Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Day Trips: Wheeler Plantation

The Joseph Wheeler home, named Pond Spring, is a historic site in Lawrence County owned by the Alabama Historical Commission.  At one time, the town nearby was called Wheeler and had a post office, but it no longer exists.

Joseph Wheeler was born in Georgia, graduated from West Point, and was serving with the United States Dragoons in the New Mexico territory (this is where he got the nickname "Fighting Joe") when the Civil War started.  He resigned from the US army, and joined the Confederacy.  While leading his troops across North Alabama, he met his future wife, Daniella.  

After the war, he returned to North Alabama and married Daniella, who happened to own the plantation where they lived and raised their family.  At one time, the plantation included 17,000 acres.

He became a planter and lawyer, and served in the US House of Representatives for twenty years.  He later served in the Spanish-American War and the Philippine-American war.

The house contains many, many historic items that I've never seen elsewhere.  Unfortunately, photography is not allowed inside the house.

There are several old buildings to see on the property.

There are nice, modern restrooms.  The guide told us about serving iced tea to a high-ranking government official who came to visit.  After his trip to their Porta-potties, they received funds to build new facilities.

You can find information about tours and special events here.