Orrville Travel Guide

  • Things to Do
    by butterflykizzez04
  • Things to Do
    by butterflykizzez04
  • Things to Do
    by butterflykizzez04

Orrville Things to Do

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    St. Luke's Reconstruction at Old Cahawba

    by butterflykizzez04 Written Feb 8, 2014

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    St. Luke’s Episcopal Church is a historic Carpenter Gothic church, built in 1854 at Cahaba (also spelled Cahawba), the first capital of Alabama from 1820 to 1826. The builder closely followed plans published by architect Richard Upjohn in his 1852 book Rural Architecture. Exterior features of the Gothic Revival structure include lancet windows, pointed arch doorways and vertical board and batten sheathing. The building originally had a square bell tower on the corner to the left of the current main front entrance, but this was not rebuilt when the church was relocated in 1878.

    St. Luke’s was built during Cahaba’s antebellum boom years, on Vine Street near the intersection of Vine and 1st South Street. Following the post-war decline of Cahaba, the church was dismantled in 1878 and moved 11 miles to the community of Martin’s Station where it continued to serve an Episcopal congregation for several decades. St. Luke’s was then used by an African-American Baptist congregation for over 60 years before being acquired by the Alabama Historical Commission.

    During the academic years of 2006-2007 and 2007-2008, students from Auburn University’s Rural Studio carefully dismantled the church and reassembled it at Cahaba near the corner of Beech Street and Capitol Street, across from the Old Cahawba Archaeological Park visitor center. The new Cahaba location was chosen because of the original location on Vine Street was in a floodplain. The majority of the original timbers was saved and used, including the 50′ heavy timber buttressed arches. Some of the original wood had rotted considerably over the years and students replaced it with oversight from the Alabama Historical Society and Cahawba Advisory Committee. The church was added to the National Register of Historic Places on March 25, 1982.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture
    • National/State Park

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    Perine Mansion Well Site at Cahawba

    by butterflykizzez04 Written Feb 8, 2014

    Perine Mansion vintage photograph: Perine House, circa 1852. Originally built as a cotton factory, the building was converted to a massive home by E.M. Perine, a merchant from New York related to the Crocherons. It was the first air conditioned building in Alabama as Perine had the plentiful artesian water pumped through the pipes installed in the walls of the house, effectively cooling it in the summer months

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    • Historical Travel
    • National/State Park
    • Family Travel

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    Kirk-View Farm in Old Cahawba

    by butterflykizzez04 Written Feb 8, 2014

    Kirk-View Farm - Cahaba

    This home sits forlorn in the Cahaba ghost town in rural Alabama.

    UPDATE: To solve some of the mystery about this place, I found a photo that I shot of the plaque out in front by the road. Here's what the plaque says:

    "In 1866, shortly after the Civil War and a severe flood, the county seat was moved from Cahaba to Selma. Residents rapidly abandoned the town. Many homes were dismantled and reassembled elsewhere.

    Despite this trend, returning Confederate veteran Samuel McCurdy Kirkpatrick and his wife Sarah purchased a large brick house and outlying structures here on the northern edge of town. They acquired many of the vacated lots and consolidated them into a large farm. For nearly seventy years, three generations of Kirkpatricks managed a model farm here called 'Kirk-View.'

    The Kirkpatrick home burned in 1935. The structure you see today was one of two located behind the house and was originally constructed as slave quarters."

    In the years during and after the Civil War the population of Cahawba was rapidly diminishing. The area had been undulated several times by flood. The Confederacy had removed the railroad and in 1866 the Dallas County courthouse was moved to Selma. The once elegant city and former state capitol was rapidly becoming an abandoned ghost town
    As the town dwellers were dismantling their homes and moving out, Civil War Veteran Samuel McCurdy Kirkpatrick and his wife Sarah saw opportunity. The Kirkpatricks purchased a large estate complete with a brick home and outlying structures known as the "Barker Place". In addition they acquired many of the vacated lots on the northern outskirts of town and turned them into a large farm and pecan orchard. Thereafter three generations of the Kirkpatrick family maintained the estate and operated a productive farming operation.

    While visiting the ruins of Old Cahawba one could hardly miss seeing one of the town's few remaining structures situated on the north end of Oak Street. The building is across the street from a very large pecan orchard and together they are known as the "Kirk-View". The present building, a two story with a four column front portico was constructed as a servent quarters. The original mansion was destroyed by fire in 1935.

    Anna M. Gayle Fry describes the estate in her book "Memories of Old Cahaba" published in 1908. "An impressive brick residence, two stories in height, with big "Corinthian columns" in front. A prominent resident of Cahaba familiarly known as Shoestring Barker built it. It is said to have cost him $25,000 to $30.000 and purchased by Samuel Kirkpatrick for a few hundred dollars."

    Samuel McCurdy Kirkpatrick's son Clifton was born in Cahawba during the Civil War. For many years Clifton Kirkpatrick served as the unofficial mayor and tour guide of Cahawba and became well known as the "Duke of Cahawba". Clifton served in the Alabama House of Representatives from 1927 until his death in 1930.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • National/State Park
    • Architecture

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