Historic Markers Across Alabama

Behind the Big House

Marker ID:  
Location: in the Cahawba Archaeological Park (nominal fee required), 9518 Cahaba Rd, Orrville, AL
County: Dallas
Coordinates: N 32° 19.427    W 087° 5.875
  32.32378333    -87.09791666
Style: Interpretative Sign **
Waymark: None


Behind the Big House

Two story brick slave quarters like the one before you were not typical, but they could be found in wealthy towns like Cahawba.

Stephen Barker built these quarters in 1860 on the northern edge of town. As you can see in the photograph, this structure originally had no columns and sat behind Barker's large brick mansion.

After the Civil War, Confederate veteran Samuel McCurdy Kirkpatrick and his wife Sarah purchased Barker's large home and all of its outlying structures. As other residents started to abandon Cahawba, the Kirkpatricks purchased the vacated lots. They transformed the dying town into a large farm. For nearly seventy years, three generations of Kirkpatricks managed a model farm here called "Kirk-View."

The mansion burned in 1935. After the fire, a grandson of Samuel and Sarah Kirkpatrick created a home for his new bride by adding columns and a back wing to Barker's old slave quarters.

2015 by the Alabama Historical Commission.

Photographs of the marker can be found on HMDB.org

End of Behind the Big House