No boxes to pack for Carroll House

Published 9:54 am Thursday, June 19, 2008

Family is a tradition for the Carroll House. More than 100 years old, the house, formerly located at 304 Ninth St., has seen generation after generation pass through its worn walls.

The Carroll House has witnessed at least one birth and two deaths during its time on Ninth Street. It has also seen many mouths fed and almost a 70-year wedding anniversary. This is just from the Carroll family.

The house was thought to be the slave quarters of a plantation, said Peggy Wyatt, Hughey and Lucille Carroll’s daughter. It came under the Carroll’s ownership on June 26, 1943 from the Hayes family, but that’s as far back as anyone can recall. Wyatt and her sister Linda Mims lived in the house for most of their childhood and young adult lives.

“It’s been the hub of our family,” Wyatt said of the home. “Linda was born in the front room in 1944.”

The house was renovated by the Carroll family three times. Hughey built all the cabinets that remain in the house today, and constructed all the masonry around the fireplace.

After Wyatt and Mims inherited the home from the death of their mother in 2005, they decided to sell it to First United Methodist Church in February 2006. The church had long since offered to buy the house, but the Carroll family did not wish to relocate.

“We felt like that’s what our parents wanted us to do,” Mims said. “They told us when the time comes give them [the church] the first choice.”

The church designated the Carroll House to the youth group, but erected a sign honoring the Carroll family for their generosity.

As of last Thursday, the house belongs to the Herreras family. It came as a donation from the First United Methodist Church to Carlos Herreras, a Wetumpka minister, and his wife and son, Jessie and Jonathan.

Carlos did not wipe the smile from his face as a semi-truck hauled the home across town to Pipes Avenue where it now sits for his family.

“We had 15 days to find a house and [the church said] one day ‘we got a house’,” Carlos said of the donated home.

The non-mobile, mobile house caused a spectacle for the town when it crept along Ninth Street to its destination. It melted across the trailer like a stick of butter across a hot knife; the sides of the house appear to be barely hanging on from the weight. A man stood on the roof lifting power lines like the house was ducking under a wire fence. Police directed traffic as drivers congested the road to gaze at the unusual event unfolding like Godzilla was stomping through Clanton.

The Carroll House made the journey safely and, fortunately, in one piece to become a family’s abode once again.

“We are very pleased it is going to be a family home again,” Wyatt said. “We once had a plaque in the kitchen that read ‘Love Grows Here’ and it certainly does.”