Tag Archives: Shelby County

Remembering Heardmont Farm

The gates as they originally stood just off Cahaba Valley Road at the entrance to Heardmont Farm. Howard Perdue, Jr. built the gates and today they stand at the Park’s entrance near the playground. Photos courtesy of Nancy Perdue Boone.


Today Heardmont, or as it’s officially named, The Park at Heardmont Farm, welcomes kids playing in its ball fields or along its creek beds and football, soccer and cross country teams from around the state. But longtime residents may remember the park was once Heardmont Farm. Like many park and recreation venues, you might think

Howard Perdue, Jr. constructed this small home on Heardmont Farm that was later converted into a sheriff’s substation. Also pictured are corrals on the farm where he raised Polled Hereford cattle.

there is an ancient Mr. or Mrs. Heardmont somewhere in Alabama’s past, but this is not the case.

Heardmont owes its name to Stephen Heard, the first governor of Georgia named in 1781. Heard’s fourth great-grandson, Howard Perdue, Jr., born in 1912, was a well-known Birmingham trial lawyer. Continue reading


A farmhouse wedding close to home at the Sonnet House

The Sonnet House in Leeds is a popular wedding venue. Photo courtesy of Ann Wade Parrish.


Destination weddings don’t have to be in Hawaii or the Virgin Islands. The Sonnet House, located about 10 minutes from Highway 280 off Highway 119 in Leeds, gives couples the feeling of a “destination” close to home.

At the Sonnet House, you feel farther away than you are in a good way, Owner and Manager Jared Heaton said.

“It’s not as far away as it seems,” Heaton said. “When I heard about it being in Leeds, I was like, really? You never know what you’re going to fall in love with.”
Jordyn Culbreth Farris and her husband, David, recent Auburn University alumni as well as Oak Mountain High School graduates, held their reception there on March 11.

“We really loved the house,” Farris said. “We liked that it’s a really big space for people. And, it’s beautiful on its own, or you can add a twist to it.”

The couple took photos before the wedding at the house and had their reception mostly outdoors, where guests dined on Momma Goldberg’s fare.

“We had food in the chapel and in the main house, but we danced on the back porch,” she said. “The outside was perfect for our reception.” Continue reading

Absent no more: How Ward Williams is equipping a community of fathers

Ward Williams with his wife, Suzanne, and children, Carter, Sarah Paige and Tate. Photo courtesy of Melissa Elise.


Ward Williams knows what it means to have an absent father.

His own dad walked out on him and his four siblings when he was young.
“My mother struggled to make ends meet without any support, financial or otherwise, from my father,” he said.

Luckily for Williams, his coaches, teachers and pastors stepped in and helped him through those difficult times.

He realized early on that he would not make the same mistakes his father made and has committed his adult life to equipping men to be fathers nationwide and especially in Shelby County.

Williams knows children in homes with absent fathers are more likely to live in poverty, become involved in drugs, commit crimes and become pregnant. As a remedy, he is reaching out to the community to help men become involved, committed and responsible dads in his role as Executive Director of Vineyard Family Services (VFS), based out of Inverness Vineyard Church. Continue reading

Public hearing on Brook Highland rezoning

The Shelby County Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on Monday, June 4 to decide on possible rezoning for the Brook Highland area.

According to the letter sent to Brook Highland property owners, the commission will consider a request of Eddleman Properties, Inc. for the approval to rezone land for the creation of 11 residential lots. A portion of the property is where  Brook Highland Racket Club is now located.

If approved, the request will not change the size or shape of surrounding properties. The hearing will be held at 7 p.m. at 1123 County Services Drive.

Taste of Shelby County celebrates local flavor

Culinary delights from local vendors abound at the fifth annual Taste of Shelby County on April 12. Photo courtesy of the Greater Shelby Chamber of Commerce.

The Greater Shelby County Education Foundation and Greater Shelby County Chamber of Commerce are hosting the fifth annual Taste of Shelby County on Thursday, April 12 from 6 – 8 p.m. at the Cahaba Grand Conference Center, 3660 Grandview Parkway.

