Unforgettable: Some of my favorite scenes from historic places I saw for the first time
Shown above: the Chieftains Museum/Major Ridge House in Rome, Georgia.
See Rome historic places: Part 2 for more information about the Chieftains Museum.
When I decided to produce this new website, I knew a big part of it would involve building a collection of photos from a lot of places where I had never taken pictures before. That’s a lot of fun for me, and, as a result, I have ended up including a great deal more photos than I had originally expected.
I have been posting my favorite photos from historic commercial districts on the page titled Photo journey: My favorite historic downtown streetscapes (so far).
On this page, I would like to share some of my favorite residential historic streetscapes and sidewalk scenes. Some are simply nice to look at. Others are scenes that I found to be surprising as far as the size, scope, age or general awesomeness of the subjects.
At this time, they are all from cities in northwest Georgia and northeast Alabama. Some show structures that are individually-listed in the National Registry of Historic Places, but most of the photos show houses that are part of a multi-house residential district.
Thanks for visiting!
Super summertime sidewalk scenes courtesy of a pair of Alabama’s most-exquisite historic districts
In August 2020, I visited the historic places in downtown Huntsville, Alabama, with one purpose in mind: See the Twickenham and Old Town historic districts — along with the nearby Big Spring Park and courthouse square — when they were at their colorful best.
See other pictures from that day: Summertime in beautiful historic downtown Huntsville.
Monumental surprises found around almost every corner in the historic districts of Anniston
Until recently, I had never been anywhere in Anniston, Alabama, that wasn’t on Quintard Avenue or the Chief Ladiga Trail. So in May 2020, I explored the historic downtown, the city’s three residential historic districts and several other sites. I saw many more jaw-dropping sites than I had expected.
Over 70 more photos are found on my article, Exploring Anniston’s surprisingly large inventory of historic places.
Is Rome the best place in northwest Georgia for a self-guided sidewalk tour of historic places?
Yep. Obviously. The city’s Between the Rivers Historic District includes the remarkable, old downtown commercial strip, a neighborhood that rivals the best historic residential districts in Huntsville or Atlanta, and some grand old churches.
To view more photos from Rome, see my articles:
This tiny town is heavy laden with historic sites
Shown above is a view from the parking lot of a creekside cafe. The white building is the c. 1910 Hearn Academy which is just one of the five historic sites in Rolater Park.
The population of Cave Spring, Georgia is less than 1,300, but, if you’re a historic-places enthusiast, its large assortment of historic places makes it worth a weekend trip from just about anywhere in north Alabama, north Georgia, south Tennessee or south North Carolina.
Check out my article A walking tour of Cave Spring’s historic places.
180 year olds are cool
Shown above: The Winston Place in Valley Head. Originally constructed in 1838, it was remodeled in the 1880s-90s, gaining its Colonial Revival appearance at that time.
See my article, Valley Head and Mentone in pictures.
Discovering Ashville’s extravagant collection of 130 to 185 year old houses
Shown, from left, are the c. 1852 Inzer House, and a view of the c. 1890 Leroy Box House from about a block away.
Ashville, Alabama, is a prime example of a small city that contains impression historic houses that I had no idea existed until I became interested in such things. There are six noteworthy 19th-century houses within walking distance of their c. 1844 courthouse. Take a look at the 20 photos on the article Downtown Ashville: More than a fare share of stately historic places.
Exploring Gadsden by sidewalk
Shown: the c. 1904 Colonel O.R. Hood House on Chestnut Street in Gadsden.
I have visited Gadsden a thousand times to shop. I had seen Noccalula Falls, the riverfront parks and the historic Broad Street many times. But, I had never seen Chestnut Street’s historic places until 2020. Now, thanks to the grand houses and some of the biggest hardwood trees I’ve seen anywhere, I’ll never forget my recent self-guided sidewalk tours in that area.
See Gallery: Additional photos from the Gadsden Downtown Historic District.
An eye opening visit to Lafayette
A visit to Lafayette, Georgia, to see historic places also yielded some eye opening personal discoveries. I had driven past places like the c. 1836 Marsh-Warthen House (above) a few times but simply didn’t see it until a little research revealed what I was missing.
Check out my article, A look at Lafayette’s historic places in the summer of 2020.
If they could talk: The stories an old house could tell
One of the things that fascinates me most about historic residences, such as the above c. 1875 Henry-Jordan House, are how they make me wonder about all the stories they could tell if they could only talk. Near to the lake on the primary route to the north in downtown Guntersville, this Reconstruction-era house has surely seen a great deal.
See my article about the historic places of Guntersville: Mountain-lake setting heightens the wow factor of Guntersville’s historic downtown.
Was that cannon fire?
I walked to the middle of the front porch of the c. 1840s Gordon-Lee house in Chickamauga, Georgia and realized the cannon fire I thought I heard was probably just my imagination. I had been wondering what it was like when the Union Army confiscated the crops and livestock at this estate in September of 1863.
Serving as a reminder of the 1863 events, there’s a cannon in the front yard of this well-maintained historic treasure. See over three dozen additional photos from it and other nearby historic places: History-themed fun for everyone in downtown Chickamauga.
You don’t see that everyday
My imagination ran wild the first time I saw the six huge c. 1896 Victorian-style duplexes sitting side by side near the railroad yard on Kilpatrick Row in Bridgeport, Alabama. Originally, there were eight of them, and now one of them looks like it may need to be saved from years of decay before it’s too late.
You’ll probably never go to Bridgeport. But you can see over 30 photos from my most recent visit: Bridgeport: Former Civil War citadel is now a historic treasure.
Taking to the sidewalks of the Northwest Cedartown Historic District
It’s the nostalgic appeal of the historic Main Street commercial strip in Cedartown, Georgia, that will draw me back to the city time and time again. But, there’s much more for historic sightseekers to see in this city including the flamboyant old lady shown above. She’s just one of the many 1880-90s houses that can be seen from the sidewalks of the Northwest Cedartown Historic District.
To take a look at a few of the others, visit The historic Main Street business district steals the show in Cedartown.
This avenue gets an ‘A’ for curb appeal
Shown: A summer scene from Avenue A in Rome’s Upper Avenue A Historic District. The flattest historic area in Rome, this street is found just off of the west bank of the Oostanaula River where many of the houses are large, two-storys with great front porches, and lots of blooms in the spring and summer.
My article, Rome historic places: Part 2, features over 20 photos along with information about three of the city’s districts that are listed with the National Registry of Historic Places, and more.
Scottsboro’s charming College Hill Historic District
This small, charming district consists of 14 houses, 10 of which were built between 1890 and 1923, plus the c. 1930 Page Elementary School. See more of it along with other nearby historic places when you visit my article, Encounter history in downtown Scottsboro.