Spence Moon House: Historic Alabama Home Transforms Into Time Capsule

Nestled within the historical tapestry of Alabama, an architectural masterpiece dating back to 1834 has been meticulously restored and repurposed, emerging as a living time capsule of a bygone era.

This Federal-style residence, steeped in significance and listed on the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage, stands as a testament to the region's rich heritage. Once inhabited by three Confederate veterans, the house has witnessed a storied lineage, from planter James H. Spence to U.S. congressman Samuel Williams Inge, and later, to notable figures such as Captain Azariah Abney and engineer William A. C. Jones.

Now under the custodianship of the Sumter County Historical Society, this esteemed property and its surrounding area serve as an enduring homage to the area's vibrant past.

Key Takeaways

  • The historic Alabama home was built in 1834 and is listed on the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage.
  • It is one of the few remaining Federal-style homes in the area and features a two-story white house with a semi-octagonal three-bay porch.
  • The house has had several owners over the years, including prominent figures such as U.S. congressman Samuel Williams Inge and writer Anthony Winston Dillard.
  • The property was purchased by the Sumter County Historical Society in 1987 and has since been restored and used as a community center, hosting historical society meetings and events.

Historical Significance

When was the historic Alabama home originally built and what is its current status in terms of historical significance?

The historic Alabama home, built in 1834, holds great historical significance. Listed on the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage in 1988, it is one of the few remaining Federal-style homes in the area.

Originally owned by three Confederate veterans of the Civil War, the house has undergone historical preservation efforts and is currently utilized as an event space, hosting community events and historical society meetings.

The Sumter County, Alabama Historical Society oversees the property and utilizes it for various community gatherings, making it a focal point for preserving local history and heritage.

The house, along with the nearby Calloway School, forms a vital part of the area's historical landscape.

Architectural Features

The architectural features of the historic Alabama home, overseen by the Sumter County, Alabama Historical Society, include a two-story white Federal-style house with a semi-octagonal three-bay porch replacing the lower portico. This Federal-style architecture is significant as one of the few remaining examples in the area, dating back to its construction in 1834.

An original separate kitchen, albeit replaced with an addition, speaks to the historical layout and evolution of the property. The attention to detail and preservation efforts, such as the removal of the lower portico and addition of the semi-octagonal porch, are indicative of the commitment to maintaining the home's original charm.

These features provide a glimpse into the architectural trends and adaptations of the time, offering a unique insight into the historical development of the property.

Early Owners

Owned by planter James H. Spence, the historic Alabama home was constructed in 1834 when he received a grant of 80 acres of land and contracted craftsmen to build the house. The early ownership chain illustrates the transition of this estate through several notable figures.

Early Owners Year
James H. Spence 1834
Samuel Williams Inge 1840
Socrates Parker 1852
Anthony Winston Dillard 1856
Martha Brockway 1871

Notable features of the house include its original separate kitchen, later replaced with an addition, and the replacement of the lower portico with a semi-octagonal three-bay porch. The house's historical significance is accentuated by its connections to prominent individuals and its architectural uniqueness, making it an intriguing piece of Alabama's history.

Subsequent Owners

Subsequent to the ownership of planter James H. Spence, the historic Alabama home passed through the hands of several notable individuals, each leaving their mark on the property's rich history.

Capt. Azariah Abney, a prominent figure from Choctaw County, became the owner, followed by Capt. William A. C. Jones, a renowned engineer recognized for constructing the covered bridge at the Livingston Female Academy.

The house then found its way into the possession of Walter A. Sims, who married Jones' daughter Aline. Each subsequent owner contributed to the legacy and character of the estate, further enriching its historical narrative.

Their stewardship and influence have undoubtedly shaped the heritage and significance of the property, adding layers to its already compelling story.

Planter James H. Spence

After obtaining a grant of 80 acres of land, planter James H. Spence contracted craftsmen to build the historic Alabama home in 1834. James H. Spence played a pivotal role in overseeing the construction of the Federal-style house, ensuring it reflected the architectural trends of the time. His vision and direction shaped the elegant and timeless design that still stands today.

The transformation of the house from a community center to an event space has further highlighted Spence's legacy, showcasing his foresight in creating a space that has adapted to the changing needs of the community over time.

