News from the Tennessee Valley Diversions
SUNDAY, MAY 6, 2007

The 1840 Mooresville Post Office, which is the oldest continuing operating post office in Alabama, will be open for touring Saturday.
Daily photo by Gary Cosby Jr.
The 1840 Mooresville Post Office, which is the oldest continuing operating post office in Alabama, will be open for touring Saturday.

More homes to see on historic tour of Mooresville

By Patrice Stewart · 340-2446

Mooresville will have more homes and gardens than ever open to the public during Saturday tour hours from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The town, which only holds tours every other year, changed its format this year. Chairwoman Shirley McCrary said they have had requests for more homes to be open, as other cities offer during their home tours.

“Since we have a limited number of workers in our small town of 20 families, we are using them as hostesses in the additional homes this year, rather than as committee members working with exhibitors,” she said. “It takes all of us to put this on.”

They are raising the price of admission to $20 for adults to try to make more money, “which is desperately needed for the constant preservation and restoration of our historic public buildings.”

53 residents

The town of Mooresville and its 53 residents are caretakers for a big chunk of history. In addition to five homes and 12 gardens, two churches and two public buildings will be open for touring:

  • The 1839 Brick Church, which is one of the few remaining examples of Greek Revival style brick churches built in Alabama in the early 19th century

  • The 1854 Church of Christ, where President James A. Garfield preached while encamped nearby during the Civil War (still owned by the Church of Christ)

  • The 1821 Stagecoach Tavern, which is reportedly the oldest frame public building in Alabama

  • The 1840 Mooresville Post Office, which is the oldest continuing operating post office in Alabama and one of the oldest in the country.

    The Brick Church needs a new roof, McCrary said, so they want to raise funds for that first. Then they will address glazing the old poured-glass window panes and work on the interior, such as heating and air conditioning to make the church more attractive for rentals. The locally raised funds are needed to match grants.

    Homes open for visitors

    These five homes will be open for visitors to tour Saturday:

  • The Zeitler-McCrary House at 4845 High St., circa 1826, is a Federal period house occupied by the same family for six generations. The original out buildings (kitchen and smokehouse) are in excellent condition.

  • The Zeitler-Hill-McLain House on Lauderdale Street was begun in 1927 and completed about 1945. The house is built on the site of the town square, laid out when Mooresville was founded in 1818.

  • The Peebles-Wilson-Eadon-Barran House, built in 1947, is a charming clapboard cottage that has undergone many additions.

  • The McCrary House at 4773 High St. was built in 2005 and combines the character of the past with all the comforts and conveniences of modern life. The design complements historic Mooresville by drawing on architectural forms, details and materials typical of early 19th-century houses in North Alabama.

  • The Sneed Shop House on Market Street was built in 1986 as a 1780-style saltbox. The house sits on the original woodworking shop lot, which was adjacent to the blacksmith shop. This lot was also known as the wagon yard because customers left their wagons there for repair.

    Signs will mark the dozen gardens open, including the five at the houses on the tour. “You can see some 150-year-old boxwoods in several yards,” McCrary said.

    These musicians will play at homes and other locations in town: Wade Mountain Ramblers, Huntsville Traditional Music Association, Huntsville Youth Orchestra and Morgan County Dulcimer Association. Antique cars will be on display.

    Barbecue sandwiches and lemonade will be for sale, along with box lunches at Limestone Bay Trading Co. on North Street. Blue Bell’s 100th anniversary truck will be in Mooresville to provide free ice cream.

    Townspeople will sell postcard cookbooks, postcards featuring historic buildings, history books and guidebooks for $5 to $15.

    If you go

    What: Historic Mooresville Home and Garden Tour

    When: Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

    Where: Mooresville, which is 1/4 mile south of Exit 2 (Mooresville Road) off I-565

    Admission: $20 for adults and $10 for children 6 to 12 (children younger than 6 free); tickets available at the gate; bus tour groups should contact Dee Green, 353-6326; the group special includes a Mooresville Post Card Cookbook, box lunch and admission for $35 per person by calling Margaret-Anne Crumlish at 350-7049

    Note: Free parking will be provided; walking the six square blocks is necessary, and all homes and buildings have steps; for more information, contact chairwoman Shirley McCrary, 355-2683, or co-chair JoAnn Plucker, 350-1888

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