Photo courtesy Flicker
Erected: 2010 by Alabama Tourism Department and the City of Brewton
Recognized as "Alabamas
Oldest Bank," the Bank of Brewton opened for business on
Monday, January 7, 1899. Brewton, Alabama was a prosperous town
in the late 1800s. A local resident, Charles Sowell, participated
in the flourishing times. A native of Monroe County, Alabama
and a wounded veteran of the Civil War, Sowell settled in Brewton.
After a brief stint as a railroad station agent, he began a timber
industry that produced a sizeable fortune. In 1880 Sowell commented,
"If I take all my gold and silver and put it on a wagon,
two mules could not pull it. We need a bank." Sowell started
organizing the bank that would be the first bank in Escambia
County, Alabama and the first bank between Mobile and Montgomery.
Erected by William Caney Camp, Sons of Confederate Veterans
Settled by A.J. Hall in 1852 and occupied by Confederate
troops because of its value as a railroad stop during the War
Between the States (1861-65), Canoe was the site of a March 27,
1865 encampment of Union forces. The 1870s brought expansion
through the A.M. Lowery sawmill. The Farrar, Lowrey, Stanton,
Watson, and other stores prospered (1890s-1950s). Schools educated
the young and the L&N Railroad provided passenger service
Erected in 2012 by The City of Brewton
This tank was used to hold water for the City of Brewton Electric Light and Water Works Fire Protection System and was built circa early 1890's. This location was originally the Blacksher Miller Lumber Company, which became Foshee & McGowin Lumber in 1899. The Lovelace Brothers bought the mill in 1900. There were other tanks and wells within the site used to support fire control as well. Fire was a huge issue for lumber mills as many of them in the area had fires over the years which destroyed their facilities. There were at least three wells dug and were used to constantly feed the water level in this tank. One well is just down the embankment from the back wall of the tank structure and it still flows today out of a vertical cast iron pipe. There would have been a host reel house close by the tank. Notice the old brick foundation across the walk path from this location. The Sanborn Map of 1898 shows a small hose reel house, possibly housing a pump as well. The tank is shown at this particular location with three springs feeding it.
("Reluctant" Hero of World War II)
Carroll never considered himself a hero. "Never have been,
never will be," he said. "I was just doing my job."
But to the people of Peruwelz, Belgium he was perhaps the greatest
hero of world War II.
Marker Erected by Citizens of the Damascus Community in 2017
Photo courtesy Perry Watson
Damascus Travelers Well construction (date unknown) was originally a public water well offering refreshment and rest for travelers and their animals passing through this area. The Damascus community also benefited from this well. Mr. and Mrs. N. W. Watson purchased this land in 1905. The land passed to Watson Family heirs after Mr. Watsons death. After the well was no longer in public use, many young people dropped good luck pennies down in the well and made wishes for love, prosperity, and success. Due to vandals, the well has been filled up with dirt. Current and former citizens of Damascus still share many fond memories of this well.
Listed in the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage.
Marker placed by the Alabama Historical Commission
Four generations of Dixons,
each promoting the management of trees as a renewable resource,
made their living in forestry on this ground thereby contributing
significantly to Alabamas economy and forest industry.
East Brewton, 1906-1943
Dr. J. M. Shofner (1863-1926) founder, dedicated his life
to -"Give boys and girls a chance."
Presented by the Escambia County Historical Society 2014
Organized in 1825 by early settlers John, Samuel, Peter, and Noah Parker with the aid of their first pastor, Alexander Travis, who was a South Alabama Circuit Rider, the Church was a small log cabin located along Silas Creek approximately two and one half miles NE from this present site. The second building was a frame structure circa 1840 with a balcony where Negro slaves are said to have worshiped. No records remain prior to the Civil War but in 1865 Rev. John Cook served as pastor. The present building was erected in 1920 with Rev. William Murray as pastor. The name Elim was chosen because of the excellent source of fresh spring water nearby, similar to the second campsite of Moses and the Israelites. This Church was part of the historic Bethlehem Baptist Association.
