Life in Old South Central Alabama

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South of Birmingham, Alabama, United States
I am an antique trader in central Alabama....I love old houses... My log home was built in 1817 by my ancestors Benjamin and Hannah Harless Wilson .............. Outside the house are herb gardens and lots of pass-along plants................ No one in Alabama is in a hurry about anything......... Visitors think that the garden needs weeding and the furniture needs polishing....I am a direct descendant of Joseph Towne, whose two sisters Rebecca Towne Nurse and Mary Towne Easty were hanged in Salem, Massachusetts, in 1692 as witches. I am also a direct descendant of Pocahontas and husband John Rolfe.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Curves and Color


I have a tendency to line up furniture like some sort of store, and I'm trying to do better, but old habits are hard to break. 


I get the "Your house looks like an antique shop " comment a lot ( which I secretly like to hear), so I'm already prepared to point out sarcastically that there are no price tags on anything, but they are "free to make an offer on anything you see."




I spent the day working outside and inside the place, as this is the first official day of my summer vacation from school.


 I already miss my ninth graders. Several are in summer school, but not because of me ( Thankfully, everybody passed in my room).


This corner of the old house shows, starting from the left, a federal chest under the window which I found at a mall on Hwy. 280.


By the chair is a Colonial New England 2 drawer blanket chest in original red paint with thumb moulding and flint glass pulls on turned Federal feet, a chest from Virginia in the corner which I paid too much for but it took three years to talk the guy out of it, my plantation desk ( my new baby pride and joy) flanked by two English chairs with little rectangular tags under each one that read "English, ca. 1820".


In the far right one can see the edge of an Alabama black walnut chest I bought out of a hoarder's collection for fifty dollars. The walls are home to Victorian oils which I bought either because I liked the painting or I liked the frame. 


 I rarely fall in love with both painting and frame at the same time! One can finally see more of the mustard rug I bought from the boys in Marion, Alabama. It came out of an old house in Uniontown.


I guess a stained glass window would be the last thing one would expect to see in a log cabin, but I can't help it. 


 People who decorate in primitive style will fill their house with nothing but brown and gray and faded fabrics; being in houses like that gives me a headache after about thirty minutes. 


 I need color; I thrive on color; I gotta have my light and my sunshine and my color.


The McRaven House in Vicksburg impressed me so much when I saw it in the late 80s that I decided to follow the same idea here. The back of the McRaven house is the log structure built first, the central part of the house is Empire, and the front of the house is Greek Revival. The house sort of developed over time, each addition reflecting the styles of its own time.


I have done the same thing here, on a smaller scale. The front of my house is primitive, built in 1817 by my ancestors, the back room is Empire Old South. Right now the kitchen is sort of in a 1950s advertising mode, but I'm thinking of moving all of that to another room and going primitive/buttery.


Upstairs, my bedroom looks like a museum storage room: books, pictures stacked four deep on the floor between the bookcases, some dead animal heads, and family 16x20s of great grandfathers and great aunts.


 In the middle of the room is my sleigh bed that I bought at a country auction after sitting there four hours waiting on it to come up. I have three gallons of yellow paint to apply to the walls. If only I could find the walls.

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