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Working Block

Rose-Morris House circa 1850s

Historical Significance

The Rose House originally stood about 12 miles north of Wetumpka, Alabama on Hwy. 231 on land purchased from the U.S. government in 1841 by Howell Rose. Rose came to Alabama around 1818 and was a member of Alabama’s first Constitutional Convention in 1819. He was also the first private owner of that property after the removal of the Creek Indians in the 1830s. In 1907, S. J. Morris bought the home and 120 acres for $720 and farmed there for the rest of his life, raising eight children with his wife. Morris died in 1952 and his widow lived there until her death in 1977. The walls throughout the house have dates of birthdays, weddings, and anniversaries written on them in pencil, giving a historical account of all the former occupants.

Architectural Significance

The Rose House is an I-house with an open dogtrot, a significant example of 19th century vernacular architecture very common throughout the South with variations in porches. The Rose House has two porches with an open dogtrot in the middle and a second story with one room over one room on each side. The Rose House is one of the few remaining of this type in this state. Access to upstairs is by a reverse-run stairway located in the dogtrot. The home has a one-story lean-to at the back which expanded the living space and a one-story pedimented portico or porch on the front. Decorative touches include marbleized and granitized Federal style mantels surrounding the small fireplaces in each room and handsome cornice molding in the dogtrot. For the challenging move the house was cut between the floors, carefully braced, and lifted on to dollies under the first floor. The top floor was lifted off with a crane while drivers pulled the first floor out. Then the top floor was lowered on to a separate truck and the two pieces rode into Montgomery. Crews situated the first floor and a crane once again lifted the second floor and re-positioned it atop its companion. Today, the landscaping in the yard includes some privet hedge from the original as well as stone for the wall.

In 1987, Landmarks Foundation moved Rose House to Old Alabama Town where it serves as the entrance to the Working Block.