The tour always consists of the opening of the historic homes and buildings, a “ghost tour” at Oak Hill Cemetery, which remembers the citizens who have served the city well and gone on before us, a wonderful exhibit at our own fine museum Heritage Hall and then Talladega Public Library, a delicious luncheon and fashion show at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church and sometimes a concert or performance at the Ritz Theater.
Friday & Saturday: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
SUGAR HILL c. 1835
Home of Joe and Pam Power
610 East Street
Sugar Hill was believed to have been built in 1835 by William Chilton who was later an Associate Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court. Originally it was constructed of two post and beam homes that were joined together, with the front porch facing North. A second front porch was built when East St S was built on the West side. It was built in the Colonial Cottage style with six outside chimneys and now furnished with heirlooms and antiques. Sugar Hill is one of the oldest homes in Talladega. It is now owned by Joe and Pam Power.
JOHNSON-BOWDEN HOME c.1907
Home of Russell Bowden
414 Cherry Street
This home was designed by Frank Lockwood of Montgomery, built by Dr. Hal Johnson and features American vignoli columns capped with scamozzi capitals. It is thought that Mary and Lawrence Dumas were the first to occupy the house. Shortly thereafter, Mr. J. F. Hanks, a local merchant, bought the house and lived there until his death in the late 1930s. In the early 1950s the house was bought by Kiser and Roberta Weaver. The Weavers were a prominent family in Talladega owning several businesses in town. The house remained in the Weaver family until 2014 when the current owners purchased the property.
MT. IDA c.2007
Home of Cris Picard, Anne Davis & daughter, Elise
3910 Whiting Road
Mt. Ida – site of the antebellum Reynolds plantation, located ten miles south of Talladega, is now the home of the Picard family: Cris, Anne and Elise. Unlike the Reynolds plantation house, the new Mt. Ida is a prairie-style home, inspired by the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright. The house nestles into the scenic landscape—merging into the hillside rather than perching on top. Its many glass windows and doors bring surrounding views of mountains, fields and forests right into Mt. Ida’s open, spacious interior.
Inviting outdoor spaces of pool, patio and fire pit…draw family and friends out into the surrounding beauty of Talladega County’s ‘big sky’ country. A short walk down Mt. Ida’s drive leads one back into the past for a contemplative visit in the Reynolds family cemetery. The adjacent woods hold numerous slave gravesites; most of the graves are marked by distinctive natural stones.
The Picards purchased the land in 2004, and moved into their new home in February of 2007.\
THE COTTAGE AT MT. IDA c.2009
Owned by Dr. and Mrs. Jim Davis
3910 Whiting Road
The cottage at Mt. Ida, owned by Dr. and Mrs. Jim Davis, was constructed in 2009 by Graham Davis Builders. Becky and Jim Davis enjoy it as a place of retreat—a place to garden, to walk in the woods, and enjoy the view of fields, sky and the Rebecca Range from the cottage front porch.
The architectural design is inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright, with flowing, open inside space, a central fireplace, and numerous windows and glass doors. Other feathers: the ceiling in the main room mimics a tin roof; a kitchen backsplash is made of tiles broken in the construction process; sections of selected interior walls are covered in pine boards. These are the creative design of Dr. Cris Picard, son-on-law of Becky and Jim, and lend a cozy, cabin-like feel to the cottage at Mt. Ida.
THE LEWIS HOUSE AND GARDENS
Home of Lea Lewis
120 South Oak Lane
Sam Lewis’ vision for a French home with architectural gardens has come alive through his hard work and the efforts of his wife in his memory. Lewis trained as a registered forester and developed his appreciation for trees, shrubs and their use in designing outdoor spaces.
The Lewis Gardens are designed in patters and for visual effect. You can walk on designed paths bordered by boxwoods, enjoy the pebble ponds, meander through the walled rose garden with water features and magnolias, the labyrinth, lawn Anglaise and travel the beech tree lined drive. Tree lovers will also recognize Hornbeams, White Pines and Bald Cypress. Before you go inside, look up at the house’s Genoise brick decorations.
Then step into this French country house with its ten foot ceilings, Rumsford fireplaces, exquisite tile and other special details including mahogany doors, and limestone and quarter sewn white oak floors. Antiques, art, decorative paint finish walls and fascinating collectibles adorn every interesting square foot of the Lewis house.
RITCHIE HOME c.1832
Owned by Tom and Margaret Ritchie
7566 Berney’s Station Road
The property was originally purchased in 1838 in the midst of a cotton boom. It has been the site of a one-room schoolhouse, a train stop, and decades later, a ranch for racehorses with a large track and sparkling lake.
This home was originally built by Alabama Superior Court Judge John White, a pioneer settler of Talladega County. He practiced law in the county for ten years until his death in 1842.
The original farmhouse had a symmetrical I-house design, a common 19th century floor plan in the Southeast that features a breezeway through the center to keep families cool in the hot climate.
The current owners of this historic home are Mr. and Mrs. Thomas A. Ritchie, who purchased the property in 1998 and began a full renovation in 2004. And now, once again, it is occupied by a lawyer, Thomas Ritchie.