Tuscumbia History in Peril

By Mary Carton

For The Tuscumbian

While driving around Tuscumbia taking pictures of some of the historical homes in Tuscumbia for the calendars and note card series I’m working on, I couldn’t help but noticed a few of our old homes are in sad shape. Some of these old homes survived Sherman’s burning march to the sea, but may not survive modern neglect.   Being around the area history, whether architecture or musical daily, one tends not to realize how much richness we have. 

It is my hope in 2013 that at least these will be preserved for future generations.

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Tuscumbia Railway Co. also called the Hunt house is an 1870’s Greek Revival farmhouse. 

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This house is on 4th street just west of Hook Street. Once owned by the Tuscumbia Railway Co., the home’s attributes include “boxcar” siding which is partially removed or covered in insulation wrap, and a columned portico which used to have a second floor landing.   When I was a child we used to deliver milk at this house, and it was a grand home. Some one started remodeling the house years ago and abandoned the project when the owners decided that they didn’t want to live in town.  This home was featured in This Old House segment “Save this old house” in April of 2004.   Seven years later it’s still in grave peril.

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Coons (Steele-Armistead) House — this house is located at 406 Main St.   It is a raised cottage style home, a type normally found along the coastlines of the southeast. During the Civil War Jeffrey Forrest, brother of Nathan Bedford Forrest was brought to the home after being wounded in the battle of Tuscumbia. It is featured  on some of the historic Tuscumbia walking tours each June.  

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House on Main Street — this house is next door on the north side of the Coons House.   The home was almost saved as the owners started remodeling and the husband fell off of a ladder while working on it and suffered many injuries. Work ceased after the accident.

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House on Fifth St. – I don’t know anything about this house.  It is a half block west of the Tuscumbia Depot.  It was a darling little house at one time. Again it looks like work started on the home and stopped.  Two work horses can be seen on the front porch and a clump of plastic paper on one of the valleys.

There are others, but these are just a few that really stood out through my camera lens.  Check out Remember Tuscumbia on Facebook for more history of our unique  town.

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13 Responses to Tuscumbia History in Peril

  1. Janice M. Williams says:

    It is sad to see these houses fading away. It’s difficult to understand why the owners did not sale them before they began to fall in!

  2. Steve McAnally says:

    Mary, you did amazing work. We all remember these old houses.

  3. Patricia Harrison says:

    I have always wanted to live in an Antebellum home, I’d move in one in a minute !!!

  4. The blue house with gingerbread trim is my birth home — Oct. 13, 1940. It is owned by a gentleman who lives on North Hook Street.
    Dean Cantrell McCormack

  5. The Tuscumbia Historical Association needs re-activating.

      • It would take a group addressing the City Council …. Actually, the city did not have authority to disband the Historical Board. It needs to be addressed before we lose more historical value such as the paloma tree which stood on corner of W. 5th & Water, giving shadow to the memorial picnic table honoring the late Donald Beard, long-time city employee and member of the city council.
        Many of the trees that were cut down only needed “cutting back,” or attention from knowledgeable tree trimmers.

      • The first house is this series of photos was home of the Hunts — children Jimmy Hunt and sister Sara Hunt Flack were close to our age. I believe Lyn and Lynn Landers own it now but I’m not sure.
        The 2nd (yellow 2-story) house belongs to Cathy McCrory Chambers (it was the home of her late parents – Ann & John McCrory who also owned and operated Baker’s Cleaners on Dickson St. for many years. There’s a florist there now.

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