Pleasant Hill

Pleasant Hill (HM1DAS)

Location: Athens, AL 35611 Limestone County
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Country: United States of America
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N 34° 47.778', W 86° 58.084'

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Home of Rev. Robert Donnell (1784-1855)

Built abt. 1849 by Rev. Robert Donnell, a native of North Carolina, and his second wife Clara Lindley Donnell. He was greatly inspired by the Great Spiritual Revival of 1800 and became a Presbyterian circuit rider, one of the "flaming fires," so called because of their spiritual intensity. Donnell held the first camp meeting in the settlement that became Huntsville, started new churches in North Alabama and Tennessee, and retired as minister of the Athens Cumberland Presbyterian Church. For his service and dedication, the North Alabama Presbytery was named in his honor.

After the death of Rev. Donnell in 1855, this house and surrounding acreage passed to his son James Webb Smith Donnell.

J.W.S. Donnell and his family lived here during
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the Civil War, even though he was wanted by the Union Army for aiding the Confederacy. In 1862, during the sacking of Athens, Federal troops camped on the house grounds, looted and damaged the house.

The Donnells lost the house through bankruptcy after the war. It served as a boarding school for boys for a time and later as the home of Athens School Superintendent, Julian Newman and his family.

In the 1970s, a campaign to save and restore the house was initiated by local historians and authors Christine W. Edwards and Faye A. Axford. Local citizens, businesses and Donnell descendants contributed to the restoration of this historical landmark.
Year Placed2006
Placed ByLimestone County Historical Society and Donnell House Board
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, October 12th, 2014 at 11:39pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)16S E 502921 N 3850454
Decimal Degrees34.79630000, -86.96806667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 34° 47.778', W 86° 58.084'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds34° 47' 46.68" N, 86° 58' 5.04" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)256, 205
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 299 Co Rd 44, Athens AL 35611, US
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