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And then one day a wealthy customer bought the Indian maid

And took her oh, so far away, but ‘ol Kaw-liga stayed

Kaw-liga just stands there as lonely as can be

And wishes he was still an old pine tree.

-”Kaw-liga” By Hank Williams who had a place on Lake Martin near Kowliga

Long before the county’s establishment in 1832, the Tallapoosa County area lands were roamed and inhabited by the Menawa (Creek) Indians.

Cities and towns in Tallapoosa County:

  • Alexander City
  • Camp Hill
  • Dadeville-county seat
  • Daviston
  • Goldville (Comm)
  • Jackson’s Gap
  • New Site
  • Tallassee
  • Reeltown

Alexander City, or Alex City (pronouced Alec) as the locals call it, was shaped by cotton.  The city is home to Russell Corporation Athletic Apparel and Equipment, which was started by Mr. Ben Russell whom the local high school is named for.  The downtown portion of the city is noted in the National Historic Registry and was featured in the movie, Big Fish.

Noteable People:

  • Osceola, Seminole Leader
  • Terrell Owens, infamous American football player, Alexander City
  • William Weatherford (Red Eagle), Creek Indian Leader

Things to do in Tallapoosa County:

  • Willow Point Country Club, Alexander City.  “One of the finest lakeside courses in the country”-PGA Pros.
  • Lakewinds Golf Course, Alexander City.
  • StillWaters Golf and Country Club, Dadeville.
  • Wind Creek State Park, Alexander City.  The largest campsite in Alabama with 635 campsites on 1400 acres.
  • Horseshoe Bend Military Park, Daviston.  Preserves the site of the battle of Horseshoe Bend for both the US Soldiers and Creek Nation Indians.
  • Lake Martin One of largest man-made lakes in the United States.  Martin Dam was built to generate hydroelectric power.  The lake offers 44,000 acres of water and 750 miles of shoreline.
  • Lake Martin Amphitheater
  • Children’s Harbor, Alexander City.  “Offers therapeutic foster care for families and children.”
  • Chimney Rock at Lake Martin, boat stop that offers daredevil jumps.
  • D.A.R.E. Power Park, between Alexander City and Dadeville.
  • Camp ASCCA, Jacksons Gap, Easter Seals Camp.
  • Alabama U-Pick Farms:
  • George R. Carlton Farm.  835 Pinecrest Drive, Alexander City.  (256) 234-2486.  Blueberries, June-July.
  • Blueberry Havens. 1612 Rainbow Drive, Camp Hill.  (334) 257-4322 (334) 707-4707.  Blueberries,                          June 15- Aug 1

Haunted Areas of Tallapoosa County according to the ShadowLands Haunted Places Index:

  • Alexander City: Oakachoy Covered Bridge and Sturdivant Mansion.
  • Reeltown: Lovelady’s Bridge, demolished.
  • Dadeville: Liberty Graveyard
  • Harper Hill: Prospect Road off of Hwy 49

Other useful links:

Information for this post came from the Tallapoosa County website and the Alexander City Website.  Thank you!

This is a place where grandmothers hold babies on their laps under the stars and whisper in their ears that the lights in the sky are holes in the floor of heaven.  -Rick Bragg, author and native of Possum Trot

Calhoun County was originally known as Benton County.

Benton County, named for Thomas Hart Benton was established in December of 1832.  At that time the county seat was in Jacksonville.  Benton and John C. Calhoun were partners in politics and were both slaveholders.  With time their political interests diverged as Calhoun used secession to broaden slavery and Benton was coming to the conclusion that slavery was wrong.  However, Alabama supporters of slavery did not agree with Benton and changed the county name to Calhoun in January of 1858.  After years of controversy and a State Supreme Court ruling in June of 1900 Anniston was named the county seat and remains such today.

The major agricultural products of the area are hay, cattle, poultry, and cotton.

Cities and towns:

  • Alexandria
  • Blue Mountain
  • Bynum
  • Choccolocco
  • Eastaboga
  • Glencoe (part in Etowah)
  • Hobson City
  • Pleasant Valley
  • Possum Trot (Community)
  • Minden
  • Ohatchee
  • Oxford (Part in Talladega)
  • Piedmont (Part in Cherokee)
  • Saks
  • Weaver
  • Webster’s Chapel
  • Wellington
  • West-End Cobb Town

Anniston, the county seat and nicknamed “The Model City” was founded and developed by the Tyler and Noble families to establish the iron industry of the area.  Later on steel and clay pipe also grew to be large industries of the area.  The town is conveniently nestled in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains halfway between Atlanta and Birmingham.  Anniston is home of the Anniston Army Depot, “the tank rebuild center of the world”.  Noble Street, named after the town founder is a common shopping area for the town as well as the Quintard Mall and Oxford Exchange both located in the sister city of Oxford.

