Tag Archives: Tuskegee

Booker T. Washington-Tuskegee, Alabama

Booker T. Washington was an educator, speaker, author, and benefactor. He was the first president of Tuskegee University when it was known as Tuskegee Institute. His accomplishments are numerous. From working with Julius Rosenwald to start the fund for Rosenwald schools to traveling the world to speak on issues that impacted the Black community, Washington was a tireless advocate for change. Many members of the Black community supported his belief that the focus should be on education and wealth accumulation. Whereas there were those, who disagreed with him and felt that he bowed to white interests by not pushing forward an agenda based on civil rights and political representation.

“The Oaks” is a large Victorian that sits next to campus. Tuskegee’s students helped build the home that Washington and his family moved into in 1900.

1923 photo of The Oaks (Courtesy of the public domain images provided by the New York Public Library photo archives)

In 1915, Booker T. Washington passed away. It was believed that he died from congestive heart failure and kidney disease that was caused by the stress of his work (later examination of his medical records indicated that he was suffering from very high blood pressure). Over 8,000 people attended his funeral. He is buried in the campus’s cemetery, which is next to the Chapel.

Photo of Booker T. Washington’s funeral. (Image courtesy of the Library of Congress.)

Johnston-Curtright House-Tuskegee, Alabama

Built around 1850 in the heart of Tuskegee for Burr Johnston, a local lawyer and a delegate to the Alabama Constitutional Convention, the home has fallen into significant disrepair. At the time of construction, Johnston held 67 men, women, and children in bondage, so some likely helped build this Greek Revival.

The faded sign in the center indicates that the house was in the process of restoration, but it was never completed. The back side of the house has completely caved in, and the entire house is now open to the elements.

John Drakeford House-Tuskegee, Alabama

Built in 1892 for John Drakeford and his family, this is one of a handful of grand Victorian homes in Tuskegee in a dilapidated condition. Fortunately, the home was purchased, and there are plans to restore it. In partnership with Tuskegee University, this home will be beautiful again.

Callaway-Vernon House-Tuskegee, Alabama

The Greek Revival Callaway-Vernon Home was built in 1842. It is a contributing property to other North Main Historic District.

This is a photo from the 1985 National Register of Historic Places application. The home was built by Dr. James Wesley Hunter in 1842. Based on the map from the application, and the yard in the current photo, I am positive this house was moved to make way for a new school.

Judge William Varner House-Tuskegee, Alabama

This Greek Revival cottage was built in 1853. Oddly, the information on this house is remarkably scant. The last homeowner seems to be Judge William Varner. He is the grandson of William Varner, the founder and first owner of Grey Columns.

In 2005, it was placed on Alabama’s Places in Peril.