Marker placed by the Escambia County Historical Society 2011
This is the site of the Escambia County High School from 1909 to 1960. Established in 1903, the school is the oldest public county high school in Alabama and was unique in that it was not located in the county seat. In 1902, County School Superintendent W. S. Neal led a movement to establish the school. Lacking sufficient public funding, Superintendent Neal sought private funding and asked the towns of Atmore, Pollard, Brewton, Canoe and Flomaton to solicit private donations. The school would be located in the town raising the most money. Because of the generous donation from Mr. William Carney, the school was established in Atmore. Between 1903 and 1909 the school was located at various sites. The first building on this site was occupied in 1909 until it burned in 1923. This building was occupied in 1924. The school remained here until 1960 when it was relocated to a new site in Atmore.
In 1920, a wooden building was constructed as the Atmore Colored School and operated until 1975. In 1976, a new wood and a brick building was erected with assistance from the Rosenwald School Fund and it was renamed the Escambia County Training School. The current school buildings date from 1959, 1980. and 1981. Located on what was once 8th Avenue, the school offered instruction in academic and industrial education, and students also participated in many extracurricular activities. The girls basketball team won the State Championship in 1950-1951. The boys football team went undefeated and were regional champions in 1965 and 1968. The first principal was Robert L. Bradley and Woodrow McCorvey was principal when the high school closed in 1970 due to integration. The campus became the Escambia County Middle School for the next 30 years.
Listed in the Alabama Register of Landmark
and Heritage Markers erected by the Atmore Historical Society
As railroads were reconstructed
following the Civil War, a junction of north-south and east-west
lines was established along the Alabama-Florida border near the
confluence of Big Escambia Creek and the Conecuh-Escambia River.
A settlement followed which became known as Reuterville, for
Major Reuter, the contractor who on April 9, 1872, drove the
last spikes joining the different railroads. The community also
became known as Pensacola Junction, or simply the Junction, as
well as Whiting, after the railroad station master. Following
several years of confusion due to the three names, the Post Office
requested a permanent name from the citizens. The result was
the first three letters of Florida and the last two letters of
Alabama being joined to make the name Floma. To avoid confusion
with Florala, the Post Office added "ton," meaning
town, and the name became Flomaton. The Town of Flomaton later
became incorporated on May 18, 1908.
(At the intersection of St. Joseph Ave. and Deer Street, Brewton, Alabama)
Erected by his friends and the Escambia County Bar Association in memory of James Edward Hart, Jr. (1942 - 1992), who contributed much to his community, his church and his profession. He loved trains. Due to his efforts, passenger service was reestablished in Brewton.
Although the two schools are no longer standing at this location, a marker has been placed by the McCullough Friendship Club to denote their historical significance in this thriving community.
5376 Butler Road, Atmore, Alabama
1998 by the Monroe County Heritage Museums and J. L. Bedsole Foundation
Coley Chapel is the present day site of the former Town of Hadley. MacDavid's Hotel was also located here and was recorded by travelers in the 1830's as a hotel which had "plenty of nice pork, which in some shape or other is the food generally used in this thinly peopled country ..."
Burnt Corn Creek Park, Brewton, Alabama
Erected by Escambia County Leadership Class VI
"This is a day when all Americans from every walk of life unite in our resolve for justice and peace. America has stood down enemies before, and we will do so this time." President George W. Bush
Sidney Earnest Manning (1892 - 1960)
Congressional Medal of Honor
Sidney E. Manning, Corporal, U.S. Army at Flomaton, Alabama. He was assigned to Company G, 167th Infantry, 42d Division, near Breuvannes, France, 28 July 1918.
Citation: When his platoon commander and platoon sergeant had both become casualties soon after the beginning of an assault on strongly fortified heights overlooking the Ourcq River, Cpl. Manning took command of his platoon, which was near the center of the attacking line. Though himself severely wounded he led forward the 35 men remaining in the platoon and finally succeeded in gaining a foothold on the enemy's position, during which time he had received more wounds and all but 7 of his men had fallen. Directing the consolidation of the position, he held off a large body of the enemy only 50 yards away by fire from his automatic rifle. He declined to take cover until his line had been entirely consolidated with the line of the platoon on the front when he dragged himself to shelter, suffering from 9 wounds in all parts of the body.
