PatronPATRON + This tavern in Alabama had a secret stairway. Do you know the purpose? (film) January 13, 2021 August 26, 2021by Donna R Causey To view this content, you must be a member of Alabama Pioneers Patrons's Patreon at $2 or more Unlock with PatreonAlready a qualifying Patreon member? Refresh to access this content. Tags: Alabama historyBARBOUR COUNTY
Why is everyone mentioned in Alabama Pioneers rich, high born or political? Why hasn’t anything been written about Hosea Holcomb or the founding of Samford University? Looney’s Tavern or the Brooks/McFarland feud?
You never disclosed the importance of the secret stairway…possibly used for servants or to make quick getaways from harboring people in hiding.
We do not know why the stairway was secret, hoping to hear some other thoughts as to why it would be there and hidden.
We toured a plantation home in Louisiana this past summer and the stairwell you discribe sounds similar to the servant stairway in the LA home. It was very narrow and spiraled up in such a small space (small coat closet that reaches 2 stories) the stair treads were worn from the excessive use by servants carrying heavy trays, buckets, etc. to the guests from the kitchen.
Just a thought…
I wondered the same thing.
Just in case(lol)
Love houses with a past..
Bring in unseen visitors?
I give up- why did it it have a secret stairway?
there could be lots of reason, my friends. Just think about it.
Took the whole tour. Totally enjoyed it.
It was so Jenny could get up to Forrest’s room at night when she was scared of her grandmas dog.
Servant use is the likeliest explanation. Tavern guests coming down to breakfast did not generally wish to accompanied by slaves carrying topped-off chamber pots out to be emptied and cleaned.
Since tensions still existed between settlers and Creeks at the time (a second Creek War would break out the year following the tavern’s construction), the stairway could also provide a surreptitious means of exit from the upstairs in the event of an emergency.
[…] new store houses were built, and also a two-story hotel, which was called the Irwinton Hotel, and kept by a Mr. Birch. Next door to this building was the then imposing two-story building, […]
No, are you going to tell us?
I don’t have the answer either. I hoped someone might know more about it.
Don’t bother reading. The article never answers the question!
Hideout from the Yankees ?
I grew up there and always heard it was so the daughters couldn’t leave the house without going through Mom and Dads bedroom.
To keep the drinks safe til they sober up?
To hide from Yankee soldiers.
To hide from angry wives when they came looking for their husbands
May be a part of the under ground rail road for slaves.
What a boring video….
I enjoyed the video! My sister Chris and I visited there last spring tracing our family tree. The video did a good job covering some of the main streets. We never did find the exact houses they grew up in but did visit Christian Grove Church. Anyone have any info on John Wilson James or Emma Kate Cronin James we would love to hear from you.
It looks like a box stair in the photo. My 1854 house has one that goes to the upstairs bedroom, which was used by the girls of the family. It is the only access to that room. Box stairs are fairly common in early homes.
Possibly could have been the servants way to access the second floor so they wouldn’t disturb the family
Robie Sue Whitson Guy yep. Be seen as little as possible
The photo at the end of the story shows how the exterior of The Tavern looked after restoration. The downstairs area was used as a studio by portrait photographer Earl Roberts for many years. Earl and his wife, Martha Ann, eventually bought the building, lovingly restored the second floor interior, and used that portion as their home. They were wonderful people. I had the privilege of working next door in the restored Wellborn House for many years.
Dianne Hornsby Roberts wonderful history
[…] “The Tavern” was built as a river inn on the Chattahoochee in 1836 (the same year Yoholo-Micco was expelled). The oldest building in town also served as a Confederate hospital during the Civil War. Today, it is a private residence, and I enjoyed a chat with the owner who was taking out his trash when I stopped by. […]