If the walls of this historic bed and breakfast could talk, I'm sure they would whisper tales of people they have seen and the things they have heard. Maybe a story about the early 1900's dignitaries who once spent the night here. But for us, Ricky and Laura Oswald, the walls have spoken and we have lovingly listened.
In July of 2000, we purchased a part of the city of Evergreen's history. Most residents refer to it as the Old Savage Home. The house once sat across from the Conecuh County Courthouse and Jail, in the downtown area. For over 20 years the Victorian treasure had been overtaken with Kudzu and vines - until we gave it back its life.
After countless hours of searching through land deeds and talking with the people of Evergreen, we believe the house was built between 1873 and 1890. In the early 1900's the Savage family called this their home. In the late 1920's, Mrs. Patrick Burt opened the home as a white collar boarding house. The most frequent travelers of the day were businessmen traveling from Montgomery, Alabama to Mobile, Alabama.
The next homeowners were the Beasleys. Mr. Beasley was the mail carrier for the Evergreen area. There were a few more families that called this place home, but when we purchased it, the house had been vacant for well over 20 years. The architectural beauty of the home was what moved us to restore it.
There had not been any previous renovations, so we were able to see what it was from the beginning. We wanted to make sure that we left it original and NOT remodeled. While at its original sight, we removed the roof and the two side porches. The front porch was taken down in sections to preserve the trim work. Leaving the main body of the house to be cut in three sections, we prepared it to be moved. Within a 6 week period, we had the home relocated in the quaint little community of Sweet Gum Bottom, near the Straughn School area. As soon as the pieces were put back together, we put the new roof on, the porches back on and reassembled the front porch. A total of 249 spindles wrap the porches, 136 of which are on the front porch. When restoring the porches, we were able to use all of the original turned columns and railings. The Gingerbread trim was in excellent condition (with no pieces broken nor missing).
Then the work began on the interior. The home features pine beaded 14 foot 3 inch ceilings that we refinished, original hardwood flooring and 4 foot beaded wall panels with 10 feet of sheetrock walls that are curved to punctuate its Victorian accent. Along with talking walls came a few other treasures. A sheet of 4 cent stamps, a one cent postcard and a 1934 campaign card for Andrew Jay, a local businessman and politician. We looked for our gold coins but they escaped us!
After a 14-month restoration period, we opened the home as a Bed and Breakfast Inn, Sweet Gum Bottom Bed and Breakfast, now featuring four guestrooms, all with private baths. Each room was then named after the women of the Oswald family. The Laura Leigh Suite, named after the Innkeeper, is furnished with a luxurious four poster king size bed, candlelight fireplace, and adjoining bath with a glassed in shower and separate Jacuzzi tub, and double antique dresser vanities. You will relax in the Jacuzzi / shower that the Bethany Dawn suite offers. This room has a warm and cozy feeling. As the sun goes down it takes on a beautiful jewel tone appearance. A king size Victorian bed with fine linens and down comforter will rest the weary traveler. The Lindsey Paige Suite is full of romance. It features a black, two person Jacuzzi, set in a beautiful bay window area. Open to the bedroom, it provides you with a great view inside as well as out. You are assured of a good night's rest in the queen size wrought iron bed with canopy. The Kennedy Anne Suite is our newest addition and features king size bed, gas log fireplace, and a private bath with glassed shower.
Overnight accommodations include: a welcome beverage, homemade goodies, and a bountiful breakfast. Additional meals can be served with previous arrangements.
Take advantage of our specials throughout the year. Reserve a time today for a relaxing massage, by a certified massage therapist, in the privacy of your own room. Sweet Gum Bottom Bed and Breakfast Country Inn is the perfect place to host a bridal shower, bridal luncheon, baby shower, birthday parties, weddings, receptions, reunions and anything else worthy of celebrating.
Whether you're an overnight guest or a visitor, we want this home to be a place that you can come and relax! Leave your cares behind when you pull in the driveway. Come see us!