A descendant of the pioneers who first settled Eufaula, Linda Perdue was born in England.
“My father was in the service, and he was in England for a time and met (my mother) and they married. In fact, they were both engaged to someone else, at the time, but once they met that was the end of all that,” she said.
When she was one-year-old, she moved with her parents to Alabama, where she was raised in Barbour County.
Upon graduating from high school in Eufaula, Linda attended college at Huntington in Montgomery. For six years, she spent some time away with her husband and three children. Eventually, the family returned to Eufaula in 1970. Since then, Linda has worn many hats within the community; she brings together the energy of a big city with the beauty and tradition of our small town.
In addition to her own personal and professional work, Linda has had a great deal of involvement in the annual tour of homes. She began volunteering with the Pilgrimage organizers as part of the publicity team. She remembers, “I sent out things to radio stations, for instance, and TV stations. I did work in homes — stood in homes to greet visitors.”
Over the years, the Pilgrimage gets bigger and better. “You know, it has not really changed that much, which is the big surprise because lots of other Pilgrimages and things get burned out — but we haven’t,” she said. “It’s going strong after all these years, and that’s the remarkable thing. It just keeps getting bigger and better. Things work for a while, and then something new will come about.”
Linda is the portrait of sophistication; poised, polite, and charming in a way that perfectly blends the two cultures converged in her upbringing. About six years ago, she worked with the Heritage Association to incept the Afternoon Teas event. Fusing the hospitable nature of the Pilgrimage with the British tradition of having tea as part of a fashionable meal nestled between breakfast and late-dinner, Linda works each year with a dedicated group of volunteers to prepare and serve tea and treats to visitors. “That’s my favorite thing that I’ve ever done,” she said.
The Afternoon Teas are more than a casual get-together — they’re over-the-top, yet intimate, gatherings of visitors at the Shorter Mansion. Prior to each sitting, Linda’s team prepares teas and treats, which they serve to about seventy guests over the span of two days and two sittings. This event is popular among Pilgrimage guests because it ties right in to the heritage homes and going back in time.