Have you ever driven past a house and it beckoned you to come closer and take a peek inside the windows? There’s a house on the way to my friend, Debbie’s house near Wilsonville and it always draws my eye when we are driving by. It’s old. I mean, mid-1800’s old, so you know it has some stories. I’d love to know what they are. One sunny afternoon, I decided to take a closer peek at this aging beauty.
The Klein’s are evidently the beginning family in this home. I’d love to know the history on all of that.
She’s a very stately and large home and must have been quite the showplace in the mid-1800’s.
With the wide and welcoming front porch, you can imagine the company that this house saw.
Looks like those are the original doors. It’s in such a state of disrepair now and I wonder if anyone will ever restore her. I sure do hope so. She has been sitting like this as long as we have lived in Birmingham, over 4 years. I heard that once the home was an antique store and at one time a tea room. That was before my time.
The chimney is still intact, but crumbling. It would take some major vision to restore her to her former glory.
The front porch is a beauty. There are many cotton fields on this stretch of Hwy. 25 going into Wilsonville, so I imagine that this home farmed and probably owned some of that land back in the 1800’s.
The stairs look to be marble, stained and tarnished, but marble nonetheless.
One window that I could get a peek into, showed a fireplace.
I bet the boards on the outside are all original too. Don’t you love these shutters?
There are many of the shutters still intact. I can also dream that the aqua shutters that I picked up at an antique store probably came off of a home like this. Ahhh, the beauty of old and weathered.
I think the glass is also original, but many of the panes are broken. This large and stately chimney is on the left side of the house.
Who lived in this house and what did they do? What sort of lives did they lead? Were they wealthy land owners with a beautiful house and furnishings? Those are the questions that went through my mind, while walking around the weedy property which has seen much neglect.
The foundation is set on large stones of some sort. They sure don’t build them like this anymore. Weathered and green boards have seen better days. It’s been a long time since she has seen a bucket of paint.
The large back porch is plenty big too.
How many people have walked up and down these stairs?
It was sort of eerie walking around the place, but also made me think about just who lived there. She’s an aging beauty, but it would only take the right person to come along and give her new life.
I sure wish someone would. Not me, but someone. I have no idea who owns the house. If any of you here in the area know anything about this beautiful old home, I’d love to hear about it.
UPDATE: I did get some current information about the Klein house from an ancestor, Nell Gottlieb, so check out her page for an update on how the house is being used now in 2020.
Mandy Baker says
What a lovely home and post. I would have loved to been with you as you investigated this charmer. I totally understand this home calling out to you! Hopefully someone will love it again and bring it back to life. If this house were in Europe it would have never gotten to this worn-out state!
Hugs N Herbal Blessings, Mandy
Joey Feltz says
I think that we are sisters, separated at birth! I absolutely LOVE going and taking pictures of old things, and new things, too, that have been forgotten or are hidden away.
What fun to imagine the people and the events that happened at that house! ‘If those walls could talk’ has never been more appropriate!
Have fun on your adventures and thanks for sharing them!!
Hi, love your site, I am a fan!!! Thank you for taking pictures, here in California we don’t really have history like that, I can actually smell the green around there, you can go to the county recorders office and find out a lot of the people who lived there. I LOVE STUFF LIKE THIS!! Hurts my heart to see a house like this, but also excitement to have the opportunity to bring this back to life, take more I would to see them!
What a beautiful old place. It breaks my heart to see these beauties rotting away.
[email protected] says
I love restoration work. wish I was closer. Keep us in the loop about the house. It would be a great project to follow. In all your junking around I bet you can find someone who knows the history. Let us know!
A lovely old home — I DO hope someone takes care of her and loves her!
Lana Austin says
RHODA! Stop that! STOP posting pictures of decrepit old houses THAT SING THEIR SIREN SONGS AND MAKE ME WANT TO RUN OUT AND BUY THEM!!!!!!! I mean it! I’m shaking my “Grandma’s gonna take the switch to you, young lady, if you do NOT cut it out!” finger at you!!!
Seriously….Tom and I, back in VA, bought a house built around 1892. It took us 11 YEARS to renovate it! Yep! But it was soooo worth it! It had these two MAMMOTH magnolia trees out front that were just divine!
