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Drish plantation mansion, a house with a colorful past and many ghosts

Dr. John R. Drish House, also known simply as the Drish House, is a historic plantation house in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. It is considered by state preservationists to be one of the most distinctive mixes of the Greek Revival and Italianate styles in Alabama.


Drish House on acreage

drish house on acreage

It once stood in the center of a 350 acre plantation, built in 1837 by slave labor and named after original owner John H. Drish. William Nichols, the Alabama state architect, is usually credited as influencing the architecture.The exterior of the house, as completed in 1837, featured full width, monumental Doric porticoes to the front and rear, with two-story pilasters dividing each bay on all four sides.Drish Plantation Mansion

Mr. Drish added the three story Italianate tower in the 1860’s in order to compete with Robert Jemison who was building his own mansion in town. Mr. Drish died in the home in 1867 by throwing himself off the upstairs balcony. Sarah Drish died in 1884. There are many ghost stories associated with this home. It was featured in Kathryn Tucker Windham and Margaret Gillis Figh’s 13 Alabama Ghosts and Jeffrey, in the short story “Death Lights in the Tower.”

The home eventually fell into disrepair and was used for many different purposes over the years including a salvage yard and auto parts store during the great depression.

Auto Parts Store in Summer 1936

Converted home. Tuscaloosa, Alabama.2

Converted home. Tuscaloosa, Alabama. 1936

Converted antebellum residence into Tuscaloosa Wrecking Company and Auto Parts. Alabama

Interior in of Drish House in 1936drish interior

In 1940, it became a part of a church. Today, it is slowly being reverted back to it’s former glory and it is hoped to one day be a show place and museum. It was deeded to the Tuscaloosa County Preservation Society in July 2007; the group has made efforts to stabilize the structure and hopes to raise enough funding for its eventual restoration. They had the church additions demolished in 2009.

Drish Mansion in 2010

drish house 2010

This old house is now being restored.

Check out these books by Alabama Author Donna R. Causey

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Some stories include:

  • The true story of the first Mardi Gras in America and where it took place
  • The Mississippi Bubble Burst – how it affected the settlers
  • Did you know that many people devoted to the Crown settled in Alabama –
  • Sophia McGillivray- what she did when she was nine months pregnant
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ALABAMA FOOTPRINTS Exploration: Lost & Forgotten Stories (Volume 1)


By (author): Donna R Causey
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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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33 comments

  1. Alabama Pioneers

    Samantha Carnley posted this photo on Strange Alabama of the house from yesterday

  2. Vickey Collum

    This is going to b beautiful

  3. Diane Robertson

    it is beautiful, but gives me the creeps

  4. June Winegardner White

    So glad it’s being restored.

  5. JD Alldredge Jr.

    Let me know when it’s finished so I can start moving in okay? ?

  6. Anthony Leipert

    Used it to work in this one too maintain the fire systems it was great. Only one that gave me the willies was Gainswood in Demopalis

  7. Maribeth Long

    Are you spending the night?? LOL

  8. Jon Byrd

    It should be haunted.

  9. What street is this on?

  10. The Alabama Trust for Historic Preservation toured yesterday. We did see some of the original plaster work, the truss system of the roof, the remains of a grand classic door case, and the faded beauty of this historic home. Hats off to the Tuscaloosa Historic Preservation Society for stabilizing this historic property, and also to the new owner.

  11. Sam Harris

    Trish Robertson Johnson

  12. Phyllis Springfield

    I love hearing Kathryn Tucker Windham talk!!

  13. Sheila Tilley

    Kimberly Kemp, this is the old house off greenboros Rd there close to piggywiggle. Listen to the story the lady tells

  14. Stephen Spear

    Enjoyed her 13 Alabama ghost and Jeffery when I was a kid.

  15. Gina Boulware Willis

    My daughter is having her wedding there this fall.

  16. Tammy Fulton Bobo

    Mrs. Windham is such a wonderful storyteller!

  17. Carol Hill Megginson

    Kathryn Tucker Windham was a treasure. The best southern accent ever!

  18. Joel Pope

    Every time I click on this site, a “pop-up” asking for my E-mail keeps me from being able to read the story. I cannot close it. This is VERY UNPROFESSIONAL for a site purporting to represent the GREAT STATE OF ALABAMA!

  19. Regina Kelly Bray

    Courtney Burke This is so interesting. Would love to tour this house when I come back down. This book would be a good one.

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