Tour is first glimpse of homes since ’76

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 17, 2004

GREENSBORO-Winifred Cobbs and the Hale County Historical Society are getting ready to offer the residents of West Alabama a chance to view something that hasn’t been seen since 1976.

Cobbs said this is the first time since 1976 that all of these homes and churches have been open to the public. She also said the society decided to hold this tour during the summer months because every other society else holds theirs in spring or fall.

“The majority of the money raised will go to the completion of the old Opera House,” Cobbs said.

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A tour of historic homes and churches will take place in Greensboro this Saturday, June 19 between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Two historic churches and five homes will be open to the public.

The Greensboro Presbyterian Church, built in 1859, and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, built in 1840 and the third oldest Episcopal Church in Alabama, offer remarkable examples of the translation of spiritual and theological beliefs through the medium of architecture. The five homes will include Magnolia Grove, the Noel-Ramsey House, the Harvey House, the Snedecor-Walton-Washburn House, and the Wiel-McMurray-Latture.

Magnolia Grove, the birthplace of Spanish American War hero, Richmond Pearson Hobson, and one of Alabama’s great mansions, and the Noel-Ramsey House, built by members of the French Vine and Olive Colony and Greensboro’s oldest surviving house, are both maintained as museum homes and feature period furnishing and special historical collections commemorating Greensboro’s past.

The remaining three homes are all privately owned and have been selected to feature the “historic cottage.” These three homes, dating respectively from 1848, 1870, and 1894, reflect the architectural variety of cottage genre, the grace with which historic homes can be adapted to modern living, and the personal taste of the owners. A tea party will be held for tour participants at the Harvey House.

The tour which is being sponsored by the Hale County Historical Society with proceedings going to the restoration of the Greensboro Opera House and to magnolia Grove and the Noel-Ramsey House. Admission, which includes the two churches, all five homes, and the tea party at the Harvey house, is $25 for adults, $10 for students 12 and older, free for those under 12.