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"Forest Home" 
The Howard Home Built In 1840 During Pioneer Days - Tuskegee, Al.  

To visit "Forest Home" is to begin a fascinating journey back to the days of early Alabama statehood. One even catches a glimpse of Alabama when it was an untracked territory populated by tribes of the Creek Indian Nation. 

Major James Howard, born in 1776, son of Nehemiah Howard, moved to Alabama from Elbert County, Georgia. In 1830 he purchased a 1000 acre tract of land from the Creek Indians. He subsequently bought land surrounding that tract to eventually own 10,000 acres. Major James Howard married Tabitha Motley. One of their sons, Dr. Robert Henry Howard, was deeded 1000 acres of land surrounding the present house site. Dr. R. H. Howard first married Rebecca Hurt. They lived in a log house close to the "old well" located approximately one 1 / 2 mile south of the present house. Forest Home was built in 1840 for Dr. Howard's second wife, Cornelia Rebecca Lamar. 

The original house consisted of a 12 foot wide central hall, two rooms on each side of the hall with solid brick fireplaces in each room and a 48 foot long front porch. The house was constructed of pine. The floors are of broad hard pine.The sills (supporting beams) were hand hewn from trees growing on the property. The sill for the front porch measured 12 inches by 18 inches by 48 feet - hewn from a single tree. Solid brick columns supported the sills. All bricks were made by the slaves living on the property. Slave houses (later to become tenant houses) were located behind the home on both sides of the present lane leading up to the home. 

The original Howard home, probably the oldest in Macon County, now stands on 186 acres of land. Fronting on historic Old Federal Road, now erased by time, the Howard home is unusual not only for its age and durability, but because it is one of the rare Alabama Homes in which the direct line of a family has lived continuously for five generations. It is also noteworthy that the occupants have had the original family name. 

The Old Federal Road ran from Columbus, GA. to Mims Ferry, and on to Natchez, Mississippi. In Macon County the Old Federal Road crossed Little Charlie Creek, ran in front of "Forest Home" turned west and ran thence across Calebee Creek. There were stories told to me by my Grandparents, Crawford Motley Howard and Mary Winifred (Winna) Barkley Howard, about Confederate soldiers stopping from their travels on the Old Federal Road to set up camp in the fields that surrounded "Forest Home". 

"Mother Howard" of whom Winna Howard (my Grandmother) speaks frequently and affectionately was the former Erin Hardin (my Great Grandmother) of Auburn and was courted by and married Dr. Crawford Howard (my Great Grandfather) in 1879. An excerpt from one of his letters to his fiancee reflects something of the mode of transportation and pace of the day. 
    "Dear Miss Erin: We arrived safely yesterday afternoon at 3:20 p.m., making the trip of 25 miles (from Auburn) in four hours and fifty minutes. A quick drive for a small horse and sloppy roads. The creeks were all fordable and the weather much pleasanter than the day we landed in Auburn......" In those days, the only route to Auburn was by way of Notasulga and Loachapoka. The return address on the letter is "Forest Home". "That's the name this house has always been called", my Grandmother Howard (Nana) once told me. 

The property and home is still in the family but the harsh elements of Mother Nature are slowly taking the home back to the "Forest" . Only the shell of the home can still be found; but the memories will live forever.



