Tuesday, October 31, 2006

W. A. Simmons House (c. 1898)

The cross-gabled, ell cottage at 2030 Clarendon Avenue boasts a full-facade and wrapped porch that appears to have been a later remodeling of the original one. The front-facing wing is a cutaway bay with shingling in the gable face and novelty board siding. Original 1-over-1 sash windows are still intact.

William A. Simmons was a grocer and dry-goods merchant in Bessemer.

The current owners, James Pierce and Mary Self, are restoring the property.

The Stapp House

The Stapp Home, at 206 Stapp Avenue SW, is in a small section of unincorporated Jefferson County along 4th Avenue between Lakewood Estates and Jess Lanier High School.
The home features many hallmarks of the Craftsman style including a low-pitched roof (in this case, front-gabled); a full-width porch supported by square, brick columns extending from ground level on the corners, and square brick piers and battered columns flanking the front steps. The main roof extends over the porch
The owner hasn't been able to confirm the building date and suspects that the home was built in stages. The original owners of the house and much of the surrounding property was the Stapp Family. The Stapp brothers were owners of a butcher shop in Birmingham that they either moved to Bessemer or opened another shop in downtown Bessemer. They built the house from what appears to be salvaged planks and tongue/groove boards so the walls, ceilings, floors, etc. are all wood.
The house was sold to the Atchinson family at some point and they lived there for over 50 years. In subsequent years the land around the Stapp home was sold and built on but the home site still sits on about 1 acre.
Jennifer Prince purchased the property in Aug 2003 and is renovating the home.

The Brasher Home (ca. 1895)

The Victorian home at 233 Owen Avenue in Jonesboro was originally built by W.H. Lewis in the 1890s. The home is listed on the Jefferson County Historic Register as the Hoster House. In 1901 a photo of the house was featured in a special edition of The Bessemer Weekly along with a brief bio of Louis Hoster. Mr. Hoster was President and Treasurer of the Bessemer Foundry and Machine Company.
On of the home's finest features is a wrap-around porch supported with 13 columns. The house is 3 levels with a staircase leading from the foyer to the second level, and stairs to the 3rd floor. Original pine floors remain in the foyer, living room & dining room. Kitchen, rear foyer and bath floors have been updated with tile.
The 3900 square foot home has 7 fireplaces with mantels. The mantels in the foyer, living room & dining room have very ornate carving, and have been completely refinished. The house has crown molding in 7 rooms. Ceilings are 12 ft. high.
The home is beautifully landscaped with a garden in back yard has walkways entering to center where there is a 15-foot, 5-tier fountain falling into a round pond. The gardens also feature a 12 x 24 gazebo. Walkways all around house with a garden on the left side of the house.
Terry and Anita Brasher purchased the home in 1993.

The Ball House (1902)

The Ball House at 1407 Minnesota Avenue is one of six remaining houses on Minnesota Avenue with the same history. Commissioned by Don H. Bacon, Chairman of Tennessse Coal and Iron Company in 1901 they were designed by Birmingham's leading architectual firm of the time Wheelock, Joy and Wheelock at the cost of $1,805.00 each. This row of 7 "Queen Anne" style frame houses, sometimes called "Silk Stocking Row" were built by Birmingham contractor C. D. Ratliffe. The houses were built to house the families and the management of The Muscoda Mines - the largest in the Birmingham District.
Before moving to the area, Edwin Ball was manager of the Minnesota Iron Company. He became general manager of TCI's ore mines.
Jefferson County plaque number 1028, Superintendants House. Built in 1902. Master write up in the BHHA archive.
Bill Aroosian and Jeff Solomon are restoring the home.

Friday, October 27, 2006

BHHA Home Tour: Lakewood Estates

The Bessemer Historical Homeowners Association announces the 2006 Bessemer Tour of Historical Homes of Lakewood Estates. We will be "Showcasing Our Community" by opening up some of our homes to promote Bessemer and this special community and its history and people.

WHEN: Saturday, October 28th 1pm - 5pm
Sunday, October 29th 1pm - 5pm
WHERE: Historic Lakewood Estates district of Bessemer.
TICKETS: $10 donation per ticket. Donations for tickets can be made at the time of the tour or in advance by calling Jane Errett, home tour co-chairperson at 426-9336

Historic Lakewood Estates was established in 1925 by Mr. William Harper Lewis, Bessemer banker and civic figure. He was very active in the early development of Bessemer. The neighborhood now consists of 75 homes the majority of which date from 1926 to the mid-1960’s. The “Original Seven” homes, dating from 1926-1929, were built by friends and colleagues of Mr. Lewis. Four of the original homes will be on tour.

Many local residents have fond memories of Lakewood: the duck pond, Christmas decorations during the holidays, and Easter egg hunts. Over the past eighty years Lakewood has remained an active neighborhood. Today Lakewood is home to some of the original residents as well as young families.

Properties that will be open for the tour include:
The Hanna Home (1987)
108 Waverly Circle (Richard and Lisa Hanna)

The Rutledge Home (1928)
4056 Lakewood Drive (Russ and Martha Brown)

The Sears-Schillaci Home (1949)
100 Waverly Drive (Anthony and Bess Richey)

The Kuchins Home (1929)
4050 Lakewood Drive (Clay and Ally Leonard)

The Lewis Home (1927)
4026 Lakewood Drive (David Smith)

The Perry Home (1927)
4010 Lakewood Drive (Emmett and Debbie Godfrey)

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

October Meeting Announcement

BHHA's October meeting will be SATURDAY, October 21st 7pm.
It's a Halloween Party at the A.S. Leader House, home of Dean Williams and Michael Turner.
Come in costume!!!
Bring a specialty drink if you wish.