Jun 6, 2016

50th Anniversary of a Major Alabama Mansion Fire

     It was 50 years ago today that a Florence plantation home burned to the ground in half an hour after it was struck by lightening. An AP story in the Clay center Dispatch tells the story of the fire with eyewitness reports.
     The AP story makes no mention of it, but the Forks of Cypress Mansion has special relevence
     Some of Alex Haley's family were slaves on the plantation and there is a slave cemetery on the property. A remake of the TV series based on Haley's Roots is being broadcast this month.

     The mansion was built in 1821, the year Alabama became a state, by an Irish Immigrant slave-owner named  James Jackson. It was struck by lightning and burned to the ground, leaving only the stone columns that supported the wood structures.

The survey of historic buildings includes several photos of the mansion, and the architectural drawings too.

The house in 1935

June 6, 1966---6/6/66

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