Magnolia Grove, an excellent example of temple-style Greek Revival architecture, was built around 1840 as a town house by Isaac and Sarah Croom, whose plantations were about 20 miles south of Greensboro near Faunsdale. The house was named for the 15-acre grove of Southern magnolias in which it stands. Magnolia Grove is a two-story masonry structure, built with bricks that were manufactured locally. The front facade is stuccoed, including the pediment. The sides and rear were left with the brick face exposed.
In 1879, the house was purchased by Sallie Pearson Hobson, a niece of Mrs. Croom. Her son, Richmond Pearson Hobson, became a naval hero during the Spanish-American War, and he later served in the United States Congress. In 1943, the Hobson family deeded Magnolia Grove to the state of Alabama to serve as a memorial to Richmond Pearson Hobson. The family members residing at Magnolia Grove at the time were granted a lifetime tenancy. Margaret Hobson continued to live in the house until her death in 1978. In 1934, the house and adjoining buildings were photographed and catalogued by the Library of Congress for its Historic American Building Survey (HABS). The house was listed on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) in 1973. It is also a contributing property to the Greensboro Historic District that’s listed on the NRHP. Magnolia Grove now serves as a historic house museum operated by the Alabama Historic Commission.
Magnolia Grove is located at the intersection of Main Street and Hobson Street in Greensboro (GPS Coordinates 32.704158, -87.607955).
For additional details, go to PreserveALA.org/MagnoliaGrove.
Source: Alabama Black Belt Nature and Heritage Trail (A publication of the Alabama Bureau of Tourism & Travel)