It’s believed that this dwelling was built in the late 1820s. The house’s modified I-frame architecture, the absence of a center hallway, and federal style interior, indicate that it predates the Greek Revival style of building that was popular in the 1840s and 1850s. This house was once the only two-story building between Black’s Bluff and Allenton, two early settlements almost 50 miles apart.
The builder of this house is not known, but one of the early owners was Reverend Ebeneezer Hearn, a Methodist Circuit Rider, whose family gave the home its historical name, “The Hearn Place.” Reverend Hearn was a soldier in the War of 1812.
The home was acquired in 1898 by the family of the current owner, Mrs. Betty Gaines Kennedy. It was a family residence until 1985 when Mrs. Betty and her sister, Haden G. Marsh, opened the house as Gaines Ridge Dinner Club. Gaines Ridge is still operated by Mrs. Betty. This is the place to go if you are looking for great food served in a beautiful and historic setting. Gaines Ridge is included in “Off the Beaten Path: Alabama” by Gay N. Martin and the state tourism brochure, “100 dishes to eat in Alabama before you die.”
Like most old houses, Gaines Ridge has its share of ghost stories. It is included on the Alabama’s Ghost Trail video series. Shared below are the Alabama’s Ghost Trail videos about Gaines Ridge.
Gaines Ridge is located beside Highway 10 approximately two miles east of Camden (GPS coordinates 31.990125, -87.258111).
CLICK HERE to access the Gaines Ridge Dinner Club website.
Source: “Brief history of Gaines Ridge” provided on the back cover of the Gaines Ridge Dinner Club Menu.