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Postbellum


In 1866, Nathan Bryan Whitfield became gravely ill and his son, Dr. Bryan Watkins Whitfield purchased Gaineswood from him. The family moved into the home on Christmas Eve of that year.

Edith James Whitfield Dustan bought the home from her brother in 1896. She made improvements and moved the kitchen to the basement.

The Dustan sisters sold the house to the Kirven family in 1923, and thus ending the Whitfield ownership.

Gaineswood remained a private residence or vacant throughout the years. Many families have called this place home since 1923 and Gaineswood has benefited from their care.

In 1966, the state of Alabama purchased the home. The Alabama Historical Commission, the State Historic Preservation Office, was transferred ownership in 1971. After extensive restorations, Gaineswood was opened as a house museum in 1975.

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*Photos Courtesy: Alabama Historical Commission Archives

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