The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News

September 6, 2013

Gen. Wheeler birthday celebration set for Saturday

— The Alabama Historical Commission is honoring Gen. Joe Wheeler’s birthday Saturday at his home Pond Spring. Visitors will get the opportunity to sample cake made from a Wheeler family recipe, which is said to be Wheeler’s favorite.

Wheeler was a legendary Confederate general, a U.S. congressman, and a Spanish American War general.

Following the Civil War, Wheeler became a national symbol for reunification and reconciliation. His 1870s home is the center point of the 50-acre historic site owned by the commission. The collection contains around 10,000 objects, furnishings, clothing and papers associated with the family.

The annual celebration will begin with a welcoming ceremony at 10 a.m. as local Boy Scouts present the flags. The public can explore the grounds from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and enjoy cake — while it lasts — with drinks donated by Pepsi Bottling Co.

Participants are invited to see re-enactors fire a working Civil War cannon and various folk artists demonstrate their skills. The LifeSouth Community Blood Centers Bloodmobile will be on-site for a blood drive and the Olde Towne Brass Band will play on the front porch of the Wheeler House from noon until 1 p.m.

Entrance to the grounds, the welcoming ceremony, and refreshments are free.

Admission to the Wheeler House for guided tours is $8 for adults, $5 for seniors/college students/military, $3 for children ages 6-18 and free for children under 6 years old.

Tours will be offered from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. with tours beginning on the hour.

Pond Spring is located in Lawrence County in Hillsboro, three miles east of Courtland, on Alabama 20 (U.S. Alt. 72).

For more information, contact Kara Long at or 256-637-8513.

The Alabama Historical Commission protects, preserves, and interprets Alabama’s historic places and is the State Historic Preservation Office. To find out more about AHC, visit

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