Q: What is the tale behind the historic home at 300 Kirkland St. in Abbeville?

A: The Kennedy Household (also identified as the Bethune-Kennedy House) was constructed all over 1870 by Dr. William Calvin Bethune, a well known doctor who experienced been a lieutenant colonel in the Fifty-seventh Alabama Infantry Regiment throughout the American Civil War. The home was additional to the Alabama Sign-up of Landmarks and Heritage in 1976 and the Nationwide Sign-up of Historic Spots in 1978.

In accordance to the NRHP nomination type, the household is a high-quality illustration of a late Creole cottage. An Encyclopedia of Alabama article on the property suggests the Creole-cottage type was frequent on the Gulf Coastline but very rare inland.

“The 1-and-a-50 % story, braced body structure has a gabled roof, close-exterior chimneys and a total width recessed gallery,” the sort states. “Four sq. columns with Doric capitals assistance a deep frieze and a easy cornice. Pilasters terminate the gallery which is of shiplap siding, while the remainder of the construction is completed with clapboard.”

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Bethune evidently occupied the household only a few several years, the variety states. It transformed palms three situations prior to currently being purchased by Walter K. Stokes in 1878. Stokes retained the construction for seven several years, marketing it to William and Mollie Kennedy in 1885.

“The Kennedy family owned and farmed land in rural Henry County, but chose to occupy this property in the vicinity of the centre of the county’s greatest city,” in accordance to the kind.

The residence remained in the Kennedy loved ones right up until 1974 when it was acquired by the Henry County Board of Schooling.

In 1976, the Encyclopedia of Alabama short article suggests, the board prepared on demolishing the household to make area for the crowded Abbeville Center School close by.

“Few people in the group had been worried above the then-derelict developing, nevertheless County Superintendent William Covington supported tries to save the dwelling,” the posting suggests. “The Henry County Historical Culture and its president, William Nordan, for whom the Record Room at the Abbeville Memorial Library is named, also sought to preserve the historic property and introduced efforts to attract attention to the historic importance of the home.”

Nordan’s interest led him to Cheryle Webster, a transplant to Abbeville who experienced recently renovated another historic home on Kirkland Road with her husband.

“Webster and Nordan ended up effective in rallying area desire, and Webster was ready to obtain other women from neighborhood clubs into forming the Neighborhood Advancement Council,” the short article claims. “The Abbeville City Council then allotted $1,000 to the council to enable help save the residence.”

The Neighborhood Improvement Council purchased the house for use as a neighborhood center in 1976.

“In 1978, Abbeville held its 1st Parade of Households on May perhaps 28,” the posting suggests. “Webster and her renovated house, the Johnson-Webster Residence, was part of the tour, along with the Abbeville Methodist Church developed in 1896, the Clendenin-Hardwick Household, which is supposedly haunted by a Confederate soldier, the 1903 Stokes-Rane Household that was employed as a regulation office, and the Henry County Lender, in a Greek Revival household dating from 1908.”

The revenue from the tour have been employed to renovate the Bethune-Kennedy Dwelling. The property is at this time owned by the Abbeville Chamber of Commerce and was element of the Historical Going for walks Tour in Abbeville for the Henry County Bicentennial in 2019.