Belle Mont – “A Plantation Christmas”

by Staff
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 Tuscumbia, Alabama –  The halls will be decked, the greenery will be hung, and the Christmas season will begin on Sunday, December 2, when the annual Christmas open house at Belle Mont Mansion will again be presented to the community. Everyone is invited!


“‘A Plantation Christmas,’ as the event is called, has become a tradition in the Shoals area, attended by large numbers of families and individuals who savor the atmosphere of an old fashioned holiday celebration,” explained Susann Hamlin, Executive Director of the Colbert County Tourism and Convention Bureau. “People come from all over North Alabama to get to see the mansion at its very best, decorated for an old fashioned Christmas,” she added.

 The annual event will feature traditional decorations of fresh greenery and fruit. Vocalists and musicians will present period music and dancers will perform vintage ballroom dance at intervals throughout the afternoon. Costumed docents will be on hand to share the history of the house and to serve refreshments. Hours are 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. and cost of admission to the mansion (at the door only) is $6.00 for adults and $3.00 for children (6-12 years). Children under six are admitted free with their families.  Proceeds benefit Belle Mont and local historic preservation projects.


Bell Mont, owned and operated by the Alabama Historical Commission, is one of only five state-owned historic homes.  It was a gift in 1983 to the State by members of the local Fennel family.  Over the last several years, it has been stabilized and much of the building has been restored.  It is furnished with period antiques from the Tennessee Valley and a number of portraits and other articles original to the Isaac Winston family, who once owned the plantation. Belle Mont is considered one of the state’s finest examples of Jeffersonian Palladian architecture in the young Republic. It was built in 1828 by Dr. Alexander Mitchell.


Remarking on the longevity of hosting “A Plantation Christmas,” Lanny Perry, Chairman of the Colbert County Historical Landmarks Foundation, stated that when the event began in the early 1980’s it was rotated around to several private homes in Colbert County.  When the State of Alabama acquired Belle Mont, it was in a state of disrepair, said Perry, who indicated that funds raised by the Colbert County Historical Landmarks Foundation through the years have assisted the Alabama Historical Commission with various restoration projects at Belle Mont.  As the mansion became increasingly useable, it became the regular site for “Plantation Christmas.”   Today, the mansion is synonymous with the event.


 Belle Mont is located ¼ mile west of U.S. Hwy. 43 S. on County Rd. 53 (Cook Lane). This is about 3 miles south of the intersection of U.S. Hwy. 43 with U.S. Hwy. 72.  Parking will be along the roadside, with shuttle service to the mansion.

For more information contact Colbert County Tourism & Convention Bureau at 256-383-0783 or visit


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