The Hart House, located in Eufaula, Barbour County, is the headquarters of the Historic Chattahoochee Commission and one of the town's oldest homes. John Hart, a native of New Hampshire, built the home around 1850. Originally constructed on what was then the rural western edge of the growing town, the structure now stands near the downtown area of Eufaula. The Hart House is a notable example of pure Greek Revival architecture and was one of only five Eufaula buildings recorded by the original Historic American Building Survey in 1935.
John Hart was a merchant and planter, running a thriving dry goods business at the corner of Broad and Eufaula Streets in town and operating a large plantation in north-central Barbour County. Hart, his wife Elizabeth, and 11 children all lived in the house at various times. At the time of its construction, the lot on which the home sits included the property that the Eufaula Carnegie Library and St. James Episcopal Church now occupy. Four of Hart's sons served in the Confederate Army during the Civil War. Hart died in 1862, leaving a substantial estate to his children. In 1866, using some of the money from his father's estate, his son Henry built "Hart's Block," a development of eight stores on Eufaula Street between Broad and Barbour Streets that became an important business center. Perhaps the most well-known structure on the block was "Hart's Hall," a lavish entertainment center that was at the time one of the largest performance halls in Alabama. The structure burned in 1904.
The Hart House remained in possession of the Hart family until 1941 and subsequently went through a series of owners. Neglected and in poor condition by the 1970s, the house was purchased by the Eufaula Heritage Association to prevent it from being razed. It was entered into the National Register of Historic Places on December 12, 1973, as part of the Seth Lore and Irwinton Historic District. The home was purchased by the Historic Chattahoochee Commission for use as its headquarters on October 16, 1985. Today, it continues in that capacity while also serving as a regional visitor center providing information on heritage tourism attractions throughout the 18-county Chattahoochee Trace region of southeastern Alabama and southwestern Georgia. It is open to the public on weekdays and during the annual Eufaula Pilgrimage.
The front portion of the single-story home contains a central hallway flanked by a parlor and dining room on one side and symmetrical bed rooms opposite. It features decorative pilasters, a wide entry porch, and fluted Doric columns. The home retains much of its original appearance on the exterior, although additions have been added to the rear of the structure. The interior still has the original heart pine floors, moldings, and pocket doors connecting the dining room and sitting room. Several furnishings original to the Hart family, donated by descendants, are on view to visitors as well.
Historic Chattahoochee Commission
Published August 1, 2013
Last updated August 1, 2013