Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Arlington stands in

graceful symmetry as an 1840s example of Greek Revival architecture,

a special museum house with its collection of 19th century antiques,

decorative arts, textiles and paintings. In 1822, several years after

Alabama joined the Union, Stephen Hall of Jefferson County purchased

475 acres in Elyton and built a two-story house. Young lawyer, William

Swearingen Mudd acquired the property at public auction in 1842 and

named it The Grove. He created a colonnaded mansion of four rooms

over four rooms for his bride, Florence Earle, possible incorporating

Hall’s two-story structure as the mansion’s west side. The next two

owners were Henry Fairchild DeBardeleben from 1884 to 1886 and

Franklin Huntington Whitney from 1886 to 1902. Whitney changed the

property’s name from The Grove to Arlington. After Whitney’s death,

Arlington sat vacant and in disrepair. In 1902, inventor and

manufacturer Robert Sylvester Munger purchased it at auction,

upgrading the house with steam heat, electricity, and indoor plumbing.

His daughter, Ruby Munger Montgomery, eventually inherited the

property and called it home until 1952. Private citizens, appreciating

Arlington’s rich history, raised monies that the City of Birmingham

matched, enabling City acquisition of Arlington in 1952 as a house

museum reflecting Birmingham’s early heritage.

Arlington escaped 1865 Civil War destruction when General James

Wilson arrived in Elyton with more than 13,000 cavalrymen. General

Wilson headquartered at Arlington, met with and apparently respected

then Circuit Court Judge Mudd who was a fellow Mason. Wilson

refrained from burning Arlington but destroyed Confederate facilities

at Irondale, Oxmoor, Selma and Tuscaloosa. Today, Arlington is the

oldest early 19th Century house surviving in the vicinity of Birmingham.

331 Cotton SW

Birmingham, AL  35211 




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