Corporal Manning, was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for heroism displayed while fighting in France. Named by General Pershing as one of his "Immortal Ten", Manning refused to accept a monument in his hometown while he lived, saying only "I did no more than those who came back and a lot less than those who did not."
This cemetery was established in 1854 when Pilgrims' Rest Baptist Church was founded across the road on September 17 in that same year. The cemetery remained prominent in Alco even though the original congregation moved and Alco Methodist Church took possession of the property in 1889. Thirteen victims of an 1883 yellow fever eidemic are buried here. Also buried here is Edmund Troupe Brewton who came to this area in 1861 as a railroad agent and is believed to be the namesake for the City of Brewton.
Marker Erected in 2009 by The City of Brewton
Erected 2010 by the Escambia County Historical Society
A pre-Civil War structure, this is the oldest church building remaining in Escambia County, Alabama. Confederate veterans related stories that mules and horses were sheltered inside during harsh winter months. Circuit riders served the church in the early days and in 1869 Robert F. Mountain was pastor. The bell was a gift from a riverboat captain named Kelley in gratitude for the aid church members gave his crew and passengers when his vessel wrecked and burned on the nearby Conecuh River. Methodists were in this area as early as 1830. In 1984 Pollard hosted the Methodist bicentennial celebration for Brewton, East Brewton, Cedar Hill, Zion AME, Flomaton and Century, Florida.
On Sunday, January 23, 1952, Humble Oil and Refining Company of Houston, Texas hit oil at approximately 5,944 feet. It was a gusher! The largest oil discovery in Alabama at the time, it was located in Escambia County, Township 1N, Range 8E, Section 18, and named The Pollard Oil Field. The first well was named the Allen Moye No. 1. The flurry of excitement and increased exploration activity which began with the discovery continued, and by October of 1981, there were fourteen producing wells with an output of 4,522 barrels of oil per month. State Geologist and Oil and Gas Supervisor, Dr. Ernest Mancini, stated, "Escambia County has played a significant role in the development of oil and gas resources for the State of Alabama, It is one of the leading gas producing counties in the state, with production exceeding 300 billion cubic feet or 60 percent of Alabamas cumulative gas production." With additional discoveries, Escambia now ranks second in the state with regard to oil and gas production.
William Henry Chase, a Massachusetts born captain in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers came to Pensacola, Florida in 1826 to supervise the construction of the network of harbor fortifications for the defense of the newly authorized Navy Yard. His interest in establishing a railroad to provide a more dependable source of transportation from the South to Northern textile mills began as early as the 1830's with the 1834 charter of the Florida, Alabama, and Georgia Railroad. Mobile, protective of shipping interest at the Mobile Harbor and fearing competition from Pensacola, blocked efforts to grant permission for a Montgomery to Mobile line. Alabama cotton planters strongly supported a railroad, because rivers frequently ran low during shipping season and a more dependable mode of transportation was needed. The two railroads formed were the Alabama and Florida in Florida and the Alabama and Florida in Alabama with Chase as President of the first and Charles T. Pollard as President of the second. The Pensacola Gazette, April 12, 1856 edition, tells how "surveyors mapped the road from its bay front wharf and depot site on Tarragona Street northwest along the Escambia River forty-five miles to join Alabama rails being laid from Montgomery to Pollard Station just north of the state boundary." Planned and laid out by the Alabama lines President, Charles T. Pollard, and his chief civil engineer, Samuel G. Jones, the town was named for Pollard and lay 114 miles south of Montgomery. It was a key link in the connection to Pensacola and would become a Confederate line of defense, with the establishment in 1861 of Camp Pollard (Tattnall). Author Samuel Clements, better known as Mark Twain, was once stranded here when a wreck on the rails ahead prevented his going on to New York. It was hot and there were probably mosquitoes causing the elderly Clements to declare, "I'd rather die in vain than live in Pollard!" Years later a native son of Pollard visited Twain's boyhood hometown of Hannibal, Missouri, and repaid the "compliment" in kind. Longtime Mayor Curtis Finlay loved to tell visitors, "to us the air is fresher, the water tastes purer, the grass grows greener and the birds sing sweeter in Pollard, Alabama than any place else on earth." The first telegraph operator for Pollard Station was C. H. "Charlie" Edwards.
