Home Page of t he Auburn Heritage Association Pebble Hill  
| |

Current Updates
Email Print
2023 Newsletter Alabama Historical Association Meeting Here
It's Our 35th Birthday! Sunny Slope
Lantern Tour again this October Cary Hall
Membership Party at Cary-Pick House Other Marker Projects
Historic Photographic Seminar held in February AU Calendar
Sunny Slope named to Historic Register Cemeteries Placed on Register
Historic Marker for the Chewacla CCC Membership Luncheon Slated For This Winter
Ogletree-Wright-Ivey House on "Places in Peril" AHA Officers and Board Members
AHA Member Becomes Regent of First White House of the Confederacy Donations at the Patron Level ($100)
Lee County Historical Society Grant Recipient Donations at the Friend Level ($50)
Alabama Preservation Conference to be held in Auburn Memorials
Auburn Heritage Association: Donations, New Members, Life Members Other
Lantern Tour New Members
Membership Party a Success

2023 Newsletter

Download our 2023 Newsletter

Click Here



2015 Newsletter

Download our 2015 Newsletter

Click Here



2013 Newsletter

Download our 2013 Newsletter

Click Here



2012 Newsletter

Download our 2012 Newsletter

Click Here




It's Our 35th Birthday!

The Auburn Heritage Association was formed in 1974, 35 years ago by Alice Cary Pick Gibson. Through the years, the Association has been successful with many projects in its quest to protect and preserve the history of Auburn. The Association has restored two historic buildings, Pebble Hill and Ebenezer Baptist Church, moved one antebellum house, the Nunn-Winston House, erected numerous historic markers, restored Pine Hill Cemetery, nominated and placed historic structures on the National Register, organized the Auburn Historic Preservation Commission, and continues to educate the public with the bi-annual Pine Hill Lantern Tour. Many, many volunteer hours have gone into the work of the organization over the years. We thank Miss Alice for her vision and hope she would be proud of the work we have done and continue to do today.



Lantern Tour again this October

Mark your calendars for the Pine Hill Lantern Tour which will be held again this year, Thursday and Friday, October 8 and 9. Cathy Jones has agreed to be Lantern Tour Chair again this year. With such a successful tour two years ago, we are hoping for another one. Three new characters will be included in the character portrayal, along with some of the older characters that have become a main stay.

The Board has been working on a book on the History of Pine Hill Cemetery based on the character scripts from the past 14 years, which we hope to be ready for the tour. Board Member, Buddy Hollis has taken on the job of editor. It is also hoped we will have a new inventory of the cemetery to include in the book and to be placed on the internet. New Board Member, Emily Sparrow is working on this aspect of the book.



Membership Party at Cary-Pick House

The annual Membership party was held this past May 7, again at the historic Cary-Pick House. Fran Dillard graciously offered the home of the Heritage Association founder, Mrs. Alice Cary Pick Gibson, for the party, which was enjoyed by all. Many thanks go to the members who brought food and to Winnie Boyd for heading that committee. Kroger furnished the wine and our thanks to Stan Hagan for coming to serve it for us. The Tiger ShawÕs again provided transportation to and from the parking lot, always a fun ride. Dell Chester performed her magic again with a beautiful flower arrangement for the centerpiece. Fran gave her wonderful tours of the house, which never get old.

AHA Officers and Board members were elected at the meeting, with the following elected. Mary Norman, President, Kitt Conner, Vice President, Jim Whatley, Treasurer. New Board members introduced are Fran Dillard, Emily Sparrow, June Spooner and Mary Elizabeth Shaw. Winnie Boyd, Charles Hendrix, Buddy Hollis, and Cathy Jones will be remaining on the Board. Our thanks go to Ralph Draughon and Carol Whatley for their dedicated service over the past two years.



Historic Photographic Seminar held in February

In February this year, Frances Robb, historic photographic expert from Huntsville gave a stimulating program on old photographs and the history of photography over the years in this country. Frances told the audience how to identify people in old photographs to determine their age. She brought a wonderful collection of photographs to show including daguerreotypes and tin types. She gave a wonderful power point presentation on how photography has progressed through the years. Members also brought their own old photographs and Frances graciously held one on one sessions identifying their pictures for them. The seminar was held at the Jule Collins Smith Museum, with a reception afterward.



