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Pond Spring - The General Joe Wheeler Home

Once home to prehistoric Native Americans, Pond Spring is the post-Civil War home of Gen. Joseph Wheeler, a Confederate major general, a U.S. congressman, and a Spanish-American War general. Following the Civil War, Wheeler became a national symbol for reunification and reconciliation. Wheelers daughter, Miss Annie Wheeler, served in three wars as a Red Cross nurse.

The 50-acre site includes a dogtrot log house built around 1818, a circa 1830 Federal-style house, the 1870s Wheeler house, eight farm-related outbuildings, two family cemeteries, an African-American cemetery, a small Indian mound, a pond, a boxwood garden, and other garden areas.

Pond Spring - The General Joe Wheeler Home
12280 Alabama Highway 20
Hillsboro, Alabama 35643

 

General Joe Wheeler Home, c. 1870s

Photos

Bedroom, General Joe Wheeler Home
Front parlor, General Joe Wheeler Home
Sherrod House, c. 1830
Hickman Log Dogtrot, c. 1818
Log Barn, c. 1830

Pond Spring, as it exists in the 21st century, is 50 acres of land, 12 historic buildings surrounded by formal boxwood gardens, and three family cemeteries.  Its most notable inhabitants were General Joseph Wheeler and his family.

Native-Americans populated this region of the fertile Tennessee Valley for many generations.  Concentrations of artifacts discovered on the site by archaeologists show evidence of three periods of habitation, the earliest about 5000 years ago.  

The original European-American settlers, the John P. Hickman family, came to the site in 1818.  At that time, Pond Spring consisted of 1760 acres and several log structures.  The Hickmans brought with them 56 African-American enslaved workers to clear the land, plant cotton, and build their homes.

The Sherrod family bought Pond Spring in 1827 and expanded the largest of two log dogtrot houses into a clapboard-covered Federal-style home. Both the 1818 Hickman cabin and the Sherrod home stand today.

General Wheeler came to Alabama during the Civil War in 1863, and met young Ben Sherrod's widow, Daniella.  They married in 1866, and built their home during the 1870s. The General's home is connected to the older Sherrod Home by a covered walkway. The adjoining Wheeler Home contains many significant artifacts that belonged to General Wheeler and his family.  

The collections vary from books, military artifacts from the Civil and Spanish-American Wars, and antique furniture, to family portraits, photographs, and Victorian-period decorative arts.  General Wheeler was a national figure, serving as a Confederate Cavalry officer, a member of the U. S. House of Representatives, and a U. S. major general during the Spanish-American War. One of Wheeler's daughters, Miss Annie, served as a Red Cross volunteer nurse in three wars and lived in the house until her death in 1955.

The house was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1977.  In 1993, General Wheeler's descendants donated Pond Spring to the state of Alabama and the Alabama Historical Commission.

The Alabama Historical Commission has restored the house to the period when Miss Annie Wheeler displayed her father's uniforms, medals, and memorabilia from the Civil War and Spanish American War.

Hours

The house and its grounds will be open Wednesday - Saturday, 9am - 4pm and Sunday, 1pm - 5pm.

 

Wed.-Sat., tours given hourly at 9am, 10am, 11am, 1pm, 2pm, and 3pm. Closed for lunch from 12pm to 1pm. On Sundays, hourly tours are at 1pm, 2pm, 3pm, and 4pm. Tours meet on the hour on the Wheeler Home front porch.

 

Closed Monday, Tuesday, and State holidays.

 

Please call the Site Director, Kara Long at 256/637-8513 or email to psdirector@hiwaay.net for more information.

 

 

  Pond Spring, The General Joe Wheeler Home

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Admission

 

Adults $8
Students, seniors 65+, military with ID $5
Children 6-18 $3

Children under 6 free


Blue Star Museum - free admission for active duty military and families between Memorial Day and Labor Day

Group rates available for ten or more booked in advance. Teachers and bus drivers free with school groups.

 

Directions

 

The site is located in Lawrence County in Hillsboro, three miles east of Courtland, adjacent to Alabama Highway 20 (US Alt. 72).

 

Drive time approx. 23 miles and 30 mins from Interstate I-65 N

1. Head north on I-65 N
2. Take exit 340 for AL-20 W toward Decatur
3. Continue on the ramp and merge onto AL-20 W/US-72Alt W
4. Continue onto AL-20 W
5. Turn right onto AL-20 W/US-72Alt W/Wilson St NE
6. Continue to follow AL-20 W/US-72Alt W for approx. 16.4 mi
7. Turn left onto Co Rd 377 (this is not a regular left turn lane, caution advised)


Pond Spring/Joe Wheeler Home will be on the right


From I-65 S

1. Head south on I-65 S
2. Take exit 340A to merge onto AL-20 W/US-72Alt W toward Decatur
3. Continue onto AL-20 W
4. Turn right onto AL-20 W/US-72Alt W/Wilson St NE
5. Continue to follow AL-20 W/US-72Alt W for approx. 16.4 mi
6. Turn left onto Co Rd 377 (this is not a regular left turn lane, caution advised)

Pond Spring/Joe Wheeler Home will be on the right


 


Historic Preservation