Francis B. Bonifay Law Office
Marker placed by the Escambia County Historical Society 2016
Erected 1996 by Alabama Historical Association
The Ritz Theatre opened its doors on this site September 14, 1936, and for more than fifty (50) years prided itself as the "Hub of the Brewton Community." Between its first feature, "YOURS FOR THE ASKING," and its last, "CROCODILE DUNDEE," shown January 22, 1987, the Ritz served as stage for fashion shows, beauty pageants, dances, and various other community events. Stars of the "Grand Ole Opry" and "Hollywood" made live appearances at the Ritz. The Ritz was the community's prime source of reliable news from the battle-front during World War II. With a seating capacity for 761, the Ritz was the place to be on Saturday afternoon for generations of children. This legacy of the Ritz Theatre has been perpetuated with the construction of this community message center in March 1996.
The Robbins & McGowin Building
Marker placed by the Escambia County Historical Society 2012
Truly an Escambia County landmark, Robins and McGowin Co. organized in March 1897 with the consolidation of the J. I. Robbins and J. G. McGowin Stores, the millinery of Miss L. A. Cunningham, the Blacksher-Miller Commissary, and the J. E. Finlay Co. The J. E. Finlay Co. began February 1892. Finlay learned the retail business from his father, W. A. Finlay, who owned and operated the Finlay Mercantile in nearby Pollard, Al. John Edward "Ned" Finlay bought the controlling interest in Robbins & McGowin Co. in 1906. Shortly after acquiring control, he purchased the two-story Harold Bros. Commissary (Foshee Bldg.) which became the Hardware store. This was the first brick building built in Brewton circa 1878 of hand-made bricks shipped from Montgomery. The first depot was located in front of this store, which accounts for the recessed parking area. Fifteen year Henry Scott hauled the brick in a small wagon from the depot for the construction. Robbins & McGowin originally operated with gas lighting but had some of the first electric lights installed in 1887. Robbins also had the first passenger elevator (1929) in Brewton. During its heyday, Robbins & McGowin was one of the largest stores of its kind in the southeast. Even wild mustangs, shipped from Texas by rail, were sold here. During WW II the stores buyers traveled to New York City for the latest fashions. Their catalog later replaced by the Brewton Trade Record newspaper, served the areas of south Alabama, northwest Florida, and eastern Mississippi. For many years prominent historian and attorney Ed Leigh McMillan had his law offices on the third floor. J. E. Finlay died in 1946. His sons John David Finlay, Sr. and Norvelle Robertson "Bob" Finlay and later his grandson, J. D. Finlay, Jr. continued operating Robbins & McGowin, serving this area for over 100 years.
Centennial Marker Erected 2010
On November 5, 1909, a group of worshipers gathered in the Congregational Church on the corner of St. Joseph and Evergreen Streets and organized the Second Saint Siloam Missionary Baptist Church. On June 10, 1910, the Second Saint Siloam Missionary Baptist Church congregation moved into this building at the corner of East and North East Streets.
The congregation credits Reverend William Franklin, the church's first pastor, with visualizing the church's unique architectural design, which is based on the cruciform plan and features a three-sided balcony, cathedral ceilings and a bell tower.
The first deacons were Peter Blankenship, P. J. Johnson, Johnny Robbins, Alex Allen and Alex Hamilton. The first trustees were S. W. Mills, Chairman; R. T. Thompson, Secretary; Jim Dean, L. L. Ingraham, Charlie Smith, Josh Feagan, J. H. Mills and Walker Dacus.
