Springdale Estate open next weekend

Published 12:01 am Saturday, December 4, 2010

Local decorators are working with the City of Andalusia to stage an open house at Springdale Estate next weekend.

Springdale Estate is the historic home located in the heart of Andalusia and acquired earlier this year by the city from former owners Charles and Mary Margaret Tomberlin. John G. Sherf commissioned the 5,630 sq. ft. home, which includes six bedrooms and five-and-a-half baths, as well as a 700 sq. ft. guesthouse, in the 1930s. Scherf is considered the “founder” of modern Andalusia for having brought textile mills to the area and serving as a progressive mayor.

City horticulturalist Vanessa Nelson and Allan Cotton are co-chairs of the event.

Cotton said the idea is to decorate the home simply and naturally, as it likely would have been decorated when it was first built in the 1930s.

The City of Andalusia will hold an open house at Springdale Estate next weekend for locals to enjoy the historic mansion.| Michele Gerlach/ Star-News

“Basically, the house is empty because most of the furniture was moved,” Cotton said. “But the city thought it would be a good idea for the public to have an opportunity to see it. This is an opportunity to show the beauty of the house.”

Others joining Cotton in the decorating efforts include Andalusia Flower and Gift, Ansley Place, Central Wholesale, Walker Business Machines, MaryAnn’s, Harold’s, Lyn Bush and Aurelia Scherf Donald. Each decorator is doing one room or area of the house.

Cotton is decorating the grand foyer and stairwell, and said it will feature a poinsettia tree. He said in keeping with a tradition of the Tomberlins, exterior decorations also will be used.

Nelson said some of the ideas came from early photographs of the home.

“We are probably going overboard, but we are trying to keep it simple and natural, like a family would decorate.”

This week, Nelson has been getting live trees in shape to go in each of the rooms.

The home will be open from 5:30 p.m. until 9 p.m. on Sat., Dec. 11, and from 2 p.m. until 5 p.m. on Sun., Dec. 12. Santa Claus will be at the home throughout the open house, and musical entertainment will be provided. Light refreshments also will be served.

Members of the Andalusia Police Department will be on hand to direct the parking.