Sunny Slope named to Historic Register

The AHA was notified in March that Sunny Slope has officially been placed on the National Register for Historic Places. A project that has spanned two years, the AHA took on the project when it was clear, Sunny Slope could be in danger of being destroyed. Many thanks go to the Emrick family, who agreed to allow the house to be placed on the register. It is hoped a historic preservation easement can be obtained to save the house. Thanks also go to Bob Gamble, Melanie Betz and Jessica Thomas from the Alabama Historical Commission who helped with the nomination. Board members Kitt Conner and Ralph Draughon and members, Ann Pearson were also instrumental in getting the paper work done.

One of our next projects may be to place the James Henry Lane House (WomanÕs Club) on the National Register. We are working with the WomanÕs Club committee to start on the field work necessary to place the nomination. The nomination will be based on the house as the WomanÕs Club House for the past 50 years. This is because the house was moved in 1960 from its original location at the corner of College and Thach Street to Sanders Street.



Historic Marker for the Chewacla CCC

The Civilian Conservation Corps were formed in 1933 by the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration and local camp # 4448 & 4447 was located here in Auburn. The Heritage Association will erect a historic marker at the entrance to Chewacla State Park to honor these men who constructed the park under the CCC. Started in 1935, the park was turned over to the newly formed state park system in 1939. AHA member, Mary Lou Smith has been heading up this committee to erect the marker. It is expected the marker dedication to be held this fall.



Ogletree-Wright-Ivey House on "Places in Peril"

The Ogletree-Wright-Ivy House was placed on the "placed in peril" list by the Alabama Historical Commission. Built by one of the original settlers of Auburn, James B.Ogletree in the late 1840's, it became the home of William W. Wright, owner of Wrights Mill by the 1870's. The antebellum Greek Revival Resident retains many of its original exterior and interior features. However, rental housing surrounds the property making it vulnerable to development pressures. Over the years the house has changed considerably. In 1953 the second story was destroyed by a tornado and since then it has been used as a fraternity house, a day care, and as student apartments. It was listed on the National Register by the Auburn Heritage Association in 1978 as a part of the North College Street Historic District and is under the protection of the local Auburn Historic Preservation Commission. According to Robert Gamble of the Alabama Historical Commission, the design "expresses the distinctive brand of Greek Revival architecture that flourished a decade or so before the Civil War in Auburn and east central Alabama. Today, the house not only needs attention, but also an appreciation of its architectural and historical significance."

The Auburn Train Depot almost made it on the list, but another train depot in the state, the Depot at Wadley, Alabama was placed instead. The Auburn Train Depot is also on the National Register and under the protection of the local Auburn Historic Preservation Commission. Agreements between the City and present owners to purchase the depot have fallen through, so its future is not known at this writing.



AHA Member Becomes Regent of First White House of the Confederacy

AHA member, Anne Henry Tidmore was named the new Regent of the White House of the Confederacy in Montgomery in April. Anne was named Regent after Regent Cameron Freeman Napier retired. Mrs. Napier who has held the position for many years was honored at a retirement party at the First White House in Montgomery in April. We wish Anne well in her new and most important historical position.



Lee County Historical Society Grant Recipient

Recently the Lee County Historical Society received a $3,000 grant from the Alabama State Historical Records Advisory Board, one of the first grants made by the newly formed Board. The grant is for the purpose of organizing, cataloging and inventorying its collection it has acquired over the years.



Alabama Preservation Conference to be held in Auburn

October 8 through 10, the Alabama Preservation Conference will be held in Auburn at the Auburn University Hotel and Conference Center. Sponsored by the Alabama Historical Commission and the Alabama Trust for Historic Preservation, the Conference will bring almost 200 historians to the City. Stay tuned for more information on events planned during the Conference.



