Greensboro holds Porches and Parlors tour

The area of West Alabama has much to offer in the way of interesting things to see and do. One often-overlooked gem is the town of Greensboro.

A bit off the beaten path, it is an unspoiled community of interesting shops and beautiful old Victorian-era homes. The Porches and Parlors tour on Sunday showcased a few of the aspects of this charming community.

The Porches and Parlors tour was a little bit like a Christmas party that took place all over town. Historic homes were decked out in their Christmas finest to welcome visitors for the afternoon.

Many of the homes offered refreshments, and seasonal music was performed by local choirs, either vocal or handbell, throughout the day. There was also a Christmas market in the Magnolia Restaurant with vendors offering everything from decorations to pottery, homemade soap, gift baskets and baked goods to the public.

The tour of homes was headlined by Magnolia Grove, a house museum with a graceful curving staircase, high ceilings and colorful family history.

Other homes of the same era were lovingly restored and beautifully decorated inside and out. Porches, fences and gates were dressed in seasonal greenery and ribbon.

Each house had something that made it special. One of the homes was filled with collections of folk art and antique toys.

Another home, decorated in period style, has been operated as a bed and breakfast for the past 12 years.

Yet another house near downtown was built by a member of the Vine and Olive colony that settled Demopolis. One particularly beautiful plantation style house would have made Scarlett O’Hara feel at home.

The tour was the idea of the Greensboro Area Business and Tourist Association. According to the president of the association, Stephen Barnette, the purpose was to raise money to build a tourist kiosk downtown. The kiosk would include a map, fliers and other information for visitors to the town.

The idea came to Barnette in part because of a conversation he had one afternoon with two visitors from London who were passing through. They wanted to know what there was to see in Greensboro.

Barnette directed them to some of the shops and the house museums in the town. Including the Safe House Museum, there are three museums in Greensboro. The kiosk would help visitors find points of interest in the community.

Overall, it was an enjoyable Sunday afternoon. The Porches and Parlors tour was the ideal way to get into the Christmas spirit.

Lynda Ray is a contributing writer for