Pond Spring, as it exists in the 21st century, is made up of 50 acres of land, 12 historic buildings surrounded by formal boxwood gardens, and three family cemeteries. Its most notable inhabitants were General Joseph Wheeler and his family.
Native-Americans populated this region of the fertile Tennessee Valley for many generations. Concentrations of artifacts discovered on the site by archaeologists show evidence of three periods of habitation, the earliest about 5000 years ago.
The original European-American settlers, the John P. Hickman family, came to the site in 1818. At that time, Pond Spring consisted of 1,760 acres and several log structures. The Hickmans brought with them 56 African-American enslaved workers to clear the land, plant cotton, and build their homes.
The Sherrod family bought Pond Spring in 1827 and expanded the largest of two log dogtrot houses into a clapboard-covered Federal-style home. Both the 1818 Hickman cabin and the Sherrod home stand today.
General Wheeler came to Alabama during the Civil War in 1863, and met young Ben Sherrod's widow, Daniella. They married in 1866, and built their home during the 1870s. The General's home is connected to the older Sherrod Home by a covered walkway. The adjoining Wheeler Home contains many significant artifacts that belonged to General Wheeler and his family.
The collections vary from books, military artifacts from the Civil and Spanish-American Wars, and antique furniture, to family portraits, photographs, and Victorian-period decorative arts. General Wheeler was a national figure, serving as a Confederate Cavalry officer, a member of the U. S. House of Representatives, and a U. S. major general during the Spanish-American War. One of Wheeler's daughters, Miss Annie, served as a Red Cross volunteer nurse in three wars and lived in the house until her death in 1955.
The house was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1977. In 1993, General Wheeler's descendants donated Pond Spring to the state of Alabama and the Alabama Historical Commission.
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