The Sassy Countess is a blog about historic houses, properties, castles, estates, mansions, homes, land, and lifestyles! Focusing mostly on 18th century, other time periods are also included, such as Regency, Golden Age, Gilded Age, Victorian, American Post and Antebellum, Romantic, Jacksonian, Medieval, Renaissance, Edwardian, New Republic, etc.
Historic buildings are
found throughout the United States.
From the White House to the rubble of a house in Georgia, each building
is a unique piece of American history.
The majority of the buildings are in varying states of disrepair;
however, several of these buildings have been purchased by local historical
societies and have been or are in the process of being renovated. This is what has happened to Magnolia Grove
in Greensboro, Alabama. Purchased by
the Alabama Historical Commission, Magnolia Grove has been preserved so that
future generations of Americans can enjoy the house.
Built by Colonel Isaac
Croom, the exact age of Magnolia Grove is unknown. However, a historical survey completed in 1936 states that the
house was built in the early 1830’s (Burkhardt, 1936). The architect of Magnolia Grove is unknown. Located in Hale County, Alabama, Magnolia
Grove sits on fifteen acres filled with magnolia trees. After Isaac Croom’s wife died in 1878, the
house passed to their niece, Sarah Hobson. It was Sarah’s son who made Magnolia Grove a
historical landmark due to his achievements as an adult. Richmond Pearson Hobson grew up in Magnolia
Grove and was a naval hero in the Spanish-American War. Richmond Hobson retired from the navy and
was elected a United States Representative.
In 1933, he was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions during the
Spanish-American War. During his time
in office, Hobson proposed several constitutional amendments to ban alcohol and
became known as the “Father of American Prohibition” (Hanson) (Hobson, Richmond
The design of Magnolia
Grove is typical of Greek Revival style.
Six Roman Doric columns frame the front of the house and the two story
portico. There are eight windows on the
front. Each window is a 6 over 6 blind
sash window. There are two sets of
double doors found on the front of Magnolia Grove. One set is the main entrance and one set leads to a second story
balcony. The doors are identical and
each set is framed by sidelights and a transom window. The second story balcony is slightly wider
than the doors and there is a decorative wrought iron railing surrounding the
balcony. The front of the house and the
columns are stuccoed.
The sides and back of
Magnolia Grove are exposed brick. There
are four single chimneys, two on each side of the house. Magnolia Grove has a very simple square
floorplan. On the first floor, a
central hall splits the house in half.
On the left side, a parlor and a dining room share equal space. A larger living room and small study occupy
the right side. Each room has its own
fireplace. There are fifteen windows on
the first floor, four in each room except for the study, which has three. The hallway is lit by the sidelights and
transom window as well as a chandelier.
There are double doors at the end of the hall leading out to the rear
porch. Magnolia Grove’s rear porch is
also two stories and framed by six cast iron columns. There is a detached kitchen and cook’s house located just off the
rear porch. The rear of the house also
boasts four 6 over 6 blind sash windows.
The other nineteen windows are 6 over 6 sash windows.
The second floor is the
same floor plan as the first floor. The
central hall bisects the house into two sections. The left side contains two bedrooms of identical size. There is a fireplace and four windows in
each bedroom. The right side contains
one large bedroom and smaller fourth bedroom.
There is a fireplace in both of these bedrooms. The larger bedroom has four windows and the
smaller bedroom has three windows.
There is also a window located above the stairs on the second
floor. Other than the crown molding
throughout the house and the beautiful curved staircase, the interior of the
house is plain in its ornamentation.
Decorative trim frames each doorway.
Magnolia Grove still contains all of the original Hobson family
furniture and pictures of the Hobson and Croom families are located throughout
W. (1936, November 11). Magnolia Grove, 1002 Hobson Street, Greensboro, Hale
County, AL. Retrieved December 29, 2012, from Library of Congress:
Hanson, P. D.
(n.d.). Richmond Pearson Hobson. Retrieved December 29, 2012, from
Alcohol Problems & Solutions: http://www2.potsdam.edu/hansondj/Controversies/Biography-Richmond-Pearson-Hobson.html
Richmond Pearson, (1870-1937). (n.d.). Retrieved December 29, 2012, from
Originally written for Class at APUS: December 30, 2012.
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