This 2-story, Greek Revival style plantation home, located southeast of Orrville in the Molette’s Bend area of the Alabama River, was built on land originally owned by Thomas Brooks Rutherford, who died in Cahawba 1824, and who is buried in the old Cahawba Cemetery. The house was built in the mid-1830s by Rutherford’s son-in-law, William Bower, who married Louisiana, Rutherford’s youngest daughter. In 1865, the house was acquired by Hamilton Claverhouse Graham and named Tasso, in honor of the 16th-century Italian poet Torquato Tasso. Graham married Mary Jane Moseley, of the nearby Moseley’s Grove Plantation.
One of the most significant historical feature of the house is a French wood block-printed wallpaper in the dining room. This paper, in the pattern, “Rives Du Bosphore,” was first made before 1812 by Joseph Dufour in Macon, France. For many years, the wallpaper was hidden by board panels, and only discovered in 2000 when Susan and Mason McGowin purchased the house and its property and began to renovate the house, which had stood vacant for well over a decade.
The front of Tasso is almost identical to three other 2-story, Greek Revival antebellum homes which are also located in the vicinity of Orrville: the McMillan-Oxford House, Moseley Grove, and the Cochran House at Crumptonia.
Tasso is located southeast of Orrville, AL. In Orrville at the intersection of Main Street and Dallas CR 33, turn south on CR 33 and Tasso will be approximately 8.8 miles ahead on the right side of CR 33 (32°12’48.7″N 87°10’24.4″W – Google Maps).
This house is privately owned – drive by only.
Sources: 1) SelmaPilgrimage.com; 2) facebook.com/HistoricPhotosOfSouthwestAlabama.
Pictures taken February, 2012.