Auburn Heritage Association: Donations, New Members, Life Members

November 1, 2008 through May 31, 2009


Edwina W. Alexander
Katherine Farr-Conner
Mr. and Mrs. John Curry
Mr. and Mrs. William E. Dillard, Jr.
Dr. Ralph B. Draughon, Jr.
Judith Nunn
Dr. John H. Rand
James C. Whatley, Jr.


Christine Danner
Sheila Eckman
Laverne T. Flanagan
Mr. and Mrs. John Frandsen
Dr. and Mrs. Daniel Hollis
Dr. and Mrs. R. E. Holman
Joyce A. Horsley
Jay and Judy Jones
Mr. Otis Pruett
Mr. and Mrs. Jack Simms
Mr. and Mrs. Earnest Todd


Joan C. Baker
Harry and Mary Lou Smith
Louise B. Smith
Pete Turnham
Don and Joanne Waller
James C. Whatley, Jr.


Joyce A. Horsley
Mr. and Mrs. Harold E. Smith


Jim Folmar
John Folmar
Elizabeth D. Lipscomb
Dr. Ann B. Pearson



Lantern Tour

Back by popular demand, the Auburn Heritage Association plans to hold the bi-annual Pine Hill Cemetery Lantern Tour on Thursday and Friday night, October 11 and 12. Cathy Jones, AHA Board member is the Cemetery Lantern Tour Chairman. Please contact Cathy if you have any suggestions or want to be a character or guide for the Tour. This year’s tour promises to be an exciting and enjoyable one, so make plans to attend. Since we are holding the tour in October for the first time, we are hoping for exhilarating fall weather! As usual you will park at the Auburn Jr. High School and transportation to the Cemetery will be provided. The $10 tickets will only be available at the gate and will include the Character Tour Program. We hope to see you there!



Membership Party a Success

On May 14, 2007, the Auburn Heritage Association held its annual membership party at the Cullars house at the corner of Samford Avenue and South College Street. The Cullars family built the Victorian cottage in 1893. In 1983, Board member Kitt Conner restored the house.

The Auburn High School ROTC unit performed a color guard ceremony, presenting the colors to the group. The annual Community Service Award was given to Major Doug Sams, who organized the ROTC unit which cleaned and landscaped the historic Baptist Hill Cemetery on Dean Road. The project has been on-going, as the students continue to visit the cemetery monthly to clean and help maintain it.

Posters and pictures of past Lantern Tours, Christmas Homes Tours, the Nunn Winston House, as well as AHA Scrapbooks were displayed. Pictures of old fraternity houses were on display with a quiz asking where they were in Auburn. This brought about some interesting conversation as to who did what, and where in what fraternity houses!

Thanks go to Dr. D. K. Ruth for allowing the AHA to use the Cullars house. Dr. Ruth runs the Rural Studio and Outreach Program for the Department of Architecture at Auburn University and which is housed at this time in the Cullars house. Additional thanks to those Board members who brought refreshments and to Kroger for donating the wine. New Board members for the AHA are, Dr. Ralph Draughon, Dr. Charles Hendrix, Dr. Dan Hollis, and Carol Whatley. We welcome them aboard!



Alabama Historical Association Meeting Here

The State Alabama Historical Association meeting was held this past April 12-15 in Opelika, Alabama. Two AHA members presented programs, Lan Lipscomb and Ralph Draughon. Ralph was on the Association’s program Committee Headquarters for the meeting was at the First United Methodist Church. The banquet on Friday night, the 13th, was at Saugahatchee Country Club and was attended by AHA members, Mary Norman, Jim Whatley, Elizabeth Lipscomb, Ann Pearson and Sheila Eckman.



Sunny Slope

The Alabama Historical Commission has joined with the Auburn Heritage Association to try and save one of Auburn’s most treasured homes. Sunny Slope, built ca. 1857, is a Greek Revival raised cottage, and was home to William Flewellyn Samford, father of Governor William James Samford. Samford Hall is named for the Governor. The Governor moved with his family to Sunny Slope when he was only 10 years old. William F. Samford was a newspaper editor, Methodist minister, teacher and politician. He is called the “penman of secession” for his many writings supporting the Southern secession in 1861. He also conducted two gubernatorial races from the front porch of Sunny Slope. It was on the Sunny Slope grounds that the Confederate encampment and training ground where at least two Confederate regiments mustered in into the Confederate army. Sunny Slope was originally a 2,500 acre plantation.