There will be a multitude of vendors from all over Shelby County and the surrounding areas offering a “taste” of specialty dishes from their menus.

Vendors include restaurants, wineries, caterers and more. The evening will be filled with music for those that would like to dine and dance the night away.
Tickets may be purchased in advance online at www.shelbychamber.org for $25 or $30 at the door. Tickets are also available at the Greater Shelby County Chamber of Commerce office.

Current vendors participating are Bellini’s Ristorante, Italian; Bistro at the Winery, baked ziti with garlic croustini; Blue Bell Creameries, assorted ice cream varieties; Bruster’s Real Ice Cream, sample cups of assorted flavors of ice cream; Donut Joe’s, red velvet and maple bacon donuts, coffee and frappuccino; Firebird’s Wood Fired Grill, Lobster Queso Dip and the cheesecake bites;Good People Brewing Company, various samples of ale and brews; Joe’s Italian Restaurant, Italian, Little Caesars, pepperoni pizza, Italian cheese bread, crazy bread; Lucia’s Italian, Italian dish assortment; Margarita Grill, chips and hot sauce, cheese dip, and two ounce margaritas; Nino’s Italian Restaurant, bruschetta  and bread sticks; Pleasure is All Wine; wine, craft beer, gourmet food; Taziki’s Mediterranean Café, Friday pasta; Texas Roadhouse Pelham, grilled shrimp and steak kabobs; The Pampered Chef, various chef and cooking products; Vizzini Farms Winery, their own various wine tastings.

A portion of the proceeds goes to the Greater Shelby County Education Foundation. For more information, please contact the Greater Shelby County Chamber of Commerce at 663-4542.

ARts & Lectures Club celebrates symphony acheivement

The ARts & Lectures Club of Shelby County hosted a “Big Apple” evening Feb. 25 to celebrate the Alabama Symphony Orchestra’s invitation to perform at the second annual Spring for Music Festival at Carnegie Hall in New York, May 10. ASO is the smallest orchestra, and one of only six, to be selected from more than 65 orchestras from the U.S. and Canada. A sold-out crowd of more than 100 attended the local Symphony Celebration.

Mindy Boggs and Patty McDonald present Dr. Erica Liebelt the 2011 ARts Patron of the Year award. Photo courtesy of Mindy Boggs.

“All Things New York” was the event theme. Guests from north and south of I-459  were greeted by two “Big Apples”, a.k.a. Samford University sophomores Drew Smith and Emily Elder. Bond #9 representative Carol Balch also greeted guests with luxury fragrance samples named for famous New York City districts, along with  specialty maps of Manhattan, a handy gift for those who’ll travel to New York for the concert. Continue reading

People you should know: Jim Fuhrmeister, Shelby County Probate Judge

Probate Judge Jim Fuhrmeister. Photo by Kathryn Acree.


Inverness resident Judge Jim Fuhrmeister has served as Shelby County’s Probate Judge since March 2008. He was appointed to the position by Governor Bob Riley following the death of Fuhrmeister’s wife, Patricia, who had served as Probate Judge since 1994.

A Birmingham-Southern College graduate, Fuhrmeister has called Shelby County home since first moving to the Alabaster area in the early 1970s. Upon completing his law degree at Birmingham School of Law, he worked as an assistant district attorney in the Shelby County District Attorney’s office from 1981 to 1987.

We met recently with Fuhrmeister at his office in the Columbiana courthouse to discuss his interests, his family and why he is passionate about continuing the work of the probate court by running in this month’s election for his first full term as probate judge.

What first led you into working at the D.A.’s office?
When Patti Smith left the district attorney’s office to become a judge, I applied for that opening. It was a very transitional time for Shelby County as it was experiencing a lot of growth. During those years I prosecuted everything from speeding tickets to death penalty cases. I have a very real understanding of the importance of the cases in this courthouse and the effect on people’s lives. Continue reading