Days Gone By - stories from the past

This beautiful mansion (film) in Colbert County, Alabama has a link to Thomas Jefferson

Belle Mont Mansion, the beautiful Jeffersonian-style plantation home in Colbert County, Alabama host many activities throughout the year including A Day in May Art Event which will be held Saturday, May 6 at 9 AM CDT. 


Belle Mont in Tuscumbia, Colbert County, Alabama was built in 1828 for Dr. Alexander Williams Mitchell, a graduate of the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, from Louisa County, Virginia. He became one of the largest planters in the area. Dr. Mitchell grew up only 25 miles from Jefferson’s home at Monticello. The house was not completed until 1832 and one year later, after the death of his wife and re-marriage, Dr. Mitchell sold the mansion to friends Isaac and Catherine Baker Jones Winston and moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Belle mont 1933 3

Belle Mont 1933 (Library of Congress) 

 

 

Outstanding example of Palladian architecture

Belle Mont is significant as one of the Deep South’s most outstanding examples of Palladian architecture. It is conceivable that Thomas Jefferson influenced the design of the house when it was built in 1828 by Dr. Alexander W. Mitchell. Flemish bond red brick and refined woodwork are hallmarks of the home’s construction. It was the home of members and descendants of the Isaac Winston family for most of its history. Belle Mont is owned by the Alabama Historical Commission and is open for public viewing.

Below: Belle Mont 2010 photographed by Carol Highsmith Library of Congress

Belle Mont is significant as one of the Deep SouthÕs most outstanding examples of Palladian architecture. It is conceivable that Thomas Jefferson influenced the design of the house when it was built in 1828 by Dr. Alexander W. Mitchell. Flemish bond red brick and refined woodwork are hallmarks of the homeÕs construction. It was the home of members and descendants of the Isaac Winston family for most of its history. Belle Mont is owned by the Alabama Historical Commission and is open for public viewing.

Connections to President Thomas Jefferson

Isaac Winston was a cousin of Dolly Madison, Patrick Henry and Isaac Cole, who was a personal friend and secretary of President Thomas Jefferson. “Isaac Winston was the uncle of Alabama’s first native-born governor, John Anthony Winston.”

Operated as a cotton plantation

Isaac continued to operate Belle Mont as a cotton plantation, and the 1860 Census reveals that he owned 114 slaves. He died three years later and his widow Catherine remained on the plantation until her death in 1884. Later generations used Belle Mont as a summer retreat. The mansion remained in the Winston family until 1941. The house was donated to the Alabama Historical Commission in 1983 by the Fennel family in 1983 along with 35 surrounding acres.

Thomas Jefferson influence 

“Considered by architectural scholars to be a clear example of Thomas Jefferson’s influence upon the architecture of the early United States, Belle Mont is one of only a few surviving examples of Jeffersonian architecture in the Deep South. Built in red brick, it features a raised, two-story central section with flanking one-story wings. The side winds project toward the rear in a U-shape, forming a semi-enclosed rear courtyard.”

Other names associated with the mansion include the Isaac Winston House, Belmont, and Henry B. Thornton Plantation.

See more events at Belle Mont’s Facebook Page

SOURCES

  1. Wikipedia
  2. Encyclopedia of Alabama
  3. Belle Mont Mansion in Historic Tuscumbia, Alabama

 

FreeHearts: 2nd edition A Novel of Colonial America – about ancestors of an Alabama family – makes a great gift!

Inspired by true events, Col. John Washington (ancestor of President George Washington), Randall Revell, Tom Cottingham, Edmund Beauchamp ward off Indian attacks and conquer the wilds of Maryland’s Eastern shore in 17th century colonial America in this historical novel.

FreeHearts: A Novel of Colonial America (Tapestry of Love) (Volume 3)


Features: Freehearts A Novel of Colonial America
By (author): Donna R Causey
List Price: $12.97 USD
New From: $12.63 USD In Stock

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About Donna R Causey

Donna R. Causey, resident of Alabama, was a teacher in the public school system for twenty years. When she retired, Donna found time to focus on her lifetime passion for historical writing. She developed the websites www.alabamapioneers and www.daysgoneby.me
All her books can be purchased at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.
She has authored numerous genealogy books.
RIBBON OF LOVE: A Novel Of Colonial America (TAPESTRY OF LOVE)
is her first novel in the Tapestry of Love about her family where she uses actual characters, facts, dates and places to create a story about life as it might have happened in colonial Virginia. Faith and Courage: Tapestry of Love (Volume 2)
is the second book and the third FreeHearts: A Novel of Colonial America (Book 3 in the Tapestry of Love Series)
Discordance: The Cottinghams (Volume 1)
is the continuation of the story. .
For a complete list of books, visit Donna R Causey

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2 comments

  1. Patrick Henry is my 1st cousin 7x removed.

  2. One time in the early-1970’s some friends and I climbed up to what was then the wreckage of this house. It was empty, a chimney had fallen into a dining room; in general the place was in really bad shape. We wondered at the time, as we climbed about the abandonded place how it had gotten that way and what was its history? Later, of course, the home was restored to its former glory. But I still remember how it had looked. Some people did a tremendous job of putting it back together.

    John S. Halbert

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