The Alabama Historical Commission included the Second Saint Siloam Missionary Baptist Church in the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage in April 2010.
Site of Fort Crawford
Erected by The Alabama Historical Association
Fort Crawford was established in 1816 by elements of the
7th U.S. Infantry under order from Major General Andrew Jackson.
Purpose was to monitor Spanish activities in West Florida and
curtail hostile Creek Indian activities.
Erected by Alabama Historical Association
Located 1½ miles south, town of Pollard established
in 1861 at juncture of Alabama & Florida and Mobile &
Great Northern railroads. Named for Charles T. Pollard, builder
of Alabama & Florida Railroad.
Marker Erected in 2014 by Georgia-Pacific Brewton LLC
Franklin Cemetery was established in the mid-nineteenth century and was originally located on land where the existing Georgia-Pacific Brewton LLC containerboard mill stands off of Highway 31 in Brewton. The cemeytery served as the primary burial location for local members of the Franklin, Harold, and Jernigan families. The cemetery was infrequently used after the 1920s. Ida Mae Grant was the last person laid to rest in Franklin Cemetery in May 1976. In 2014, sixty-seven burials were relocated here in Union Cemetery. All original markers were refurbished during the relocation procdess. This marker is displayed as directed by the Alabama Historical Commission to commemorate the relocation of Franklin Cemetery to Union Cemetery. This cemetery was listed in the Aklabama Historic Cemetery Register by the Alabama Historical Commission on April 7, 2006.
The school was listed to the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage in 1997
The Southern Normal and Industrial Institute was established on September 18, 1911, by James A. Dooley, Sr. The first black school in the Brewton area, it offered an academic and vocational education program. When Mr. Dooley arrived in the area, he found limited educational opportunities for blacks such as inadequate facilities and materials combined with an exceptionally short school term. With his personal funds, Mr. Dooley purchased an existing school for disadvantaged boys and established a co-education day and boarding school, the Southern Normal and Industrial Institute.
In an effort to raise money for the school, Mr. Dooley visited a number of Reformed Churches in the East and Midwest. The churches became interested in the school and supported it as a mission center. In 1919, Southern Normal and Industrial Institute was transferred to the Board of Domestic Missions of the Dutch Reformed Church of America of New York City. The church provided funding for building construction and operation. In 1930 the name was changed to Southern Normal School. The only black secondary school in a fifty-mile radius, it was accredited by the State Board of Education in 1938. James Dooley, Sr. died in 1930 and was buried in the center of the campus under an oak tree. His grave is marked with an eternal flame, symbolic of Mr. Dooleys legacy for educational excellence that is continued by the Southern Normal School staff, alumni and community.
A complex of 15 buildings, Southern Normal School was acquired by Alabama State University in June 1997. It is currently being developed into a multifaceted university campus serving the Brewton area and surrounding rural counties of the region.
The Southern Pine Electric Membership Corporation was energized at this site on September 12, 1939, sending electric power flowing into 75 homes and businesses in rural areas of Escambia, Conecuh, Monroe and Baldwin Counties for the first time. The Cooperative was organized under an Executive Order signed by President F. D. Roosevelt on May 11, 1935. The organizing directors were Ben L. Martin, Jack McGowin, H. W. Pruett, A. M. Coley, C. B. Moore, E. M. Amos and Alvin Mixon. Corporation attorney was Thomas McMillan. Manager was Joe Larkins. The Cooperative's name was changed to Southern Pine Electric Cooperative on September 25, 1940.
(315 Belleville Avenue, Brewton, Alabama)
The First Escambia County Courthouse
Used as the County Seat from 1885 to 1890. After
various other uses, remodeled as an office in 1969.
