Christmas in the Canebrake

By: Aisha Greer
By: Aisha Greer

Preserved as the cornerstones to the history of Demopolis are three antebellum homes: Bluff Hall, built in 1832; Lyon Hall, built between 1850 and 1853; and Gaineswood, built between 1840-1863.

All three stand as Greek Revival structures, but originally, Bluff Hall was a federal town house remodeled in the Greek Revival style.

"The Marengo County Historical Society owns Lyon Hall and Bluff Hall," said Kirk Brooker.

Lyon Hall was built and owned by the nephew of Bluff Hall. What is unique to Lyon Hall is that, instead of being restored, the home and everything in it is in its original state from the 1850s. That includes the paint on the walls to the furniture, floors, and pictures.

"Instead of restoring the house with fresh paint, we have chosen to preserve it. It was the patina of time and has aged gracefully," Brooker said. "It looks like it did when they built it."

Gaineswood sits as a national landmark owned by the Alabama State Historical Commission. All three homes were featured as part of the Christmas on the River week Thursday night, during what is called “Christmas in the Canebrake.”


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