Tuscumbia History in Peril

by Staff
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Tuscumbia-The grand old Lady was built in 1852 for a congregation that had been meeting in homes since 1832.  She survived being used as a horse stable during the Yankee occupation during the Civil War.  She survived the tornado of November 22, 1874 as evidenced by the numerous earthquake rods going from wall to wall and buttresses on the outside.  The windows tell the story of the Hodgkins family killed in the tornado.  The window behind the altar a memorial to the Dr. Newsum, uncle of Helen Keller and sons, William dying from wounds suffered in the Battle of the Wilderness in 1864 and Alexander dying at age 30 during the Great Yellow Fever epidemic of 1878.


Now St. John’s Episcopal Church at 300 North Dickson Street is in peril due to the economy and lack of funds for weather related repairs.  The church steeple has severe damage from a water leak that has bowed out the wall above the doorway and several other areas throughout the church. Recently the roof was replaced and the water assault stopped.  Now the task of repairing the damage remains.  After pictures of last spring’s walking tours were posted on Remember Tuscumbia on Facebook, a discussion as to the need for a fundraiser took place, but no one came forward until Senator Bobby Denton took the bull by the horn and performed a benefit concert on Sunday October 7.    Those in concert were treated to an hour of some of his wonderful gospel songs.  The concert was a special treat for myself as I had never been inside of the church and allowed me to get some photographs as well as helping the cause a little.  The original pews, a beautiful pump organ and fine examples of 1800 furniture remain in the church.  I was very sorry to disappoint Senator Denton by not being with AP.


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