Answer Man: What’s the story behind a historic house in Abbeville? | Local News

Q: What’s the tale at the rear of the historic home at 300 Kirkland St. in Abbeville?

A: The Kennedy Residence (also known as the Bethune-Kennedy Dwelling) was crafted all over 1870 by Dr. William Calvin Bethune, a distinguished health care provider who had been a lieutenant colonel in the Fifty-seventh Alabama Infantry Regiment for the duration of the American Civil War. The house was extra to the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage in 1976 and the Nationwide Sign-up of Historic Places in 1978.

According to the NRHP nomination type, the house is a fantastic illustration of a late Creole cottage. An Encyclopedia of Alabama post on the property suggests the Creole-cottage type was widespread on the Gulf Coastline but exceptionally uncommon inland.

“The one particular-and-a-fifty percent story, braced frame composition has a gabled roof, finish-exterior chimneys and a comprehensive width recessed gallery,” the form claims. “Four sq. columns with Doric capitals assistance a deep frieze and a basic cornice. Pilasters terminate the gallery which is of shiplap siding, when the remainder of the construction is finished with clapboard.”

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Bethune apparently occupied the dwelling only a number of a long time, the variety says. It changed palms 3 moments prior to getting purchased by Walter K. Stokes in 1878. Stokes retained the structure for seven yrs, advertising it to William and Mollie Kennedy in 1885.

“The Kennedy spouse and children owned and farmed land in rural Henry County, but selected to occupy this household close to the heart of the county’s greatest city,” according to the form.

The house remained in the Kennedy relatives right until 1974 when it was acquired by the Henry County Board of Education.

In 1976, the Encyclopedia of Alabama write-up claims, the board planned on demolishing the home to make home for the crowded Abbeville Center College close by.

“Few folks in the neighborhood had been concerned above the then-derelict setting up, however County Superintendent William Covington supported tries to conserve the home,” the short article suggests. “The Henry County Historic Society and its president, William Nordan, for whom the Heritage Space at the Abbeville Memorial Library is named, also sought to help you save the historic home and launched attempts to draw interest to the historic importance of the dwelling.”

Nordan’s fascination led him to Cheryle Webster, a transplant to Abbeville who had just lately renovated a different historic house on Kirkland Avenue with her husband.

“Webster and Nordan ended up productive in rallying regional desire, and Webster was in a position to acquire other gals from regional golf equipment into forming the Community Enhancement Council,” the posting claims. “The Abbeville Metropolis Council then allotted $1,000 to the council to help preserve the dwelling.”

The Neighborhood Improvement Council purchased the household for use as a group middle in 1976.

“In 1978, Abbeville held its 1st Parade of Homes on May 28,” the report claims. “Webster and her renovated home, the Johnson-Webster Dwelling, was component of the tour, alongside with the Abbeville Methodist Church designed in 1896, the Clendenin-Hardwick Home, which is supposedly haunted by a Accomplice soldier, the 1903 Stokes-Rane Property that was applied as a law office environment, and the Henry County Financial institution, in a Greek Revival property relationship from 1908.”

The revenue from the tour were being employed to renovate the Bethune-Kennedy House. The house is at this time owned by the Abbeville Chamber of Commerce and was section of the Historic Walking Tour in Abbeville for the Henry County Bicentennial in 2019.