Historic Markers Across Alabama

Harris-Simpson House

Marker ID: AHC 
Location: on Clinton Avenue, Courtland, Alabama
County: Lawrence
Coordinates: N 34° 40.067    W 087° 18.785
  34.66778333    -87.31308333
Style: Free Standing **
Waymark: None


Side one:
This circa 1820 house is thought to be one of the oldest houses in Courtland. Occupying a lot platted by the Courtland Land Company in 1818, the house faces north toward what was once the main Tuscumbia Road. Dr. Jack Shackelford (1790-1857), an early settler and legislator, is believed to have lived in this house in the mid 1800s. After a nearby Civil War skirmish, the house served as a military hospital. In 1895, Mrs. Susan Jackson Harris, granddaughter of James Jackson of the famous Forks of Cypress Plantation near Florence and wife of John Hunter Harris of Rosemont Plantation, acquired the house. Her daughter Caroline Harris Simpson lived here until 1972 and descendants owned the house until 1995. In 2001, the Alabama Preservation Alliance purchase and placed a protective easement on the property, which requires all future owners to preserve the house and grounds.

Side two:
This is a good example of the early American"I” house, so called for its tall, narrow side profile. The original part of the house is two-stories, with two large rooms and a central hall on both floors. The braced-frame construction, a framing system involving the use of corner posts and bracing, is covered with beaded siding. Delicate Federal-period mantelpieces, molded trim, chair rails, and a paneled staircase grace the interior. Traces of faux-bois, a decorative painting technique popular in the 19th century, also survive. An unusual feature is the shed-roofed"chimney pent” (or closet) abutting the west chimney. Side and rear additions were added in the early 1900s.

Erected 2002 by Alabama Historical Association

End of Harris-Simpson House