The Lindsey-Fitzgerald House
(Intersection of Misella St and Lamosa St., Pollard)
Marker placed by the Escambia County Historical Society 2015
Martin Lindsey bought the Pollard Mill later known as the Lindsey Mill Company. Several hundred employees worked at the Mill during the early 1900s, among them Joe Douglas, head of the woodlands, and Percy Watson, accounting. Mr. Lindsey handled the accounting. He built this house with virgin yellow pine lumber (headboard, tongue and groove ceilings and walls) produced and milled in Pollard circa 1890. He lived here until the family moved to Mobile. Originally there were three additional rooms on the east wing. During WW II these were dismantled and the lumber sold because of a shortage of building materials. The architecture is in the Victorian style. The Queen Anne entry door is original. W.J. "Willie" McLellan, Postmaster 1901-1930, lived here until his death. Mr. Jim Pringle bought the house and his sister, Mrs. Bessie Fitzgerald, and her family lived here through the war years. Mrs. Fitzgerald, known for her hospitality, allowed her neighbors the use of her cistern, the coldest artesian well in town, to cool their milk and watermelons. In those days, everyone had a milk cow and a garden. This was prior to most families having ice boxes or refrigeration. During the 1960s the Carey Lisenby family lived here. In the early 1990s the Finlay family acquired the house and began to restore it, receiving an award from the Escambia County Historical Society in 1995. The jerk jaw roof on the west side of the house, the cupola, the porches (originally wrapped around three sides of the house) and the sand dollar (a symbol of a Christian home) were all indicative of the Victorian style.
Marker Erected in 2007 by The City of Brewton
Union Cemetery has been an important resting place for Brewtons loved ones since at least 1879. State officials acknowledged the historical significance of Union Cemetery for our area by adding it to the Alabama Historic Cemetery Register on April 7, 2006."
The Watson Cabin belonged to the Atmore Leadership Corporation, and AHS signed agreements and a bill of sale, with the city of Atmore to officially, legally transfer ownership of the Peavy-Webb Building and the Watson Cabin to the Atmore Historical Society. The city owns Heritage Park, but the Atmore Historical Society will now be in charge of scheduling all events located in the park. The city will pay for the utilities, and maintain the park grounds, and AHS will be responsible for the upkeep of the buildings.
The plaque on the Watson Cabin reads: Watson Cabin Built in Wilcox County, 1845. This ancestral home of the Watson family was donated to Leadership Atmore in 1999 in memory of Robert Basil Watson (1905-1981).
Williams Station / Atmore Alabama
WILLIAMS STATION, ALABAMA
Erected by the Alabama Tourism Department,
Atmore Area Chamber of Commerce and the City of Atmore, October 2010
Creek Indians lived in these parts some 200 years before trains began stopping here in 1866 to leave supplies for a farmer, William Larkin Williams, who lived nearby. Workers, who came first to build the railroads, were attracted by the vast forests of longleaf pine and rich farmland. As the settlement grew around Mr. Williams' supply stop, it became known as Williams Station. Saw mills sprang up in this timber-rich area. Abundant resources for lumber and turpentine meant there was money to be made in Williams Station well before the land was cleared for cotton. In 1876, North Carolinian William Marshall Carney moved to the area from Mobile. During the next two decades, Williams Station grew in proportion to Carney's various business interests. His generous philanthropic gifts helped build a school and three local churches. Because of Carney-generated growth and enthusiasm, residents thought the town deserved a name more refined than that of a mere railway whistle stop. In 1897, the town was renamed Atmore in honor of Charles Pawson Atmore.
In 1897, town leaders wanted to change the name of Williams Station to Carney, in honor of William Marshall Carney, the man who had contributed greatly to the town's growth. However, Mr. Carney's brother had already started a settlement in Baldwin County and given it his family name. Having two towns with the same name so close together would create confusion. Determined to honor W.M. Carney, the leaders asked him to select the town's new name. He honored his good friend, Charles Pawson Atmore, general passenger agent for the Louisville and Nashville Railroad in Louisville, Kentucky. According to the New York Times, C.P. Atmore died at age 66, on May 29, 1900. There is no record that he ever visited the little town named for him. On May 23, 1907, Atmore became an incorporated municipality. The town celebrated this centennial milestone at Heritage Park in May 2007.
Memorial Escambia County Courthouse Lawn
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