When Nicholas Cole purchased Swift-Coles Historic Home from the Swift family, he took special care to preserve the history of the home as well as Baldwin County, Alabama. Cole wanted to make sure that the people of Baldwin County understood that the area had roots that must be cherished and protected.
Built in 1882 by local fisherman, Thomas Gavin, Swift-Coles Historic Home began as a four room house facing east towards the Bon Secour River. Charles and Susan Roberts Swift would later purchase the home in 1898. and move in with their seven children. Charles and his brother, Ira owned three sawmills (two located a few miles north of the home and one located in lower Mississippi). The business prospered and the family grew.
In 1902 the first addition of the home was built to include an entrance hall, dining room and kitchen. Porches were also added to the west side of the home. With the additions being made to the home Charles and Susan welcomed the birth of two more children.
In 1908 the family would have blossomed into having eleven children all ranging in ages 2 to 21- six girls and five boys. Sadly, two of the Swift children passed away during infancy. At this time the family added two interior bathrooms to the home which was considered "very modern" for that time in American history.
Charles Swift passed away in 1912 and a year later the sawmill burned down. Susan would continue residing in the home until her death in 1932. The Swift Lumber Company is one of the largest businesses in Baldwin County today. The Swift children would return to the home at different times throughout the following years with their families. The Swift's daughter, Susie Nell Swift would be the last member of the family to reside in the home.
Nicholas Cole purchased the home in 1976 after Susie Nell Swift passed away. Cole never married but often said, "I had a love affair with this house." Most of the furnishings in the home are from Cole's antique collection of furniture, china, crystal and art objects. Recently members of the Swift family bestowed the home with a few artifacts.
Nicholas Cole passed away in 2007. The home was bequeathed to the Baldwin County Historical Development Commission who now manages the operations of the home. The home was opened to the public in 2009. Since then the home has been visited by many people for historic self-guided tours as well as other private events such as weddings.
Self-guided tours take about one hour to complete and are available on Fridays of each week from 1pm to 5pm. Please be sure to check out our Facebook page for updated changes to hours and other special events we may be having.
Every Friday from 1 pm to 5 pm
(Please be sure to check our Facebook page for changes to hours or for special events that we may be having)
Children (3-12) $5
Children (under 3) Free
CASH OR CHECK ONLY