White Columns at Possum Bend is a nationally known Wilcox plantation home. During the 1960′s, the home was included as one of the stops on the Alabama Tourist Guide. Throughout the years, it has been featured in numerous national magazines and books concerning the architecture or history of the ante-bellum Alabama Blackbelt. In 1976, White Columns was added to the Alabama Register of Historic Landmarks.
This home has massive Doric Columns that support the hipped roofs of twin porticos, one of which faces west and one south. Four columns of massive proportions line each portico which stretch the full length and width of the main body of the house. The columns were constructed of eight pine boards 12 inches wide and unspliced from bottom to top. The architecture of White Columns blends Greek Revival and Italianate features. Eighteen rooms with two central halls make up the floor plan. The halls are 24 by 55 feet and the large rooms are 24 feet square with 14 foot ceilings. On the north side, porches enclosed on three sides by the main body and rear wing are found on both levels.
White Columns was built by Major Felix Tait for his family home during the latter years of the 1850′s. It is believed that Alexander Bragg was the architect-carpenter hired by Major Tait. Materials used in the construction came from the plantation and slave labor accomplished the goals of its owner and builder. Major Tait served in the Mexican War and in the Confederate Army. Following the War Between the States, Samuel Tepper, English born Camden resident who had inherited a fortune from his brother and their cousin, the English artist, J.M.W. Turner obtained the home from Major Tait. He presented it to his daughter, Molly and her husband, Dr. Lucius Ernest Starr as a wedding present. The Starr family moved into White Columns on January 1, 1880 and their descendants continue to live in White Columns.
This home is located south of the Possum Bend community on Wilcox CR 23 approximately 1.8 miles south of the intersection of Wilcox CR 23 and State Hwy 10 (GPS coordinates N31.960806,W87.359833).
This is a private residence – drive by only.