Forest Home built in 1840
Riding the horse is my Great Grandfather, Dr. Crawford Motley Howard and my Granddaddy, Crawford Motley Howard.
ca 1898 / 1899
"Forest Home" 
Photo taken on 7-9-1967
My Grandmother was still living on the property at this time.  My Grandmother, "Nana" built the above brick walkway by herself. Occasionally, when  I was a child, I would help my Grandmother haul bricks to the front lawn from the old remains of the slave houses
Mary Winnifred Barkley Howard
Crawford Motley Howard married my Grandmother, Mary Winnifred Barkley on August 17, 1917. We called her "Nana".
My Grand Parents - The last Howard Family to live in "Forest Home"
Crawford Motley Howard - born April 10th 1895
Mary Winnifred Barkley Howard
Forest Home ca 1944
Allie Fay Fillingim - Alice Lee Howard (my Mother) -Erin Howard
Forest Home ca 1944
Allie Fay Fillingim on bicycle -Erin Howard at 'horses mouth' -Bud Bower head rider and Cardy Howard in saddle with Bud
Forest Home ca 1944
Alice Lee Howard riding a bicyle at the families home place - April 2, 1944
Forest Home ca 1985
Home is without people at this time in history....................
Forest Home Jan 2010
Front Porch Corner where the old porch swing once hung.
My Grand Parents 
Crawford Motley Howard 
Mary Winnifred Barkley Howard and me (Frank Wadsworth born 1951)
Photo taken at Forest Home Nov 1951 Note garage in background
My Granddaddy, Crawford Howard and my Daddy, Mott Wadsworth and Me, Frank Wadsworth 
Photo taken at Forest Home on Nov. 1951 
Note garage in Background
Alice Lee - Frank - Becca Wadsworth
Spring 1953 - photo taken in front of garage at Forest Home
Forest Home ca 1988
Alice Lee Wadsworth, Becca and Howard looking at old garage behind the home.
Jan 2010
Old Garage in rear of house
Forest Home ca 1988
Back porch to home. Pictured are Alice Lee Wadsworth, Becca Sickles and Howard Wadsworth.
Forest Home ca 1988
Back porch to home. Pictured are Alice Lee Wadsworth and Becca Sickles.
Forest Home ca 1988
Pillow column beside the the back porch steps.
Forest Home ca 1980.
LeConte Pear Tree planted in front yard in 1879. Plant came from Smarrs, Ga. and planted by Loretto Norwood, Dr. C.M. Howard's sister. 
Photo taken 1980.
Forest Home ca 1988.
LeConte Pear Tree planted in front yard in 1879. Plant came from Smarrs, Ga. and planted by Loretto Norwood, Dr. C.M. Howard's sister. Howard Wadsworth looking at pear tree  on July 2, 1988.
 Feb 2010. This is what remains of the OLD PEAR TREE at Forest Home. 
LeConte Pear Tree planted in front yard in 1879. Plant came from Smarrs, Ga. and planted by Loretto Norwood, Dr. C.M. Howard's sister.
Jan 2010
View under the old home
Jan 2010
View under the old home
Jan 2010
View under the old home
Jan 2010
View from front of home looking through the house into backyard.
Jan 2010
View from front of home looking through the house into backyard.
Jan 2010
Front Porch of Forest Home
Jan 2010
Dr. Hall's Pond
Pond is located on east side of lane, south of the old home site.
"Forest Home" 
The Howard Home Built In 1840 During Pioneer Days - Tuskegee, Al.
In the above photo - Riding the center horse is my Great Grandfather, Dr. Crawford Motley Howard and my Granddaddy, Crawford Motley Howard.
ca 1898 / 1899 
In the above and below photo - Riding the center horse is my Great Grandfather, Dr. Crawford Motley Howard and my Granddaddy, Crawford Motley Howard.
ca 1898 / 1899 
"Forest Home" 
Photo taken on 7-9-1967
My Grandmother was still living on the property at this time. Her picture shown below. My Grandmother, "Nana" built the above brick walkway by herself. Occasionally, when  I was a child, I would help my Grandmother haul bricks to the front lawn. For many years, she hauled the bricks by wheelbarrow from the old slave quarters located on the property. The walkway makes a L turn (not shown) to connect to a side dirt road. This road was part of the  Old Federal Road which ran though this part of our country. 
Mary Winnifred Barkley Howard
Crawford Motley Howard married my Grandmother, Mary Winnifred Barkley on August 17, 1917
My Grand Parents - The last Howard Family to live in "Forest Home"
Crawford Motley Howard - April 10, 1895 - August 3, 1974
Mary Winnifred Barkley Howard - November 15, 1898 - July 1, 1988 

