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Along the Street

Haigler House
410 North Hull circa 1841 , NOT ON TOUR

Historical Significance

In 1841, Y. W. Graves built this house after coming from Georgia to the Alabama in 1817 enticed by the rich soil suitable for growing cotton, and in five years he sold it to Josiah Haigler. Haigler, a native of South Carolina, and his first wife had eight children, and after her death in 1852 he married her widowed sister, who had three children. In 1854 the couple had a son, Lewis, thus making a large number of offspring for the parents to raise.

According to family stories, it was about this time that the Haiglers built the two-room el wing and moved into it leaving the eleven children to occupy the two dormitory-like upstairs rooms. There was no doors connecting these rooms; enclosed staircases, one on each side of the house, were the only access to the quarters occupied on one side by girls and on the other by the boys.  Members of the Haigler family continued to occupy the house until the early 1960s. General Electric purchased hundreds of acres in Lowndes County in the late 1970s for the construction of a plastic plant. Descendants of the Haigler family donated the house to Landmarks Foundation when selling the property. In 1983, the foundation moved the structure to town with some financial assistance from the corporation.

Architectural Significance

The main body of the Haigler House is a Deep South adaptation of the more rigidly designed cottages of the Tidewater region. Joined to it by an inset columned porch is a saddlebag el wing. The interior of the bigger house was built following the dogtrot plan. Mahogany graining on the hall dado and doors reflect the touch of a master artist as do the marbleized mantles and the checkerboarded floor. Paint analysis revealed marbleized areas as well as graining by a stairway door that was left intact. From this, master grainer, Rock Headley recreated the beautiful faux work from the earlier artist.

A back door led to the Plantation Office which was used as the outside kitchen after the original kitchen burned. After separating the el wing and the former plantation office from the main building, the Davis House Movers lined the parts up, creating a veritable house parade on the 20 mile trip to Montgomery.

Early census reveals that the Haigler Plantation produced honey from their beehives, and descendants of those bees travelled to town in the walls of the house despite efforts to leave them behind. Long lines of bees could be seen flying behind the structures as the structures travelled across fields and highways all the way to town. Another passenger on that trip was a snake that had hidden itself away in the walls; however, he was dispatched soon after his discovery with no opportunity to become urbanized. 

The Haigler House is leased as commercial property.