Wilson-Finlay House

Also known as: Joshua Wilson House and Finlay House
N of Gainestown on Suggsville Rd., Gainestown, Alabama

A historic plantation house in Gainestown, Alabama.



The Wilson-Finlay House, also known as the Joshua Wilson House and Finlay House, is a historic plantation house in Gainestown, Alabama. It was added to the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage on September 17, 1976. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on July 12, 1978, due to its architectural significance.

The house was built circa 1846 for Dr. Joshua Sanford Wilson by Isaac Fuller from Maine. Wilson, born in 1792 in Halifax County, North Carolina, was a physician, planter, and politician. His father, the Reverend Joshua Wilson, settled in Gainestown around 1817. He was a Revolutionary War veteran and Methodist minister.

As of 2011, the house is owned by the Louis M. Finlay, Jr. family. They also maintain the Gainestown Schoolhouse, another National Register-listed property, on the grounds for use as a guest cottage.

The two-story Greek Revival-style house is wood-frame with limestone ashlar foundations and front columns, an unusual feature in Alabama. The limestone, with visible marine fossils present, was quarried locally, at the Gainestown Quarry on the Alabama River. The house is rectangular in form and utilizes a central hall-type plan. A central two-tiered Doric portico fronts the structure. A louvered fanlight is centered in the pediment above the portico.

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on July 12, 1978
Reference number
Architectural styles
Mid 19th Century Revival; Other architectural type; Classical Revival
Area of significance
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
C - Design/Construction
Property type
Historic function
Single dwelling
Current function
Single dwelling
Period of significance
Significant year
Number of properties
Contributing buildings: 1
Non-contributing buildings: 1

Update Log 

  • May 24, 2011: Updated by WillyT: Added Description