Jacksonville known as “the Gem of the Hills” due to its location at the foothills of the Appalachian mountains, was once the county seat (Benton County) and has been home to educational institutes since 1834.  In that year the town set aside a one acre parcel of land to build a schoolhouse on.  Two years later the Jacksonville Academy was incorporated and in the next year, 1837, there was an establishment of the Jacksonville Female Academy.  In 1883 the academy was reorganized into a State Normal School and then throughout time changed to Jacksonville State Teacher’s College.  In 1966 it gained full university status and changed the name to Jacksonville State University as it remains today.

 

Places and things to see:

Alabama U-Pick Farms:

  • Bennett’s Blueberry Farm (June 22-Aug 6)
  •                 535 Ellie’s Lane, Anniston (256) 236-6410
  • Jerry Gilbert- Blueberries (June 10-Aug 1, Call for appointment and availability)
  •                 1281 Dogwood Lane, Jacksonville (256) 435-4247
  • 7 Springs Farm- Apples, blueberries, sweet corn, purple hull peas, squash, heirloom tomatoes, fordhook lima beans (June-Blueberries, July- Apples and vegetables 7 days a week, 7 am-8 pm)
  •                588 Seven Springs Rd, Wellington (256) 473-9191
  • Bill and Faye Graham- Blueberries and daylillies (June 20-Aug 10, 7 days a week, daylight to dark)
  •                 3015 Al Hwy 204, Jacksonville (256) 435-1125

Dishes and Places to Eat according to “100 Dishes to Eat in Alabama Before You Die”

 

Notable people:

Haunted Places as noted by the Shadowlands:

  • Anniston: Anniston High School Girl’s Locker Room, Blockbuster, Parker Memorial, Stringfellow Memorial Hospital, The Victoria.
  • Jacksonville: Dump Road, Jacksonville State University-Weatherly Hall (destroyed)
  • White Plains: Camp Cottaquilla

Other useful websites:

Special thanks to Grant Allen and Justin Hill for information on this county.

Information for this post was also gathered from Wikipedia, Calhoun Chamber of Commerce, TheSpiritofAnniston.com, the Jacksonville City website, and the Anniston Army Depot website. 

Thank you to all who contributed!

 

 

“Hard times don’t create heroes.  It is during the

hard times when the ‘hero’ within us is revealed.”

-Governor Bob Riley

It could easily be said that Clay County has “heroes” living within its borders.  There are many hard-working individuals that call Clay County home.  Among these people are cabinet shop workers, chicken plant workers, farmers, and other blue-collar workers.  These individuals have difficult times like anyone else, but they know how to withstand the hardships and find the heroes within themselves that native of the county, Governor Bob Riley states above.

Clay County was established on December 7, 1866 and created on December 26th of that same year.  Territories from the surrounding counties of Talladega and Randolph Counties were used in this making.  Clay County got its name from the Senator Henry Clay of Kentucky.  The population is a little over 14,000.  It should also be noted that Clay County is one of the few remaining “dry” counties in the state, meaning the sale of alcoholic bevarages within its borders is prohibited.

Clay County is divided into six cities/towns: Ashland, Lineville, Millerville, Cragford, Delta, and Hollins.

Ashland, the city of friends, serves as the county seat.  The original courthouse was built in 1866 which burned and was rebuilt in 1878.  In 1906 the county saw the need for a bigger courthouse and built the one still in use today.  Ashland is the highest elevated county seat in Alabama.

Lineville, the largest city in the county was named for being on the line of Talladega and Randolph counties before the county creation in 1886.  It is known as the scenic crossroads of East Alabama noted by the beautiful Cheaha Mountains that partially lies in Lineville.

After reading an article entitled “Thar’s Gold in Them Thar Clay County Hills” written by local historian Don East, I discovered that Clay County is known to historians as part of the original Alabama gold discovery in 1830 along with other surrounding counties.  The article went on to explain the discovery of gold in this part of the state led President Andrew Jackson to put the Indian Removal Act and Treaty of Cusseta into action sooner than planned.  Georgia prospectors wanted this action so they could search Indian territories for gold, and gold they did find.  Gold is the reason the towns of Lineville and Cragford were formed.  Today there is still remnants of old time gold mines at the Alabama Gold Camp in Cragford.

Don East also writes that there were 60 original graphite mines in the state of Alabama, most of which were in Clay County.  In fact, Alabama’s first graphite mine, Allen Graphite, opened in Ashland in 1899.  It was noted at this time that Ashland would likely be more prosperous than even Birmingham due to the high, quick growth the graphite mine brought on.  However, when WWI ended the market for graphite dropped and instead graphite users changed to cheaper foreign graphite imports thus ending the industry in Ashland.