And the thickness of the walls? I think they were at least a foot thick. They TRULY do not make them like that any more.
Of course, that house DID have floors/walls/ceilings that stood slightly askew. I thought they were METAPHORS for my zany sense of humor that is slightly askew, too! 🙂
I love our brand new home we were so blessed to be able to buy last year down here in Huntsville, but there’s no way it has the character of our house in Olde Towne Manassas, VA.
Anyway……all jokes aside, thank you for being interested enough in that beautiful old home (they can be kind of scary, though, when they’re completely abandoned/broken down) to stop and take photos for all of us to see.
It was a delight!!
I hope that you feel blessed like you bless us!
ALSO: I want to say something to you. Now, sit down for this. (okay, you’re probably already sitting, but since I’m still in my Grandma switchin’ and tellin’ ya what to do mode I thought I’d just throw in one more “do this” thing! HA!)
I don’t know if you have kids or not.
Either way, I wanted to wish you a HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!!!
Truly. You are like a wonderful and magical bloggieland mother to all of us who read you.
Now, I know that you are definitely NOT old enough to be my biological mother, but….you know what I mean.
You share so much of your life, your wisdom, your humor, your encouragement….so much of YOU with us all on your blog and it means a tremendous amount to all of us who read you.
In my mind (and my heart) I think that sharing like that of yourself IS EXACTLY WHAT A MOTHER SHOULD BE!
So, you are the Queen of Mothers (I think I just mixed my metaphors there! Sorry!).
Thank you sooooooooooooooooooo much for sharing your life/talent/joy, your SELF with us.
Thank you for that mother’s touch you bring!
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!!!!
Many blessings to you,
I came to this house 6 or 7 years ago with my sister! It’s extremely beautiful & I would love to fix up the place.
I just want to say thank you for posting these pictures, i have been in the construction business for a long time and have restored alot of homes up north, and my wife is from the south, so we bought the old house that has been in her family for a long time in mississippi, and from what we can find at the local courthouse there, the house was built around 1860, her grand parents got the property around 1920 its known as the “beachwood plantation” we finally have the inside restored, 2yrs later, part of the roof had blown off about 15 yrs ago, Wow” what a job it was fixing the main beams under that side of the house, 20″x20″x40′ yep, they dont build em like that anymore, but hey i didnt mind, anything for that mississippi girl of mine, im going to put a covered porch on the back of the house and build it out of some cedar trees that we cut down at her aunts place up the road, to give it that old early 1800’s look, sorry” i didnt mean to carry on so long, but i just want to say the most “rewarding” thing to me, is when some of the locals and her kinfolk stop by, and they tell me some of the old storys about the place back in its ole glory days, and storys they remember hearing from there grand parents, Wow what great storys, and even more so, the history, my wifes dad thats 82 yrs old now, told me many years ago when we would go up to the old house, and walk around the outside, “couldn’t go inside anymore it was to unsafe at that time” that he would give anything to sit on that ole front porch again, like he did when he was a kid and eat him a glass full of cornbread and buttermilk, and to see that sparkle in my wifes eye’s when her dad got himself a full belly and took a nap on that ole front porch,after we finished it, with his ole dog, “i got in a little trouble for letting his dog come in” oops” heck she chased me, out with the broom, ha ha” anyway i just want to say to whom ever might get that old house that you showed the pictures of, in alabama, and restore it, that i can promise you that it will be the most rewarding thing to you, then you could ever imagine. Thank you and all my love, to my wife, debra, “beebug” boy how i love that mississippi girl, and her dad, rayford, “pappy” an her mom, maryann, “mammy” and a special thank you to all those that helped. workers, friends, an family, to bring this ole mississippi home back to its ole glory days! And for all those thats never been to the south?? You just have to go to understand!!! Thanks, Ron.
Really liked looking at information about this house
Fairfield House says
How did I ever miss this post? My heart aches when I see a dying antique house — so much history lost as well as the craftsmanship, sweat and tears that went into it.
Did you ever locate the Greek Revival house in the area that was a 2000 acre plantation? If you posted about it please let me know.
I live in Harpersville and own the body shop next to this house. The house belongs to the Wallace family. I was once told by someone that a woman who lived in the house during the Civil War killed several Union Soliders in the house to keep them from burning it down and killing her and her family. (That is why people say that it is haunted) That is really the only history that I have been told about this house.