On July 16 this year, Bob Gamble and Melanie Betz, along with Jessica Stevens from the AHC met with the AHA Board members to “document” Sunny Slope. Documentation includes taking pictures, examining how the house is built, and taking measurements of all aspects of the house. Additional research will be done to document the life of William F. Samford and his wife, Susan Dowdell. Using this material, the next step will be to place Sunny Slope on the National Register, so a historic preservation easement may be obtained. Many thanks to members, Ann Pearson, Jim Whatley, Kitt Conner, Ralph Draughon, Lan Lipscomb, and Gene Crider for all their help with this on-going project. A historic marker will be placed in fron of the house after it is placed on the National Register.



Cary Hall

The next historic marker going up on campus will be for Cary Hall. The marker has been ordered and dedication ceremony will be in front of Cary Hall on October 26. Cary Hall was built in 1940 as a memorial to Dr. Charles Cary, named first state veterinarian in 1905 and first Dean of the Auburn (API) College of Veterinary Medicine in 1907, the first in the South. Dr. Cary is considered the Father of Veterinary Medicine in the South. He is also responsible for establishing the first meat and dairy inspections in the United States, and eradicating bovine tuberculosis and brucellosis. Dr. Cary was President of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Executive Director of the Alabama Veterinary Medical Association, and President of Alabama Livestock and United States Livestock Sanitary Associations. He was named to the Alabama Hall of Fame in 1957. The marker will be funded by the Veterinary Medicine Centennial Club and the Alabama Veterinary Medical Association. Please plan to attend the dedication ceremony on campus. A time to be announced.



Other Marker Projects

The AHA will be working with Auburn University to write and place 10 more markers on campus denoting those buildings that have been placed on the National Register. Those buildings are Samford Hall, Langdon Hall, Hargis Hall, Biggin Hall, Smith Hall, Comer Hall, Mary Martin Hall, Cater Hall, Ross Chemical, and Broun Hall (now gone, but the façade is on the Nichols Building). Anyone wishing to help with this project, please contact Mary Norman – 826-0390 or pinetucket@bellsouth.net



AU Calendar

The AHA is very excited about partnering with Auburn University to make the new 2008 calendar. This calendar features the 12 oldest buildings on the AU campus. They are beautiful calendars and each month gives a different building, which also includes information about for whom the building is named and a brief biographical sketch of the individual. This project is a fund raiser for the AHA and we hope you will support this effort. We have strived to not only bring you a beautiful new calendar, but also bring you some educational information about the buildings, architectural details, and about those people for whom they are named.

Jeff Etheridge Manager Photographic Services if responsible for this project and has done a wonderful job with the photography, layout and detail of the calendar. We know you won’t be disappointed. Order several for Christmas gifts. We also would like to make a special offer to those businesses who might want to order these calendars to place in the Auburn City Schools. A gift of a calendar per teacher is our goal. This is a wonderful way to educate our local students about the history of Auburn and those people who came here and contributed to what Auburn is today. Please refer to the letter and order blank along with the newsletter for ordering information.



Cemeteries Placed on Register

An article by Dr. Ann Pearson

Since 1990, the Auburn Heritage Association, through two continuing preservation/documentation projects, has accumulated considerable information on Pine Hill and Baptist Hill cemeteries. Last July I first learned, through PRESERVATION REPORT, the newsletter of the Alabama Hisotrical Commission, about the Alabama Historic Cemetery Register, established in 2003 by the Commission.

I promptly submitted the AHA information (with a little help from Mary Norman) on these two cemeteries, and they were placed on the Register on August 8, 2007. Pine Hill and Baptist Hill now have the distinction of being the first and second historic cemeteries to be so recognized in Lee County.

Both cemeteries were already listed on the State Register of Landmarks and Heritage through the efforts of the AHA, Pine Hill since 1978, and Baptist Hill since 1993.