To sports fans Clay Bowl is a significant part of the county.  The Clay Bowl is a high school football rivalry where the Clay County Panthers challenge against the Lineville Aggies.  The week before this Friday night event is often filled with friends from the neighboring schools quarreling over who the better team is all in good fun although it has often times led to more drastic things such as school suspensions for those who carry the bickering a bit too far.  Although Lineville has the most wins since the rival began in 1922, Clay County has the longest winning streak at 7 games and going.  Clay Bowl games have many times been playoff games as both schools are often noted as runners for the state championship.  In fact, the two schools put together make Clay County the county in Alabama with the most 2A and 3A state championships.  Plans to consolidate the two schools in the near future will end this long sought rivalry, but I believe many of the rival feelings will long remain.

In the middle of a rural farm with 11 acres of ponds sits a rough pine lumber cabin that many travel long distances just to have home cooked catfish.  This treasure of a restaurant is known as Red’s Catfish Cabin.  It was started by Mr. Elbert “Red” Kennedy, a lifelong farmer, who was looking for more ways to benefit his catfish stock.  He had the idea to build a restaurant with wood straight from his farm and offer a down home, country atmosphere where family and friends could come together Thursday through Sunday and share a wonderful meal of catfish (which is #55 on the list of 100 Dishes to Eat in Alabama Before You Die), fries, hush puppies, onion rings, and many other delicious foods.  His intention was to only sale catfish from his own pond, but as early as his first week of business it became apparent he would need outside sources of catfish in addition to his to satisfy his customers that kept coming back for more.  On average 1,200 pounds of catfish are consumed at Red’s Catfish Cabin in one week and more than 1,000 people sit down to a meal.

Not too long ago, people from all over East Central Alabama traveled to Millerville, Alabama, one of the smaller towns in Clay County to see a lady known as Mrs. Rena Teel.  Mrs. Teel was a known soothsayer.  It was her routine to help her clients find misplaced possessions or wayward livestock.  She even told the occasional fortune to those curious and brave enough to ask.  During her lifetime she located missing children, solved crimes, discovered bodies, and even once it is believed she prevented a murder.

The major agricultural products of Clay County according to the Alabama Cooperative Extension are broilers, cattle, and forest products.  The main crops of the area are ornamental plants, fruits, vegetables, and Christmas trees.  For other Clay County agriculture statistics visit ALFA Farmers Federation.

Places and things to see in Clay County:

 Hauntings of Clay County according to The Shadow Lands:

  • Hudson House, Ashland
  • Quick Stop Service Station, Lineville/Barfield

Notable people of Clay County:

  • Hugo Black (1886-1971) Served as Associate Justice for the United States Supreme Court, 1937-1971.
  • Joe F. Edwards Jr.-Astronaut (Lineville)
  • LaFayette L. Patterson (1888-1987) Served 3 terms in the United States Congress, 1928-1933.
  • Bob Riley (1944-Present) Served as Alabama’s 52nd governor, (2003-Present)
  • LaFayette Hoyt DeFrese- Private Counselor to England’s Queen Victoria.
  • Oliver Cromwell Carmichael (1891-1966) President of Alabama College at Montevallo, President of University of Alabama, Chancellor of Vanderbilt.
  • Robert Daniel Carmichael (1879-1967) Dean of Graduate School at University of Illinois.
  • Patrick Henry Carmichael- Dean of Presbyterian School of Christian Education in Richmond, Virginia.
  • Dr Wayne Finley and wife, Dr. Sarah Finley- Important research on medical genetics.
  • Howard Ballard (1963- Professional football player.
  • Jonathan Carter (1979- Professional football player.
  • Edward Yancey Argo (1895-1962) Alabama’s first Olympic Gold Medalist.
  • Jack Treadwell (1919-1977) Congressional Medal of Honor winner, and most military honors of his time.

 Places to stay in Clay County:

Places to eat in Clay County:

Books about Clay County:

  • You Always Think of Home:  A Portrait of Clay County, Alabama.  By Pamela Grundy
  • Horse and Buggy Days on Hatchett Creek.  By Mitchell B. Garrett
  • A City Set On A Hill, a play about Ashland, Alabama
  • Mr. Don East holds a larger list of books, pamphlets, and articles that can be found at the Clay County Chamber website.

Other useful Clay County websites:

Information from this post was acquired from Wikipedia, Clay County Chamber of Commerce which includes many articles written by Mr. Don East, and Red’s Catfish Cabin website.  Thanks to all for this wonderful knowledge I hope to pass on.

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