Historic Structures

Cedar Grove Plantation, Faunsdale Alabama

Date added: June 7, 2019 Categories: Alabama House Plantations & Farms Greek Revival

In 1854, Charles Walker of Pulaski County, Georgia purchased the plantation of a Mr. McAlpine. Located on the plantation was a two story hall and parlor plan I-house. In 1857, Walker engaged local builder, Theophilus Fowler to erect an addition to the east wing of the existing structure, resulting in a large rambling plantation house. Fowler utilized a cross hall plan and embellished the formal rooms with elaborate plasterwork, cornices, and chandelier medallions. Charles Walker was a wealthy planter, in 1860 his real estate was valued at $85,000 while his personal property was worth $172,952. Walker owned 154 slaves and his plantation comprised 1700 acres. The plantation passed to Charles Walkers's son, Mims Walker, who renovated the house around the turn of the century, modifying the porch, replacing some mantles, and refurbishing the dining room. Cedar Grove remained in the Walker family until the late 1980s when it was sold. In 1990, it was purchased by Thomas Alison who undertook an extensive renovation of the dwelling.

The Cedar Grove Plantation rests at the junction of the old Upper and Lower Demopolis Roads, approximately 7 miles west of Uniontown on Marengo County Road 54, east of State Highway 25. The plantation main house rests approximately one quarter of a mile from the intersection of the two roads. Originally, the approach to the dwelling was from the east, down a long entrance drive. Today, one approaches the house from the north. The remnants of a large grove of cedar trees, from which the plantation drew its name, are still visible. The house is a mixture of Greek Revival and Neo-classical detailing.

The main house is basically U-shape in plan, with a large two story central block with two rear wings. The house is platform frame construction and rests on brick piers. Originally, the house began as a hall-and-parlor plan I-house; in 1857, a large addition was attached to the east end of the I-house and the original part of the dwelling became the rear northwest wing. The two story central block had a hipped roof with interior chimneys,, the five bay facade contains a central double leaf entrance with transom and side lights on both floors. The transom and sidelights contain colored glass panes. The windows are 9/9 double hung sash and are set in pedimented enframements. The central block is embraced on three sides by a one story porch with boxed columns with a two story entrance portico with a flat roof. The two story entrance portico and the porch projections on the north and south facades feature triple posts. On the north and south elevations, the porch projects slightly at each of the side entrances. The porch features a wide cornice with a small band of dentil work and exposed rafters which give the impression of dentil work. Originally, the porch was only one story (with no second tier for the portico) and featured slender posts connected by delicate lattice screens. The porch was altered and achieved its present appearance during a renovation circa 1900, which gave the dwelling a more pronounced Neoclassical appearance.

The two rear wings are connected by a one story porch with boxed posts. The southwest wing contains one large room; this room was originally separated from the main house by an open breezeway which was enclosed in 1991 to form a bathroom. The southwest wing features a hipped roof and a recessed porch on the north elevation. The two wings are connected by a rear one story porch.

The floorplan of the dwelling contains a cross-hall plan, dividing the downstairs into four large compartments. Elaborate plaster brackets and decorative arches are located at the juncture of the cross halls. The two front (east) rooms contain elaborate plaster moldings, cornice, and chandelier medallions. While throughout the house, the mantles are original, in these front two formal rooms, the mantles date from the early 1900s. Each room opens into the hallway through triple folding doors, creating a large suite when opened. The staircase is located in the left (south) cross hall and is a reversed stair. A large bedroom is located in the southwest corner of the main block while the dining room is located in the northwest wing. The dining room was remodelled during the early 1900s and features beaded board wall material and a plate rail. The dining room is a large room that encompasses the original first floor of the earlier structure. A modern kitchen wing was constructed to the rear of the dining room in 1992.

The upstairs features three bedrooms and a trunk room in the two story central block and a bedroom and storage room above the rear dining room. The interior decoration is much more simple in these rooms than in the downstairs rooms. All bedrooms feature simple Greek Revival mantles and simple Greek Revival door and window surrounds.