Historic shotgun houses preserved

An old shotgun house at Hunt's Alley - Photo by Melissa Parker
An old shotgun house at Hunt's Alley - Photo by Melissa Parker

Prattville – Nestled in an area between Prattville City Hall and the Autauga County Courthouse are the last authentic shotgun-style houses in the city. Most of these type of houses usually were no more than twelve feet wide, with doors at each end, and normally consisted of three to five rooms in a row with no hallways.

The term “shotgun house” is often said to come from the saying that one could fire a shotgun through the front door and the pellets would fly cleanly through the house and out the back door. The oldest ones were built without indoor plumbing. The houses in Hunt’s Alley, back in the olden days, shared one outside well that provided all of the water. They were used by mill workers in the early 1900s.

Since early 2007, people have been buying lots in the price range of about $30,000, with homes priced at around $150,000. The businesses that are located there now include Hunt’s Alley Antiques, Feather on the Wind Oils & Massage, and Spring Bruner Photography.

Al Bock and Lenore Kirkpatrick purchased the two-acre tract in 2005 and were also instrumental in saving the Miles-Ellis-Barnes house, which was built on one of the first lots Daniel Pratt laid out for the town near the intersection of Court and Fourth streets. Bock and Kirkpatrick also opened Old Pratt Village, a cluster of historic buildings and a chapel in the first block of First Street downtown.

Article by Melissa Parker

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