Sweet Home Alabama: Then and Now – 12 Years Later
Carmichael Plantation (Real name: Oak Hill & The Martha Berry Museum)
This is the mansion in the movie where Melanie pretends to have grown up as a child while living in Alabama. There were several scenes filmed at this location, but the most memorable were Melanie visiting Bobby Ray to apologize for her drunken episode at Stella’s and the wedding ceremony at the end of the movie.
Oak Hill, the real name of this historic mansion, sits on 170 acres in Rome, Georgia. The property was purchased by Thomas Berry in 1871 from Andrew Sloan for $9,000. The original Victorian-style farmhouse that once occupied space on the property was built in 1847, but it had burned down in 1884. Sometime between 1885 and 1899, Thomas Berry built a Greek Revival home on the property and it was named Oak Hill. In 1927, Thomas’ daughter, Martha Berry – founder of Berry College, gained sole ownership of the estate after family members sold all of their shares of Oak Hill to her. In turn, Martha deeded the estate to the Berry Schools (now known as Berry College) for $5.
Immediately after the estate was transferred to Berry Schools renovations began on the historic structure. Renovations included plaster walls, indoor plumbing, electricity, and additional bedrooms. Today, the home is preserved as it was when Martha lived at the residence. This historic mansion is now listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Here’s a front shot of the Carmichael Plantation. In this scene Melanie is visiting the plantation for the very first time. If you look closely, you can see her standing on the front porch.
While this historic structure received a fresh coat of paint in 2009, the paint that was applied to the exterior wasn’t mold resistant from my understanding. Although it’s difficult to see in the second photo, greenish-blue patches have appeared on the surface which has marred the attractiveness of the mansion.
Aside from the poor paint job, the only differences between the two photos are the hand railings that were installed on the stairs, front doors changing colors (black to white), and the removal of the front-door knocker. My guess is that someone forgot to reattach the knocker after painting the doors.