Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Swift-Coles Historic Home

By Leigh Bratina

On my trip to the beach last week I had the opportunity to tour a private historical home steeped in history of the bayou and way of life of lower Alabama. And you can have that experience too.

The Swift-Coles Historic Home is now open to the public for summer tours. The guided tours leads visitors through the 16 room historic tidewater mansion and grounds to experience how life along the Bon Secour River would have been nearly 100 years ago. Originally built around 1882 as a four room home for the Charles A. Swift family, in 1902 the home grew to 16 rooms in order to accommodate overnight guests arriving via ferry from Mobile.
In 1976, Nik Coles purchased the home and began a lengthy and thorough restoration (complete with sited ghost who protested the restoration). Upon his death, the Swift-Coles Home was willed to the Baldwin County Historic Development Commission.

Today the Baldwin County Department of Archives and History and the Baldwin County Historic Development Commission continue restoration projects to the home and grounds in order to make it available to the public as a museum.

The restoration of the Swift-Coles Historic Home is part of the Baldwin County's Bicentennial celebration, commemorating 200 years of Baldwin County's rich and diverse heritage.

As for the real live rooster, who greets visitors at the entrance of the home, I would love to find out his story, perhaps you will on your visit to the Swift Homes Historical Home, and please fill me in!

Tours will be held on the following schedule:
Swift-Coles Historic Home Summer Tour Schedule
17424 Swift Coles Lane
Bon Secour, AL 36511

Tuesdays and Saturdays
10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
(last tour begins at 3:00 p.m.)
Admission: $3.00

For more information or to schedule private tours contact the Baldwin County
Department of Archives and History at (251) 580-1897.

Driving Directions to Swift-Coles House
From Foley or Gulf Shores take Highway 59 to County Road 10 west to the intersection of County Road 49. Turn left onto County Road 49 and travel approximately 500 yards to Swift-Coles Lane on left.

*Leigh is a full time mother, a part time photographer and writer. Her photography and written work is featured in several professional business and local publications. She owns her own photography business, Photographic Memories. Leigh resides in the Alabama with her three children and husband "Big Daddy". You can read more of Leigh's daily adventures by visiting any of her three blogs: Tales from Bloggeritaville , Plates and Places , as well as Photographic Memories

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