Locust Hill, a fine and very early residence in Tuscumbia, is one of the oldest surviving brick houses in the state. Constructed in 1823, it was the home of William H. Winter of Prince William County, Virginia, and his wife Frances Washington, kin to George Washington. During the Civil War, the house served as the headquarters for Colonel Florence M. Cornyn. Cabinetmaker William Braden carved its fine mantelpieces and Federal-style woodwork. An exuberant Eastlake porch was added across the front in the 1880s.
Persistent rumors that the residence might be demolished have alarmed local preservationists. Although most residents agree the building is a significant architectural landmark in their community, there has been no plan for its preservation. However, just as this article was being prepared for press, the Alabama Historical Commission received word that Locust Hill—which had been on the market for several years—has been purchased by Elaine and Ronnie Gilchrist, who plan to restore it. The purchase was sparked by the building’s listing on Places in Peril.
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.