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The Hale-Joseph Home

By Heather , Bluffparkal.org  heather@bluffparkal.org  Photos by Heather, Bluffparkal.org

Did you know what home you wanted to live in when you were in the 6th grade? Resident Carlo Joseph did.  Mr. Joseph grew up in Bluff Park, attending Bluff Park School as a child.  Not every kid can say they found their dream home while walking to elementary school. “I walked past this house on the way to school and told my parents when I grew up that was where I was going to live.  I never forgot about the house.” Mr. Joseph says.

The home he saw was the crown jewel of the Hale family, a home built in the Hale Springs resort area among the peach orchards by 2 sons of George Gardner Hale, the son of Gardner Hale. The home was built in 1909 by William & Evan Hale.  It was originally a 2-story farmhouse with double porches sitting on 400 acres. The property was part of the Hale Springs resort area, and the home was constructed from wood that came from the sawmill of the Hale Lumber Company of which William and Evan owned.

Over the last 100 years, 13 different families have lived in the home.  A wealthy family renovated the house in the 1950's, they wanted the "Southern Colonial" look and did that by taking down the porches and adding the stately white columns.

 Other owners of the home include a member of the Hoover Historical Society and Alabama Governor George Wallace's daughter Bobbie Jo Wallace-Parsons.  Bobbie Jo Wallace and her husband Jim owned the home till they sold it to Carlo and Dianne Joseph in 1993.  The Parsons did some major renovations to the house, including the addition of a large trophy room.  A large garage with a workshop and a workout room were also added along with a pool, tennis courts and a dog kennel.

            Mr. Joseph liked the home so much that he stared leaving notes for the Parsons asking if they ever wanted to sell it to contact him, and in 1993, they did so.
“ The Parson's thought it was funny at first but realized I was serious after leaving notes for them for several years.  On August 11th, 1993, my wife and I bought the home.”  

The Joseph’s made some changes of their own to the now 7-acre, 4 bedrooms 4 baths home (and don’t forget the 6 fireplaces!).

            The trophy room is now a large den
.  “When the Parsons lived here, they added a trophy room to display their big game animals that they would bring back from safaris,“ Mr. Joseph says.  Track lighting was installed around the ceiling to spotlight each head.  In the corner of the room a giant full-size bear stood.  When the Joseph’s moved in, they converted the trophy room to a large den, taking down the track lighting and installing center lighting.  The stuffed bear did “live” with the Josephs for a few months until the Parsons could find a place for it.
“We took photos with the bear, it was very funny to have for a while,” Mr. Joseph says.


The kitchen was remodeled to an updated gourmet kitchen with all the modern amenities of today but also keeping the integrity and style of a historical home. Mrs. Joseph recalls all the old wallpaper that was behind the older cabinets and fixtures.  They even kept a book with all the photos from what they found behind the walls.  Over a new farmhouse sink, the Joseph's knocked out part of the wall and installed a three-panel window to let more light in.  A large island sits in the middle of the room for function and style. They have made many improvements over the last 15 years for aesthetic and functional reasons.  Mr. Joseph says the laundry room will be the next area to be renovated. 

            Among all the new renovations are several historical gems.  Tucked in a corner nook near the kitchen is one such gem, a plaque of the original wood from the kitchen sill holding some of its blue paint.  On top of the wood is a needlepoint work showcasing the home in the center.  Marjorie Williams who lived in the house between 1952 and 1961 left it for the Joseph’s one day after they moved in.  Another greets visitors on the inside of the front door, introducing them to the rich history the home holds.  On each side of the door the Joseph's display 2 photos, on the right is a photo of the home as it was with its double porches, from 1910 on the left is a photo of the home as it looked when the Joseph’s bought it in 1993.  To the left hanging on a wall is a painting of the home commissioned Gregory Evan Thompson, the grandson of Evan Hale and author of the book The Ancestors and Descendants of Gardner Cole Hale of Hale Springs, Alabama.  The painting was given to the Joseph's by Mr. Thompson as a gift, because of their kindness in letting him stay with them on all his visits to Alabama.


A home with such humble beginnings as a farmhouse survives today through owners past and present that know and preserve it as a landmark to the community, to history and to family“We try to share the house with the neighborhood through block parties as well as with the Historical Society for their annual teas and various charity groups.  I really can't imagine living anywhere else,” Mr. Joseph says.

            The house is featured in 2 books - The History of Hoover by Marilynn Barefield and The Ancestors and Descendants of Gardner Cole Hale of Hale Springs, Alabama by Gregory Evan Thompson.  It has also been featured in Birmingham Magazine, Birmingham News, and The Over the Mountain Journal.  In 1994, the home was placed on the Hoover-Jefferson County Alabama Historic Registers.



*Thompson, Gregory Evan. The Ancestors and Descendants of Gardner Cole Hale of Hale Springs, Alabama. [Branford, CT]: Gregory Evan Thompson, 2000. 

*Barefield, Marilyn Davis. A History of Hoover, Alabama and Its People. Hoover, AL: Hoover Historical Society, 1992. Hoover Public Library http://catalog.jclc.org/record=b1096607 

*Bluffparkal.org interview and tour with Carlo and Dianne Joseph




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