Days Gone By - stories from the past

Dallas county, Alabama Plantation House moved – [film and photographs]

(It’s amazing how far this historic house was moved and still remained intact!)


Historic Molette Plantation house, Dallas County

The historic Molette Plantation house which has been in one family for seven generations still remains in the family after it was moved several miles, renovated and converted into a model of 21st century energy efficiency. i

Molette Plantation House moved twice

The Molette Plantation house was actually moved twice, once to save it from being demolished or destroyed by 100-year flood waters and a second time to its new location.

This photograph taken by W. N. Manning, photographer for Historic American Buildings Survey, was taken on March 23, 1934 are where the house was originally located on County Roads 33 & 31 vicinity, Orrville, Dallas County, Alabama.

Molette Plantation House - Orrville

Built in 1825

The Molette Plantation House was built in ca. 1825 for William Page Mollette, born ca. 1789, a native of Beaufort District, South Carolina. The family came to Alabama in 1817. They settled in the area near Orrville called Molett’s Bend and several generations are buried there.

According to the book, Selma, Her Institutions and Her Men, by John Hardy, “Col. Wm. P. Molett was a stockholder in a bank in Selma that was established in 1856, The Commercial Bank of Alabama. It had a capital of $500,000, but of course at the fall of the Confederacy in 1865 the capital of the bank was worthless.” It is said that he was shot in the back by Yankee soldiers and died April 16, 1865.

Long career as State Representatives

One of his descendants was William Page Molette who had a long career as a State Representative from Dallas County. He died in 1956 and would have completed 24 years in the Alabama Legislature if he had lived out his last term.ii

William Page Molette earned his LLB degree at the University of Alabama in 1897. He married Eleanor Bainbridge Cochran on January 3, 1900. She was the daughter of Dr. Robert M. Cochran and his wife Alice (Shields) Cochran.iii

Molette was 81-years of age when he died after a serious illness while at the Molette plantation home. Molette had been active in implementing legislation aiding the Cahaba Commission, which was charged with establishing state markers and restoring landmarks at the historic scene.

Another Molette house on the same property photograph taken by W. N. Manning, photographer for Historic American Buildings Survey on March 23, 1934,  Orrville, Dallas County, Alabama.

molette house number 2

Molette family history

Molette was survived by his widow, Mrs. Eleanor C. Molette; and two sons, William P. Molette Jr. who lived in Richmond, Virginian in 1956; and Robert C. Molette, who lived at the plantation home in 1956.

William Page Molette earned his LLB degree at the University of Alabama in 1897. He married Eleanor Bainbridge Cochran on January 3, 1900.

More about the Molette family with some photographs can be found at Alabama Cavalry Company F.

This photograph as well as many others can be seen of the progress and restoration of The Molette House can be seen on The Molette House facebook page.Molette house from facebook page

Congrats to David and Eleanor Cheatum for saving this historic house!

SOURCES

  1. Remodeling.hw.net
  2. Alabama Cavalry Company F
  3. Times Daily February 14, 1956
  4. 96 University of Alabama students as of 1941 created by William Hill Ferguson (1874 -1971)

iiTimes Daily February 14, 1956

iii96 University of Alabama students as of 1941 created by William Hill Ferguson (1874 -1971)

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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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12 comments

  1. Barbara Morgan

    This is awesome!!! When I watched the video and saw this beautiful house enter into the cotton fields, it took my breath away!!!! I would LOVE to visit this house!

  2. Winston Wallace

    I thought it was the McMillian house.

  3. Carol June Flynn

    I guess im not the only one “in love with a house”

  4. In case anyone is interested, I recently published a book about my early life in this house and in Dallas county which began 82 years ago. You can obtain a copy with free shipping for $12:00 by contacting me at [email protected]

  5. Linda Winton

    I’m.form.Alabama history.Buckner persley come along way

  6. Shirley Cunard

    We have seen this house. uni

  7. Debbie Carter Richbourg

    Rick’s cousin , Buzzy Zeigler, was buried in the Mollette cemetery very near this house. There is a tall tombstone in the cemetery and his cousin, Bobby Willis, told me the story of how the “Yankee’s” shot the banker because he refused to give them the money.

  8. Mary Carton

    The Julian House in Tuscumbia was moved from Cherokee.

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