The wrecks of the Moulthrop house as well as the Shorter family cemetery can be found high on a bluff overlooking Lake Eufaula. In the 1830s and 1840s, the bluff was home to the early settlers of Eufaula, such as the Shorters. In 1837, General Reuben C. Shorter and his wife Mary Butler Gill Shorter settled on this property, which had about 100 acres of land.
Between Eufaula and Columbus, GA, Public Shorter owned hundreds of hectares of cotton fields on both sides of the Chattahoochee River. This was not the Shorters’ plantation, but it served as their residence.
By the mid-1800s, settlers on the bluff found that water-borne illnesses such as typhoid, yellow fever, and diphtheria were killing off many of the people who lived near the river. As a result, the settlers relocated to what is now known as downtown Eufaula.
Also after General Shorter’s death in 1853, the Shorters remained on the property, which was inherited by one of his sons, Eli Sims Shorter, Sr., a U.S. Congressman. After Congressman Smaller died in 1879, his son Eli Sims Shorter, Jr. inherited the estate and built Shorter Mansion in downtown Eufaula. In 1884, Eli Shorter, Jr. sold the surrounding property to Robert H. Moulthrop but retained ownership of the five acres containing the family cemetery.
In 1862, Robert Moulthrop traveled from Connecticut to Alabama to supervise the resting of brick pillars for the Central Railroad of Georgia’s new bridge across the Chattahoochee River. He agreed to lay in Eufaula and establish a brick manufacturing plant in Georgetown, Georgia, just across the river.
He was a well-known businessman who had served as a director of the Commercial National Bank and had holdings in local cotton mills. Starting in the 1970s, Moulthrop collaborated with local carriage manufacturer James Ross to construct a number of brick storerooms along Broad Street, including the National Hotel (1879) at 218 Broad Street. He and his son, Robert H. Moulthrop, were partners in the S. Stevens & Moulthrop Brick Corporation and the R. Moulthrop & Son Brick Company.
The Moulthrop new house was designed by John Adams and built by Alabama State Senator Robert H. Moulthrop in 1899.
Alabama State Senator Robert H. Moulthrop drafted the Equatable Education Act. Each year, he wanted to go to Italy. He was birthed in Quitman County, Georgia, in a small cottage. From 1899 to 1902, he worked as a brick producer. From 1894 to 1900, he was an alderman in the city of Eufaula.
For many years, he served on the city school board. He was a Democrat on the city council, a member of the Protestant Episcopal Church, a mason, and a Knights Templar. Fannie Dale was the first nanny at the Moulthrop home. She was a slave’s daughter who worked as a nanny for $3 per week. The Moulthrop home gave birth to a large number of children and relatives.
The Moulthrop House
Because it has a tower, the residence is thought to be a mix of Imperial revival and Queen Anne. There are four bedrooms on the second floor and one on the first floor. On the first floor, there was a dining room, a living room, and a large covered porch. Doc’s House, the caretaker’s residence, a grist mill, a two-room storage building, and a shed constructed to work on Ford Model T’s were also on the property.
The land around the house will be cleared in June 2020. An LLC group with family ties repurchased the house and 25 acres. The group intends to restore the house to its former glory.
There are several plans in place, including a venue for weddings or other events and the construction of cottages on the property for guests. The group is optimistic, hoping to get it ready for family gatherings by Thanksgiving 2021.
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