Issue link: http://alabamapower.uberflip.com/i/1066955

Contents of this Issue


Page 38 of 51

36 E. Barden Smedberg Jr. at times seems surprised to find himself in the middle of nowhere amidst a successful business career that takes him around the world. He's still young, dark hair reaching his shoulders, life nowadays far from his upbringing as part of U.S. military royalty. Seven years ago he was looking for an upscale residence near Tuscaloosa, where he had first encountered Alabama while earning a bachelor's degree. However, Smedberg was sidetracked in his search for a home by the rural 1852 Eutaw residence of Nathan Carpenter, which had stayed in the Confederate captain's family until 1974. What once was 667 acres of cotton farming land had been sold down to 8 acres. What mostly remained in 2011 was the 5,000-square-foot, three-story, four- columned, wood frame mansion with a couple of outbuildings and lots of options for the next owner of "Everhope Plantation." Smedberg had grown up moving from one Navy base to the next. His great-great-grandfathers, William Barden and William Smedberg, were members of the U.S. Military Academy classes of 1893 and 1894. Smedberg became a general and Barden a famous Army engineer. Barden's daughter married Smedberg's son, whose grandson would become a vice admiral, confidante of presidents and sink German subs and Japanese ships in World War II. e Everhope owner's great-grandfathers were both admirals, and his father is a retired Navy officer. e youngest Smedberg spurned a military career, residing in Hong Kong and California before eventually seeking refuge on the property 35 minutes from the University of Alabama. "I always dreamed of owning a little ranch," says Smedberg, an instructor in Auburn University's Harbert College of Business. "I came here to look at the stars, get away from everything. But I've ended up being busier than ever hosting all of these interesting people." Friendly circumstances led Smedberg to open his little ranch to others. Someone asked to host a party there, another person wanted the mansion for a wedding, then there was the related need for family accommodations. Smedberg couldn't turn them down, so Everhope Plantation bed and breakfast was born. Each year as the owner, Smedberg has upgraded at the same time as he's continued the costly maintenance required of a 167-year-old building. ere are now three renovated rental cabins outside the main house. On a Friday morning, four guests from Dade City, Florida, are eating scrambled eggs, bacon, biscuits and grits in the dining room, which has floor-length window drapes meticulously recreated for the previous owner. ese guests Everhope Diamond Antebellum mansion becomes B&B Tide tourist attraction by Chuck Chandler Photography by Meg McKinney

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of POWERGRAMS - PG_Jan_2019_final