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Alabama

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Oakman

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Corry Homestead, Corry House, State Route 69, 10 miles South of Jasper (244 Scho, Oakman, Walker County, AL



See 18 maps of this location


B&W Photos

HB45856
Exterior View, Front Elevation


Data Pages


Drawings


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Item Title


Location
10 miles South of Jasper (244 Scho, Oakman, AL

Find maps of Oakman, AL


Created/Published
Documentation compiled after 1933.

Notes
Survey number HABS AL-949-A
Unprocessed field note material exists for this structure (N783).
Building/structure dates: 1848 initial construction
Significance: The early log house marks rural to industrial transition and wealth of farmer/coal mine operators. / The Corry homeplace is a rambling frame farmhouse set on a broad lawn surrounded by heavily timbered and strip-mined hills. Four generations of the Corry family have lived here, farming, mining, and serving as community-spirited citizens and representatives of the U.S. Post Office from 1852-1860, 1934-1961, and 1965-1988. Today, the house is a focal point of a Museum of Southern Life which interprets mid- to late-19th century pioneer and mining heritage. The house was erected in 1848 as a two-story log structure in what was then a remote and mountainous agricultural area known as York, about 38 miles north of the contemporary state capitol, Tuscaloosa. The house stood near the road to Jasper, which was established as the seat of Walker county in 1823. Joseph Mortimer Corry (1829-1910), who acquired the house in 1852, farmed cotton and ran a grist and saw mill business, becoming the second largest such operator in the county by 1860. Corry also served as postmaster until 1860. A porch, perhaps built to accommodate postal patrons, may have been added to the log house at this time. Subsequently, the house served as a recruiting station for Confederate soldiers. In 1884, the arrival of railroads from Mississippi and the opening of nearby coal mines to fuel the locomotives returned prosperous days to the Corrys and to York, known briefly as Day's Gap. Mortimer Corry, "The Duke of Day's Gap," continued to farm and to lease lands for mining. Additional rooms and a verandah were added to the homeplace in 1885. Mortimer Corry's son Benjamin Franklin Corry (Frank or B.F., 1868-1940) and his wife Allie Monroe (1870-1948) moved into the homeplace in 1914 and managed the family lands and mining interests. Black gold continued to pour forth from the surrounding hills and hollows until 1924, when the bottom fell out of the Alabama coal market. Hard times returned and the Corry House was preserved thanks to a Federal Land Bank loan in 1934. Frank and Allie Corry's son Joseph Monroe Corry (1900-1982) and his wife Lillie Mae Vines (1901-1992) moved into the homeplace at his mother's death in 1948. From 1934 to 1962, Frank Cory served as postman, and as a representative of the depressed mining area's U.S. Congressman, William Brockman Bankhead. Patrons often came to the homeplace. Son Harold Corry and his wife Sylvia Corry, who purchased the homeplace upon the death of his mother in 1992, served the U.S. Postal system from 1947-1953 and from 1965-1988 before retiring to a career collecting, rebuilding and furnishing historic structures reflecting the area's pioneer agricultural and mining heritage. Harold Corry's son Richard Corry and his wife reside on and continue development of the land surrounding the homeplace today.

Subjects
Farming
Farmhouses
Galleries & Museums


Related Names
Dennis, Christopher, Field Team
Howell, Brenda, Field Team
Jones, Bill, Field Team
Slaughter, Carol, Field Team
White, Marjorie Lee, Field Team
Anderson, Richard K., Delineator
White, Marjorie J., Historian
Lowe, Jet, Photographer


Collection
Historic American Buildings Survey (Library of Congress)

Contents
Photograph caption(s): 
1. EXTERIOR VIEW, FRONT ELEVATION


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