Melissa D. says
My brother re-posted this on Facebook. We grew up in Columbiana, and have always driven past that house. When we were children, our Granny told us the story about the woman who killed Union soldiers there to save her family, and that she still lives there in spirit.
My grandfather dug wells. They were hired to dig a well at the Klien house. His partner was down in the bottom of the well. He was having trouble breathing. My grandfather went down to rescue him. Neither of them made it out alive. The gases over took both of them. I have the newspaper article and the house is in the back ground of the photo. As a child I drove by that big old house many many times. Something always called out to me. Later as I was doing my family research my mother told me about what happened and showed me the article. It was erie. I have also heard the tales of it being haunted.
Kim Johnston says
I would love to know more about this for my book on the history of Shelby Co. You can contact me at kimby.johnston at gmail.com
Ronald J. Foreman says
An interesting story.
My wife Rebecca (Becky) is a professional harpist, and we live in Tucson, Arizona. In 1990, a local antique dealer conducted an estate sale in an upscale neighborhood here and “salted” the sale with a few antiques that had come from “an old plantation in Alabaster, Alabama.”
One of those items, which we wound up buying, was an antique harp that Becky recognized as having been made in Paris, France, in the late eighteenth century by Jean-Henri Naderman. And we’re pretty sure now that the “old plantation” from which this harp came was this Klein-Wallace House.
In the summer of 2006, The Antiques Roadshow came to town, and we took the harp there to see if we might be able to learn more about it. As we wheeled the harp up to the Musical Instruments table, appraiser Andrew Dipper immediately asked Becky if she wanted to tape the appraisal on camera. So off to the Green Room she went.
You can find the episode here: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/roadshow/archive/200601A47.html
Andrew Dipper dated the harp to 1776, based on the rose motif painting on the soundboard, which he said had to have been done in the royal workshops. He pointed out a spot on the column where one can faintly make out the outline of the Fleur-de-lis, the royal symbol, which evidently had been removed during the French Revolution and replaced with an inoffensive rosette.
He did not say so directly but, putting two and two together, the harp had to have been made for Marie Antoinette, who was known to play the instrument. It probably was one of several she owned, but it is one of the few with provenance that have survived intact.
Given the people’s antipathy for all things associated with the aristocracy, its a wonder the instrument survived at all, to say nothing of its being allowed to leave France as aristocratic heads were rolling. We’d still love to learn how that risky feat was accomplished.
HI, Ronald, thanks so much for sharing your story! I don’t know much about this house at all, but used to drive by and wonder at its history. I wish someone would buy it and restore it to its former beauty. A shame to let it go completely to ruin. I loved hearing your story about this harp possibly coming from the house!! Amazing!
i have always loved old houses and this one tops all my favorites! there are so fiew now days that its hard to find them in this good of shape!
We stopped at this old house (The Klein-Wallace House) today, and afterwards I did some research. Here’s an interesting article about former slaves, which mentions the Klein-Wallace Plantation and the nearby Scott Plantation in Harpersvile, AL.
I’m writing a book about Shelby Co legends and folklore. This house will be part of the book. I have talked to Mayor Perkins once about this lovely home but would still love to hear other stories if you have them. Email me at kimby.johnston at gmail.com
I am a photographer at jacksonville state university. For my senior show, I am doing a series of images of abandoned places in north alabama. I shoot them at night in a certain way that makes them look surreal. I really need a house to photograph, and this house is absolutely beautiful and perfect. Is there anyone that knows the Wallace family and how I can get in contact with them about possibly photographing the place? I definitely appreciate it. thank you!
HI, Nikki, you might follow some of these links to see if you can locate them, but the house appears to be abandoned. Maybe you can just set up outside and shoot it without any problems. I just stopped and took these photos as I was passing by.
I grew up “across the river” from where this house is located. I remember as a kid always riding by this house to go to the local flea market. I have always loved this house and always wondered why nobody ever lived in it. I was told by someone that I know that lives close by, that the family that owns it has it so tied up that it would never be sold. It is definitely one that catches the eye of everyone that passes by. Such a beautiful old place.