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Eutaw is a town of about 1,900 people in west-central Alabama, the area known as the Black Belt for its rich, black soil. The downtown area is within easy walking distance of our house ... heck, everything's within walking distance of our house.



Eutaw was founded and became the seat of Greene County in 1838 (Alabama became a state in 1819, and Greene County was also formed in 1819, before the state; Alabama's oldest standing house dates to 1814). Eutaw was named after Nathaniel Greene's Revolutionary War victory at Eutaw Springs, S.C. The years before the Civil War were the town's boom time because of its fertile soil and access to the Black Warrior River. Naturally, that collapsed somewhat after the war, and now the Black Belt counties are some of the poorest in the nation.



Eutaw is home to 53 antebellum houses - most Greek Revival or Raised Creole Cottage - 27 of which are on the National Register of Historic Places (one right next door to our house). There are also many Victorian cottages and a few larger Queen Annes. We have some newer neighborhoods, but the historic houses clearly dominate the little town. It's fascinating to look south from our backyard and see things looking about the same as they would've looked 100 years ago (except, I suppose the field would've been planted since a farmer built our house).



Our house is on the main road from the interstate, Mesopotamia Street, named after the town of Mesopotamia that was settled before 1818 by Presbyterians and later became part of Eutaw.

To the east of our house are the tiny hospital and downtown; to the west are the high school and the huge Mesopotamia Cemetery, where all the previous owners of our house are buried.

Here are thumbnail photos from our neighborhood. Click on the photos for larger versions.
Antebellum
Meriwether-Steele House, 1842; has two front parlors where the original owners hosted cotillions Kirkwood, 1860; Eutaw's best-known house 1840s; a popular house style in Eutaw Shadowlawn Webb-Grubbs-Aycock House, 1840, National Register; fabulous home of our fabulous friends D&K
Attoway R. Davis-Richardson House, 1820s-1840, National Register; the one-story front was added on after the house was moved to Eutaw from across the Warrior River c. 1840. This house was about to fall down and is now being completely (and beautifully) restored by a couple who already fixed up one house in town. Alexander-Webb-Wilson House, 1836; originally a stagecoach inn; since this photo is has been fixed up and repainted
Victorian
Murphy-Henderson House, 1896. This is the house our Mary Julia Dunlap (previously Murphy) lived in before her first husband died. She sold the house in 1902, the year she built our house. The house has a lot of similar features to ours but on a grander scale. Makes sense because the first hubby was a banker and the second was a farmer. Magnolia on Main, 1904; this is Judy's house, Darwin's aunt's sister. Greek Revival on the outside, Victorian on the inside.
William R. Ward Cottage, 1896; built by noted area builder Brough Morrow-Burch House, 1892; now a law office and very cutely purple Little House on the Corner (my name for it), 1892, and recently renovated by our friends
Churches
St. Stephens Episcopal Church, 1914; after the original frame building (built in 1848) was destroyed by fire in 1913, this brick structure was built. The park beside the Episcopal church. It has a great swingset that adult-sized fannies can fit in. I know; I tested them. Presbyterian church, 1851

Read a great newspaper article about the old house situation in our area here.

Look for historic properties for sale in Alabama here.

Eutaw, Alabama Links:

Eutaw Antiques, our friend Ron's store
The Hwy. 14 Antique Trail
Hwy. 11 Antique Alley
West Alabama Antiques
Courthouse Antiques
Kirkwood Mansion
Greene County, Alabama, official site
Alabama's Canebrake, according to this site, we're in the Canebrake region, though I've never in my life heard it referred to that way. (It's always Black Belt for the rich soil.)
Oakmont Bed & Breakfast
Greenetrack, ugh
Black Belt Fact Book
Greene County Alabama GenWeb


E-mail: kristin (at) 1902victorian.com