Forest Home - photo taken 7-9-1967 - Home was built in 1840.
Brick walk was made by my Grandmother Howard (Nana). Bricks were from the old slave quarters that were located behind the house on both sides of the lane. Bricks made by the slaves living on the plantation years ago.
Forest Home 
Front porch
Forest Home   - Dinning Room Chimney
Forest Home  - Kitchen area. To the right stands the old water tower with well house below.
Forest Home  - Kitchen area. To the right stands the old water tower with well house below.
Forest Home - Back Door Steps. The stones were from China Grove Methodist Church, Elmore County.
Forest Home -  back entrance to the house.
Forest Home - Lane leading to the home.
Forest Home - Lane leading to the home. Turn left between the old tall Eastern Redcedar trees.
Forest Home - The Formal Living Room - (The Parlor)
Forest Home - Old photo album and Kerosine lamp in Parlor
Forest Home - view from the Parlor
Forest Home - Grandparents room in front of house. Old wood stove bought in the 1930's and Alice Lee (Cogburn) Barkley's rocker, gift from Clinton, 1895
Forest Home - Cardy's room. Red Ryder BB gun bought by Cardy, mid 1940's
Forest Home - Serving Table
Forest Home - Grandparents Room. Conner Bed. The bed was in the Conner House when Mott and Alice Lee Wadsworth bought the Conner House.
Forest Home - Center Hall of home looking to the back porch seating area.
Forest Home - Folding bed in the dinning room. Called a Murphy Bed. Frank has this bed in his home.
Forest Home - Center Hall of home. View is looking to the front doors.
Forest Home - Bath room that was not part of the original home when built in 1840.
Forest Home - Kitchen 
This kitchen was not part of the original home. It was added much later.
Forest Home - Hydrangeas- first plant was a gift from Bettie Hardin and Tommy Spain, Mother's Day 1939.
Forest Home - Moss Rose
Already at the house when Nannie moved in as a bride in 1879. Probably planted by Cornelia Rebecca.
Forest Home - Back Porch Steps with the Hydrangeas growing over the sides.
Forest Home - Crepe Myrtles that grew up with the house.
Forest Home - LeConte Pear Tree - brought from Smarrs, Ga. (Near Savannah) by Loretto Norwood (Dr. C.M. Howard's sister) in 1879. The LeConte family, 1879 known horticulturalists, owned and still own Woodmanston Plantation near Savannah.
Forest Home - LeConte Pear Tree - brought from Smarrs, Ga. (Near Savannah) by Loretto Norwood (Dr. C.M. Howard's sister) in 1879. The LeConte family, 1879 known horticulturalists, owned and still own Woodmanston Plantation near Savannah.
Forest Home - LeConte Pear Tree - brought from Smarrs, Ga. (Near Savannah) by Loretto Norwood (Dr. C.M. Howard's sister) in 1879. The LeConte family, 1879 known horticulturalists, owned and still own Woodmanston Plantation near Savannah.
Forest Home - Yuccas first plant from Louise Wadsworth (Mott's Mother), early 1940's.
Forest Home - Yuccas first plant from Louise Wadsworth (Mott's Mother), early 1940's.
Forest Home - Old Tire Swing - And many of Waspe stings came from this source.
Forest Home - "New Barn" built early 1940's
Forest Home - Road to the south of the home on the property. Looking to the North.
Forest Home - Pastures on the property.
Forest Home - Honey suckel on fense line. Looking to the South. The pond is to the left of the large tree in photo.
Forest Home -  Fields on the property
My Grand Mother - Nana 
Mary Winnifred Barkley Howard
My Grand Mother - Nana 
Mary Winnifred Barkley Howard
My Grand Mother - Nana 
Mary Winnifred Barkley Howard
My Grand Mother - Nana 
Mary Winnifred Barkley Howard
Forest Home 
A Book of Memories 
To Alice Lee with love
From Loretto and Cardy Christmas 1981
 
MOTHER's Memories
LORETTO's Pictures
CARDY's Typing
"Let It Be"
 Winter at Forest Home 2010

They say you can't see the "Forest For The Trees". Such was my visit to Forest Home during the winter of 2010. And the adventure was quite an experience. I am so glad to have such great memories and all the photos of the old home place during the past when many different families lived and visited Forest Home. It is sad to see the home in such a state of despair. But in a way, as I look at the home, I still see a sort of beauty. I see Forest Home, with natures help; slowing saying goodbye with its mystical enchantments still living. Forest Home is trying to say goodbye but I think it will always be with us. It may be beaten down but it will never give up! 

Forest Home after 30 plus years without occupants, still stands tall but lonely.You can't see the brick walk that Nana built back in the 1960's. It is now covered with leaves, dirt and vines. I dug down and removed a brick for a keepsake. A lot of the old flower bulb's growth is cropping up to the surface and standing tall, waiting for Spring to bloom. Sadly, no one will be there to see Nature's beautiful show case of blooming flowers. I walked the halls of all the bedrooms before I left. You know, it is a strange feeling looking into the attic from the hallway, seeing what no one has probably seen since 1840 when the home was being built. I am looking at the heart pine roof slats through the opening of a collapsed ceiling.The small boards inside the walls that make up the wall structure are visible in certain rooms where the wall plaster is now coming loose. As I said before, I was seeing a special beauty in the home. 
I looked at the wall where the portrait of Dr. Robert Henry Howard once hung; now I am looking at a wall with no plaster that is revealing it's interior wall construction. And I still believe the stories about the ghost of Major James Howard who once roamed within the confines of these walls. As I walked from room to room, I could feel a present of all the Howard's who once lived here. If only a house could talk. It may one day! 

My aunt Loretto Howard, the youngest of my Mother's sisters and who also grew up at Forest Home, told me she won't visit Forest Home. She said, "I much prefer to remember how it looked the last time I drove up the lane. It was a magical place to grow up."

After my trip to the old home site, I corresponded with my aunt Cardy (Howard) White about her home place, Forest Home, where she grew up as a child with many fond memories.  In reference to her last visit to Forest Home she simply said "I want to remember it the way it was back when! I have no need to see the destruction of time, however poetically it is imagined. I am willing to let it be."

Let It Be! 

Frank Wadsworth
January 2010


The LeConte Pear Tree 
Planted at Forest Home in 1879
Click Here for History