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Albertville House The article below is from the "Boaz Briefs" column by Marion Owen in an Albertville, AL newspaper, June, 1979. Following the article is the group picture from the 1979 Hearn-Hubbard reunion.

The Albertville House

An old house which has sheltered a heap o’ living for the past 55 years stirred from cellar to rafters a couple of Sundays ago when the Hearns and the Hubbards gathered in Albertville for their first family reunion in almost 20 years.

The story-and-a-half red brick dwelling on the corner of Baltimore Avenue and Jackson Street was built by Mr. and Mrs. C. L. Hearn across the street from the I. E. Hubbard home where Mrs. Hearn’s parents lived.

The Hubbard home was destroyed by fire about a quarter of a century ago and the Albertville Public Library took its place.

Hosts for the reunion were Dr. and Mrs. Thomas K. Hearn who bought the house from the rest of the family when their mother died 13 years ago.

“We put the house up for sale for about 24 hours after Mamma’s death,” Dr. Hearn said, “because my sister, Mary Nell Beasley was the only member of the family located in Albertville and she had a home. One couple looked at it and we didn’t sleep a wink that night. Louise and I decided the memories were too strong and the house was too entwined with our roots to give it up.”

The absentee owners tried keeping the house as it was during Mamma and Papa’s lifetime for a few years making annual and semi-annual visits. However deterioration began taking its toll and after Mrs. Beasley’s death they decided to rent it.

“The house had nine rooms and two baths, so our tenants had to have large families,” Mrs. Hearn said. Referring to the six Hearn sons raised in the House, she added:

“I thought the house was boy-proofed, but when I started renovation a year ago I learned that time had taken a greater toll than I had believed possible and I am not sure that I’d have the courage to do it again but I have no regrets. Kermit and I wanted to live here and we wanted to preserve it for the family and in memory of his parents.”

In olden days, the house was a gathering place for young people in Albertville because of the eight Hearn children and its proximity to schools. Mrs. Hearn was known far and near for the good table she set and more people could happen to appear at mealtimes.

As children began to go off to college, their beds were taken by school teachers who considered themselves fortunate to find a home so near to their work.

Later on, as the fame of Mrs. Hearn’s table grew, people who didn’t like to cook begged for board without bed and, by and by, a good portion of old-time Albertville began to claim important association with the Hearn home.

Doctor Hearn said that Louise had turned the house around inside “making a utility room out of Mamma’s front sitting room and a year-round garden sitting room out of the back porch where the hams used to hang above pea-shellers, bean stringers and corn shuckers.

Louise explained that it had to be that way because living was at the back of the house instead of the front now.

The exterior of the house looks very much as it did when it was built, but the inside is a different story.

One reunion visitor said: “Aunt Della wouldn’t know this was once her house and it is hard for me to realize what paint, wallpaper and these lovely furnishings have done to it.”

“We didn’t remove but two walls,” Louise explained. “The middle bedroom with windows onto the back porch was always so dark that the family referred to it as the dungeon. My first objective was to let in some light so I threw it and the kitchen all together. The fireplace was there but had to be rebuilt. Kermit and I spend most of our time in that room now.”

As to the interior theme of the house, she said, “Oh, it doesn’t have any period. I just tried to keep as much of the old look as I could while adding the convenience of today’s lifestyle. We don’t even have air-conditioning downstairs and we don’t need it because the ceilings are high and the walls, thick. The ceiling fan in the garden room is proving satisfactory.”

She added that some of her keep-the-old look ideas became ludicrous.

“We added two sets of double French doors to let in more light and finding them took me to some of the strangest places. I finally found them and the glass back door between here and Boaz in a corn crib.”

Louise said that the reunion guests were most flattering about the renovation. “It's been an ordeal but we are happy the year is behind us and are looking forward to enjoying the rest of our lives in our old house.”

More than 70 persons, including 67 family members, attended the family reunion June 10 at the home of Kermit and Louise Hearn at 200 Baltimore Avenue.

Family members in attendance included:

Dr. and Mrs. C. Aubrey Hearn of Nashville, Tenn. and their children, Dr. and Mrs. Charles Lee Hearn, Bob and Becky from Tulsa, Oklahoma; Dr. and Mrs. Ross Clark, Andy and Dan from Due West, S.C.; Mr. and Mrs. James Dillard, Bonnie and Beth of Greenville, S. C.; and Mr. and Mrs. Fred Lusk of Atlanta, Ga.

Dr. and Mrs. Thomas Kermit Hearn and their children, Dr. and Mrs. Thomas K. Hearn, Jr., Thomas III, Lindsey and Will of Birmingham; Mr. and Mrs. John Scott, Tommy, Laurie, and Will of New Orleans, La.; Dr. Joel P. Hearn and Anne of Birmingham; and Mr. and Mrs. James H. Hearn of Tuscaloosa;

Mr. and Mrs. George P. Walker, Jr. of Attalla and their children, Mr. and Mrs. Warren B. Crow III, Baker, Bill and Elisabeth of Birmingham; Dr. and Mrs. George P. Walker III, Jane, Emily and Millie of Gadsden; and Mrs. Tommy Keene, Jason and Alison of Montgomery;

Mrs. and Mrs. Andy Lowery, Jackson and Elizabeth of Huntsville; Mr. and Mrs. Will Lawrence and Mary Pat of Talladega; Mrs. C.A. (Buddy) Beasley and Katherine of Foley; Mr. and Mrs. Charles F. Boyd of Gadsden;

Mrs. James Ford and Tommy of Gadsden; Mr. and Mrs. Gordon Hubbard of Ozark; Dr. Edward Thompson, Gary and Doug of Gadsden; and Mr. and Mrs. Harry Campbell of Section.

Guests attending included: Dawn Grantham of Gadsden, Jack Sternberg of Metairie, La., Bob Finney, O.H. Finney, Oma Dee Hewitt, Hazel Roberts and Mildred Roberts.

1979 Hearn Reunion