Every home on the Eufaula Pilgrimage has quite a story to tell, for instance the Couric-Smith Home. It's a mix of Greek revival, Victorian architecture, and its story is one of celebrity and restoration.
Stately, peaceful, even quaint, you could call the Couric-Smith house what you will, but Ann Smith just calls it home. She says, "It's plan, nothing fancy." However, the general public may beg to differ. From the outside you can see big columns and the beautiful exterior.
It isn't just her home that is big, Ann Smith's family is too. Smith says, "There are 13 of us, 12 live in Eufaula right now." There is a real family feel to this beautifully restored masterpiece. Mrs. Smith beams with love for her family as she talks about how often they use the dining room. It's one of her most favorite rooms in the entire house.
Ann's husband, Joel, says he knew he had to have the house from the moment he saw it. "When we got married we lived in a tiny apartment, Ann had to sit on the bed to do her makeup." That was what they left to move into the home in 1966. Mr. Smith says he bought this house because he couldn't bear to watch it fall apart. At the time, it was divided into separate rooms and rented out. Mr. Smith says "There was water hose dripping down a window. I thought good Lord that classic house."
These says, Mr. Smith focuses on the grounds, while Mrs. Smith readies the house for hundreds of visitors. She says, "it makes you clean up, and clean out."
And in case you are wondering about the name "Couric", yes, there is a connection to news woman Katie Couric. Ann Smith says, "Katie wasn't famous when they built this house." That was 1845 when Katie Couric's great, great grandfather moved into this home after immigrating to Eufaula from France as a stowaway. Katie stopped in once during an NBC special on tracing her roots. Mrs. Smith says, "Her mom and dad come through every 2 or 3 years."
The Smiths say the celebrity and history of their home is just a small part of what makes Eufaula special. Mr. Smith says, "The history and the lake, it's natural ride all the way to the intracoastal waterway. It's a unique town!"
Reporter: Kim Hendrix