Photos show you the beauty.
Built around 1882 as a four room home for the
Charles A. Swift family, by the early 1900's the home grew to 16 rooms.
Entrance. The garland is made from Magnolia tree leaves, which the staff used all around the house, stunning! You can see some lights through the door, they decorated a large tree at the end of the entry way (two doors opposing, believe this is called a shot gun arrangement, used widely in the south for air flow/breeze).
Above, Banister decorated for the holidays, magnolia leaves, AND, cotton!
Normally they do not allow interior photos, but, they did allow me to take this one interior one, as I was so enthusiastic about the cotton in this garland. Taken without a flash, I have digitally enhanced it, below is a close up, cropped and edited differently, to show the cotton.
Above: Cotton picked from the fields, worked into the garland.
Above: Quite a few of these surround the house.
In 1976, Nik Coles purchased the home and began a lengthy and thorough restoration. Upon his death in early 2007, the Swift-Coles Home was willed to the Baldwin County Historic Development Commission.
Our gracious tour ladies told us about some of the furniture Nik Coles purchased to fill the home. He lived in the home for about 30 years. They told us a goose bump story (you know, one of those that raises the goose bumps on your arms and makes ya shiver) of a ghost who protested the restoration. By the way, the story goes that the ghost moved on to different digs, when a Swift descendant removed a family desk to his own home.
There are several statues in the yard, includng this one.
We had an enjoyable afternoon holiday tour with friends John and Donna thank to the docents at the Swift-Coles home.
* You just know I had to do bit of genie-digging while writing this post. Nik was Norman N. Coles, born 7 Mar 1923, died 9 Jan 2007. Found a nice obituary for him published in the Birmingham News, Birmingham Alabama on January 12, 2007. A few quotes from that obituary:
"He served his country with commendation during WWII. Nick was a member of the Naval Air Corps in the European North African Theatre. Following the war he attended college at George Washington University in Washington, D.C.
His love of international travel drew him to the Greek Isles in pursuit of his ancestral heritage. During these travels he developed a lifelong love and appreciation of antiques, which he collected for the remainder of his life.
Upon returning from Europe, he located in Gulf Shores, Alabama where he owned and operated, for several decades, the popular restaurant and antique shop called 'The Friendship House'."