Folsom Birthplace, Elba, Coffee County, c.late-19th century (Places in Peril 2008)
After vandals broke out windows and set fire to the old Folsom house in rural Coffee County, preservationists and local officials were determined not to lose one of their most treasured landmarks. This building was not only an exceptionally intact example of a late-nineteenth-century farmhouse, it was also the birthplace of James Folsom, forty-fifth and forty-seventh governor of Alabama—and the only resident of Coffee County ever to be elected to the post. In 2003 the Coffee County Commissioners obtained the house from the Folsom family and set out to preserve it. Several options were considered, but the community decided to move the house next to the old jail in downtown Elba. Today the house needs repairs. The City of Elba is still recovering from two major floods in the 1990s, so additional funding is unavailable right now to restore the house.
5/21/2015 01:16:52 pm
The house has not been restored yet. In the meantime an AL Historial Marker was purchased and installed by the John Coffee DAR chapter in May 2013. The front flower bed is well kept and a Giving Garden with a large tunnel house and 14 raised beds are in the back yard.
Leave a Reply.
Alabama's Endangered Historic Landmarks
Each year since 1994, Alabama Heritage has highlighted threatened historic sites throughout Alabama. The “Places in Peril” list has identified more than 215 imperiled historic resources throughout the state, and is compiled by the Alabama Historical Commission and the Alabama Trust for Historic Preservation. The locations highlight the results of deferred maintenance, perceived obsolescence, development pressures, and lack of funding—forces that now more than ever threaten our cultural legacy. But awareness is a powerful force, too, and can cultivate a renewed determination to be responsible stewards of our heritage. For more information, visit the AHC or the ATHP websites. Alabama Heritage is proud to bring to you a selection of the places designated as perilous. Please keep your comments to information relevant to the featured place in peril. Alabama Heritage reserves the right to delete any comment that we deem inappropriate.