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Walking Thru Historic Huntsville--Part 2

Weeden House Museum


Weeden House Museum

The Weeden House Museum

Located at 300 Gates Avenue in Huntsville, Alabama, the Weeden House Museum is open to the public. It was originally built around 1819 by Henry C. Bradford and is an example of Federal architecture. It was the home of John McKinley, Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, and Barley M. Lowe. It was the birthplace and lifelong home of nationally famous artist and poet, Maria Howard Weeden (1846-1905). The two-story brick house features an outstanding leaded glass entrace fanlight, spiral staircase and hand-carved mantels. During the Civil War, it was requisitioned for the use of Federal officers.

After the Civil War, Miss Weeden partly supported her impoverished family by teaching art in the house. Maria Howard Weeden was born in the house on July 6, 1847. She was the youngest child in the Dr. William Weeden family. Athough she had little formal art training, she became well-known for her watercolor portraits of the old ex-slaves, depicting their character in her paintings and their sense of humor and philosophy of life in accompanying poems written in their dialect. Her books were published by Doubleday, McClure and Company. Joel Chandler Harris, creator of "Uncle Remus," referred to Miss Weeden as "the birght light of the ninettenth century." She died in 1905.

It is now owned by the City of Huntsville and is leased by the Twickenham Historic Preservation District Association. The Weeden House opened as a house museum in 1981. Every Christmas season, a Historic Homes Tour of different houses in the Twickenham District benefits The Weeden House Museum. Tours available. Admission charged.

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