Cemeteries accepted for the Register are automatically filed on the database of the Alabama Cemetery Preservation Alliance (ACPA), headquartered in Montgomery. Also founded in 2003, it is a non-profit, volunteer organization, whose broad mission is to locate and protect every historic cemetery in the state.

They are attempting to have representatives in all 67 counties, and I have volunteered to be the Lee County representative, since that slot was open. I am still learning my duties/responsibilities. The ACPA is attempting to do, statewide, what we are continuing to do locally, and I hope all of you will support me as their representative in this county.

If any of you should wish to join, and receive the quarterly newsletter, THE ALABAMA ANGEL, send $15 dues to: ACPA, Inc., P.O. Box 3932, Montgomery, AL, 36109-0932. Their website is: www.alabama-cemetery-preservation.com. The organization will host a cemetery preservation workshop and membership meeting in Montgomery on Saturday, November 3, and I hope some of us can attend.

Also on the cemetery front, I am happy to report that the documentation and all the other information obtained in the AHA cleanup of Baptist Hill in the early nineties, will be published in the January, 2008 issue of TAP ROOTS. It is the quarterly newsletter of the Genealogical Society of East Alabama. Our thanks to Joyce Hicks, the editor, for this inclusion. Additional copies will be placed with the City, and at other appropriate places.

Ann Pearson



Membership Luncheon Slated For This Winter

The AHA Board members voted to have the 4th Annual Membership Luncheon. The date of the luncheon will be February at Saugahatchee Country Club. Several ideas for speakers have been suggested, but none decided. If you have a suggestion, let us know.



AHA Officers and Board Members

President – Mary Norman
Vice President – Kitt Conner
Treasurer – Jim Whatley
Winnie Boyd
Ralph Draughon
Charles Hendrix
Dan Hollis
Cathy Jones
Carol Whatley
The Board meets every 3rd Wednesday September through May at Pebble Hill at noon.  You are welcome to join us anytime. 826-0390



Donations at the Patron Level ($100)

Edwina W. Alexander
Bill and Samera Baird
Mr. and Mrs. M.L. Beck
Dorry J. Blackburn
Mrs. R. Platt Boyd, Jr.
Race and Heather Cannon
Katherine Farr-Conner
Arthur Cooper
Ralph Draughon, Jr.
Frank and Frances Johnson
Don and Joanne Lambert
Elizabeth D. Lipscomb
Mr. and Mrs. Neal Littlejohn
Otis W. Pruett, Sr.
Ruby B. Russell
Mr. and Mrs. Albert J. Smith, Jr.
James C. Whatley, Jr.



Donations at the Friend Level ($50)

Robert and Jane Brewer
Mrs. and Mrs. M. J. Danner
Carol Davis
Michael and Sheila Eckman
West and Shirley Rose Glisson
Ann Cullars Graves
Charles and Rebecca Hendrix
Dan and Lynda Hollis
Todd and Betsy Lethander
J. F. Meagher
Richard and Edna Phelan
Gwen Reid
Jack and Jo Sims
Mr. and Mrs. J. W. Tamblyn




Mrs. Frances Vowell by Stanley Sistrunk




Auburn University



New Members

Bill and Samera Baird
Ellen W. Ball
Gary, Debra and Kate Beard
Mary Benefield
Jeanne M. Bradley
Christopher and Rebecca Buxton
Lucinda S. Cannon
Race and Heather Cannon
June Corley
George and Theresa Chrispin
Sara M. Curry
Caroline R. Dean
William and Linda Dean
Ralph Draughon, Jr.
Bill and Laura Dyas
Katie, Joe and Jacks Dyer
Ann Cullars Graves
Dr. and Mrs. Cleveland Harrison
Dan and Lynda Hollis
Kathleen, Holly and Lilli Land
Wilson and Dorothy Lee
Lan Lipscomb
Buddy and Becky Merrill
Gwen F. Reid
Susan Riddle
Mr. and Mrs. William H. Scott, III
Mr. and Mrs. Albert J. Smith, Jr.
Jim Sprayberry
Marie Strickland
Christy Truitt
Jay Lamar
Bill Turner
Wallace and Carol Whatley
Bob and Fredressa Whittenburg
Annette P. Woodley