferson Davis from the balcony of Liberty Hall, speaking to the citizens of Alabama as he traveled through the state in 1864. Liberty Hall – the McDowell – Harris Home will also have the hall and formal rooms open for touring.

Churches in downtown Camden on the 2020 tour are the First Presbyterian Church and the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church.

Also on tour will be the Old Shoe Shop Museum in downtown Camden along with the Beck-Miller Law Office, the Dale Lodge and the Old Wilcox County Jail.

Tickets to the tour also include admittance to the Welcome Reception on Friday evening, March 27 at 6 PM, at RiverBend Plantation. Special guest speaker will be Mr. James Farmer, noted Southern author and interior designer. Wine and hor d’oeuvres will be served at the reception. The reception is sponsored by The Pecan on Broad and The Brittany House Antiques.

Ticket holders are invited to a complimentary Southern Breakfast at The Brittany House Antiques in Oak Hill from 8:30 AM – 10:00 AM Saturday morning.

Lunch will be available for purchase in downtown Camden at the Dale Lodge – BBQ and sides, the Wilcox Female Institute – Blue Spoon Cooking Company, and The Pecan on Broad – sandwiches, salads, sides and desserts from 11 Am – 2 PM. Other restaurants in Camden open for lunch Saturday are Jackson’s Fried Chicken, Larry’s Drive In, and Rack and Reel Sports Grill.

In addition, the Furman Historical Society is sponsoring the first annual Pilgrimage Ball at Wakefield in Furman, Saturday night, March 28th featuring period music by the string band Un-Reconstructed to conclude the weekend’s festivities. Antebellum period civilian dress or formal attire is requested. Ticket prices are $75 per person/$150 per couple. Click here to purchase tickets to the Ball. Tickets are limited. Please note that tickets to the Ball are separate from the Tour.

Tickets are on sale now! Purchase online at eventbrite.com starting January 10th. Click here for the link to order online. Tickets can be purchased in Wilcox County beginning on Friday, January 24th at Black Belt Treasures Cultural Arts Center or The Pecan on Broad in Camden or at The Brittany House Antiques at Oak Hill and on the day of the tour at tour headquarters – the Wilcox Female Institute in Camden. Ticket prices are $40 for adults, $35 for a group of 10 or more, $30 for WHS members*, students** $25 and children*** 6 and under free. *Members please note that in order to receive your $10 discount your ticket must be purchased locally. ** Student tickets valid with student ID,  not available online. *** Children tickets not available online.

Before beginning the tour, please remember to pick up your brochure, map and wristband at tour headquarters. Items will be available beginning at 2:30 PM until 6:30 PM at the Wilcox Female Institute on Friday, March 27th or Saturday, March 28th beginning at 8:30 AM.

Let us know if you have any questions! We can be reached at P O Box 464, Camden, Alabama 36726, wilcoxhistoricalsociety@gmail.com or message us on the Wilcox Historical Society Facebook page or Instagram page. Discounted ticket pricing available for groups of 10 or more when tickets are purchased in advance by calling the tour coordinator.  The Tour Coordinator can be reached at 256-975-7616.

We look forward to seeing you in March!

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.