Cowan-Ramser House

Dixie Manor
Historic American Building Survey (1935).
One of eight historic Eufaula structures recorded during this time.

Built circa 1840, the Cowan-Ramser House is one of the oldest surviving Greek Revival residences in Eufaula. Although the home was last used as Mr. Colonel White & Sons Funeral Home, the house was originally built as a private residence for William Cowan, who was one of Eufaula’s earliest physicians. Cowan and his wife had eight children, three of whom tragically died young. They also raised his wife’s orphaned brother. The couple’s daughters married wealthy district attorneys or state senators. One of Cowan’s sons served as an officer during the Civil War. In 1859, after Cowan’s death, one of his sons inherited the property. A few years later, in 1862, tragedy struck after a member of the Cowan family known for sleepwalking fell from the porch balcony becoming paralyzed.

After the Civil War, the property was sold to Jacob Ramser, a Swiss furniture craftsman. While living in Eufaula, Ramser got married, became a member of the city council, and held the position of mayor as well as superintendent of education. Ramser and his wife had four children. After his death in 1892, his son inherited the property.

The Lewis family purchased the property around 1948 and the house was renovated for use as Colonel White’s Funeral Home. For decades, the Lewis family operated a funeral business downstairs and lived upstairs. When Colonel White passed away, they decided to close the funeral business. His wife continued to live in the house until her death in 2004. In 2017, a wind storm damaged the roof and broke several windows. The storm damage was exacerbated by Hurricane Michael a year later. Today, the house is owned by a family member living in Florida. The old home suffers from severe water intrusion and deteriorates further with each passing day. The owners have applied for an emergency loan from the Alabama Trust’s Endangered Property Trust Fund, but this loan cannot cover the costs. The Eufaula Heritage Association is supporting the restoration of the house. In 2019, Places in Peril listed the house to provide statewide awareness of the ongoing issue.

Cowan Ramser House
Cowan-Ramser House
Funeral Home
Funeral Home
Funeral Home
Funeral Home
Dixie Manor
Funeral Home
Funeral Home
Funeral Home
abandoned alabama funeral home
Funeral Home
An upstairs bedroom shows the extent of the water damage. Chunks of plaster from the ceiling cover the floor.
abandoned alabama
Funeral Home
A 1950s Chevrolet sedan parked behind the abandoned funeral home.
Funeral Home

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You can find me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok. For more abandoned places from across Alabama, check out my books Abandoned Alabama: Exploring the Heart of Dixie and Abandoned Birmingham. If you would like to receive the Abandoned Southeast blog in your email, sign up below or on the main page.

22 comments

  1. There is a very intriguing ‘History Channel’ Documentary put out in the year 2008, titled ‘Life without People’. That I as an admirer of images of abandoned abodes really enjoyed watching, it’s about the time line of how long the natural world in only which plants, trees and animals of nature only reside upon planet earth. How long it takes plants and trees by way of bird dropped seeds and creeping roots expand in cracks of walls and concrete to reclaim buildings and homes. It based upon if all of mankind was removed, as in was to suddenly vanish. An amazing document you may wish to watch. I especially enjoyed the rusting old car. As for sleep walking, it is a hazardous condition indeed. Thank you kindly for providing yet another presentation of the past through past southern generations. You wouldn’t know of the year, make and model of that old car would you? I would like to on line search what it looked like showroom new at the car dealer.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I thought the car was pretty cool too and I love this picture so much I think I want to print it and put it on my wall, its perfect. The rusty old car with the big spooky house in the background! So COOL!!!
      I think this image is what a good scary movie is based off of, JS

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  2. Thanks Larry Davis – I guess that open back door throw me as well as the worn chrome trim around the rear window. Not to mention I wasn’t out of the box (born) yet for another five years. 🙂

    Like

  3. Crazy that the clothes hanging on the door still look bright and fresh in the presence of so much mold and mildew 🤯

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  4. Love reading the history of these places along with the photos. Much more interesting when you can see what you are reading about. Do you ever get to South Carolina or North Carolina? I grew up in Spartanburg SC but moved to Charlotte NC later on. I would love too be able to see some of these places up close. I know the rules, visit, enjoy, take photos, but leave it just as you found it.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Such a shame. There’s not alot of prewar Greek revival houses like this left around anymore. This one’s quite ornate, I hope someone steps in soon to save it or it’ll be past the point of no return.🥺

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  6. Trying to find out the owners. Was interested in buying coffins for a Halloween haunted barn we do and take all proceeds to help our local communities

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  7. I would love too have the picture of the last supper in the first house . I would love to walk through houses like that , I love going through abandoned house ,especially old homes .

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