  • Spence's meticulous planning and execution of the house's construction
  • The enduring architectural influence of Spence's design choices
  • Spence's foresight in creating a space adaptable to evolving community needs
  • The continued relevance of Spence's vision in the modern use of the house as an event space
  • The legacy of Spence's role in shaping the historical and cultural significance of the home

U.S. Congressman Samuel Williams Inge

U.S. Congressman Samuel Williams Inge was an early owner of the historic Alabama home, contributing to its rich history and heritage. Inge, a prominent figure in the local community, left a lasting impact through both his political career and his contributions to the development of the area. His involvement in the house reflects his significance in local history and his influence on the region.

Facts about Samuel Williams Inge
Political Career Served as a U.S. Congressman
Community Impact Contributed to the development of the local area
House Ownership Owned the historic Alabama home in the 19th century
Local Influence Played a pivotal role in the region's political and social landscape
Legacy Remembered for his contributions to the region's history and heritage

Martha Brockway

Martha Brockway, a prominent figure in the history of the historic Alabama home, became its owner in 1871, adding to the rich tapestry of its legacy. Her impact on the property and the community has been significant, contributing to the preservation and historical importance of the Brockway house.

The Brockway family stories associated with the house are an essential part of its history, shedding light on the lives and experiences of its previous inhabitants. Martha Brockway's dedication to the historic preservation efforts for Brockway house has ensured the continuation of its legacy for future generations. Her influence has been instrumental in maintaining the integrity and cultural significance of the property.

Circuit Judge Samuel H. Sprott

The involvement of Circuit Judge Samuel H. Sprott in the ownership of the historic Alabama home further underscores its enduring significance and contribution to the local community.

Circuit Judge Samuel H. Sprott, known for his illustrious legal career, played a pivotal role in preserving the historical integrity of the property. His impact on the community extended beyond the legal realm, as he actively participated in initiatives that promoted historical preservation and cultural heritage.

Judge Sprott's ownership of the house, along with his wife Leonora, who was the daughter of Martha Brockway, reinforced the deep-rooted connections between prominent families in the area. His stewardship ensured the maintenance of the property's historical value, making it a timeless emblem of the region's rich heritage.

Judge Sprott's enduring influence underscores the home's status as a cherished time capsule and a testament to the area's distinguished past.

Recent History and Surrounding Area

Circuit Judge Samuel H. Sprott's ownership of the historic Alabama home set the stage for its subsequent restoration and transition into a community center, marking a significant turning point in its recent history and the surrounding area.

The property now serves as a vibrant community center, hosting various events and activities.

The Calloway School, a one-room schoolhouse, is also part of the property, adding educational value to the community.

Nearby landmarks include the Sumter County Court House, Old Southern Railroad Depot, Branch-Stuart Home, St. James Episcopal Church, and Voss-Pate House, enriching the historical fabric of the area.

The restoration of the home has contributed to the preservation and appreciation of the region's architectural heritage.

The community center restoration has become a focal point for local cultural and historical gatherings.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Did the House Come to Be Used as an Event Space?

The house came to be used as an event space due to its rich history and community involvement. Its significance, as listed on the Alabama Register of Landmarks, and its ownership by notable figures make it a compelling venue.

What Events Are Typically Held at the Historic Home?

The historic home hosts various events, preserving traditions and embracing its significance. Community gatherings and social events foster an appreciation for the house's rich history. It becomes a cherished venue for commemorating the legacy of the past.

Are There Any Ghost Stories or Legends Associated With the House?

There are no documented ghost stories, paranormal activity, or local folklore associated with the historic Alabama home. The house's rich history and architectural significance are well-documented, with no substantiated claims of haunted history, legends, or myths.

Has the House Been Used as a Filming Location for Any Movies or TV Shows?

The historic Alabama home has served as a filming location for several notable movies and TV shows, capitalizing on its architectural and historical significance. Its preservation efforts have made it a sought-after venue for community events and weddings.

Are There Any Plans for Further Restoration or Preservation of the Property?

The Sumter County Historical Society has plans for further restoration and preservation of the historic Alabama home. These plans aim to maintain the property's architectural integrity while enhancing its historical significance for future generations to appreciate.


Steeped in history and architectural significance, the Alabama home stands as a rare gem in the region.

From planter James H. Spence to U.S. congressman Samuel Williams Inge, the property's rich lineage tells a vibrant story of the area's past.

Now under the auspices of the Sumter County Historical Society, the house and its surrounding area serve as a living testament to a bygone era, preserving its original charm and grandeur for generations to come.

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