Pilgrimage 2016

Seven homes that spanned more than a century of history and architectural styles were open to the public on March 18-19, 2016 for the 41st Historic Selma Pilgrimage.

Guests will be inspired by Selma’s vision for preservation and the diversity of architecture with homes built from the 1830s to the mid-1950s,” said Pilgrimage Chairman Greg Bjelke. “Some of the homes are new to Pilgrimage, and others are old favorites with new owners,” he added. Three houses were in the midst of major renovations so that pilgrims could view the transformation. Others were in pristine condition.

The homes tour was located entirely in the downtown historic district, many within walking distance of each other. But visitors took time to see many other venues.

Woolsey House

c. 1880

A two-story Victorian on Tremont Street with Italianate influence and a handsome tower in the center. It was restored around 1985. Many prominent Selma families have called this structure home, including the Woolsey, King and Craig families.

 

Converse-Jackson

c. 1955

A Colonial Revival featuring a grand entry and Ionic columns. It stands on the site of the former Confederate Col. N.H.R. Dawson home, and some of the features from that home, such as the carved front doors, were salvaged and used in this dwelling. Dawson was married to President Abraham Lincoln’s sister-in-law, Elodie Todd. The house is owned by David and Sharon Jackson. Mrs. Jackson is the author of Images of America: Selma, published in 2011.

Parkman-Smitherman

c. 1839

A two-story Greek Revival recently purchased by Steve and Erika Smitherman. Once known as “Tremont Mansion House,” it was built before 1837 and then moved to its present location some time after 1839. The house once served as a home for orphaned children, and a small building on the property served as the Miss Kitty Young School and Home High School.


Reese-Hain-Nixon House

c. 1930

A fine example of the Renaissance Revival style. This two-story stucco home features paired Ionic columns. Located on Dallas Avenue, it is owned by Lotti Nixon and is under renovation.

Hooker-McEachern

c. 1866

A brick, two-story Federal dwelling with Italianate influences. Located on Dallas Avenue, the home is owned by Chad McEachern.  One of its former occupants, Hattie Hooker Wilkins, was a leading Alabama suffragist and the first woman elected to the Alabama legislature. She will be featured in the Saturday evening Ghost Walk.

Hampshire-McEachern

c. 1880

A raised Victorian cottage on Dallas Avenue that is now the home of the Chad McEachern family. It was built by Joseph Hampshire and willed to the adopted daughter of his business partner. Luci Baines Johnson, President Johnson’s daughter, stayed here during the 50th Jubilee.  She also penned a note and gave the owner a tie tack from her father’s time in the White House that will be on display.

Smith-Walker House

c. 1903

A Classical Revival built by Julien Smith, who once was Selma’s city engineer. Corinthian colonnades and Ionic capitals give the entrance to this 1903 home a palatial appearance. Look for interior columns and lots of leaded glass inside. This magnificent home was renovated by Glenn and Edie Delp and is now owned by Louise Walker. The home will open for the Friday Evening reception tour only.

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
This  English Gothic Revival building was completed in 1875 and designed by the Upjohns, noted New York architects. The interior features several Tiffany stained glass windows designed by parishioner and Selma native, Clara Weaver Parrish, who was a noted artist who worked for Tiffany Studios in NYC.

Brown Chapel A.M.E. Church

Both the building and the members of Brown Chapel A.M.E. Church played pivotal roles in the Selma, Alabama, marches that helped lead to the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. The starting point for the Selma-to-Montgomery marches, Brown Chapel also hosted the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) for the first three months of 1965.

 Brown Chapel Web

Interpretive Center

The Selma Interpretive Center opened in 2011 and continues to attract many visitors to learn about Selma’s important role in the Civil Rights Movement.  Pictures from the 1960’s Civil Rights Movement hang on its walls, and there are civil rights displays with books, CDs and brochures.

Sturdivant Hall

c. 1853, 713 Mabry St.

Sturdivant Hall has been called “The finest Greek revival neo-classic antebellum mansion in the Southeast”. Established as a museum in 1957, it houses period antique furnishings, porcelain and doll collections, as well as an impressive collection of art by Selma native Clara Weaver Parrish.  This magnificent mansion with its six front columns, is the epitome of the South’s golden age.

Sturdivant Hall
VS hdqtrs Vaughan Smitherman Museum

c. 1847, 109 Union Street, at Alabama Avenue

Honoring former Mayor Joseph T. Smitherman, who was instrumental in its preservation and restoration, it houses an extensive collection of Civil War memorabilia and exhibits of medical and political artifacts.  The museum proudly displays exquisite Victorian antiques, nationally acclaimed art from local artists, antique documents, military memorabilia and uniforms, and medical equipment. Outside the building, the tranquil gardens beckon visitors out for a stroll along brick walks and among flowing fountains.

The Old Depot

c. 1891, Martin Luther King Street & Water Avenue

Immerse yourself in Selma and Dallas County’s past with a visit to the Old Depot Museum. The Old Depot Museum offers a window to Selma’s rich past. Journey from the town’s founding in 1820 through the Industrial Revolution and past the Voting Rights movement of 1965. The Depot was built on the site of the Confederate Naval Foundry which was destroyed by Federal troops during the Battle of Selma in 1865.

Old Depot Museum