Don’t miss Springdale this weekend

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 11, 2010

On the day that Charles and Mary Margaret Tomberlin sold historic Springdale, Mary Margaret graciously invited me in.

I’d taken photographs on the grounds numerous times, but never had an occasion to visit. That day, I didn’t want to impose, but also couldn’t resist.

The home is fascinating. Mary Margaret opened closets and told stories about the historic home, commissioned by John G. Sherf Sr. in the 1930s and lovingly tended by the Tomerlins in the years they made it their home. Later that day, I toured the grounds with Dr. T., Mayor Earl Johnson and city clerk John Thompson. The detail in which the estate was planned and built could only be called exquisite.

When we launched South Alabama Living, it only made sense to feature the home. “Seeing” it with photographer Robert Evers made it even more interesting; peeping in at the decorations this week as local decorators and city employees prepared it for its first public display was fun.

Each time I visit Springdale, I am amazed at the architectural details; the Germanic influences; the size; and the quality of the construction. I share the sentiment of the architect who recently told the mayor that in purchasing and committing to preserve Springdale, the city is preserving not only a regional treasure but perhaps a national one, as well.

Tonight and tomorrow, Andalusia’s historic home, which now belongs to each of us, will be on display. Alan Cotton and Vanessa Nelson co-chaired the effort, and Cotton, Mary-Ann’s, Harold’s, Ansley Place, Lyn Bush, Aurelia Sherf, Andalusia Flower and Gift, and Walker Business Machines and Interiors decorated the rooms.

Aurelia has a few pieces of her grandmother’s furniture, original to Springdale and to the family’s Mary Esther, Fla., home, which will be on display.

Out back, Santa will entertain the wee ones and refreshments will be served. Police will be on hand to assist with parking.

If ever you’ve driven by and wondered what Springdale is like on the inside, tonight’s a great time to take a peek. The naysayers who thought the city shouldn’t have purchased the property should make an extra effort. I believe once they see it, they’ll share the pride in having such a beautiful focal point for the city.

The home will be open from 5:30 until 9 tonight, Sat., Dec. 11, and from 2 p.m. until 5 p.m. on Sun., Dec. 12.