Archive | Traveling the Backroads RSS feed for this section
historian-mattie-lou-teague-crow

Steel Magnolia

Ashville’s Mattie Lou Teague Crow Story and photos by Jerry Smith Submitted photos Those of us who work with history sometimes stand on broad shoulders as we search for every pertinent detail, no matter how obscure, to ensure the veracity of our offerings. Accurate, comprehensive input is as vital to us as a blueprint is […]

Continue Reading
joe-whitten-1

Joe Whitten

Historian, storyteller, teacher: A life well lived Story and photos by Jerry C. Smith Submitted photos The usual love triangles pale in comparison with Odenville educator and historian Joe Whitten’s quadrangle of passions. In no particular order, they are St. Clair County history, Gail Elaine McGeoch, hundreds of grateful students and the Lord, whom he […]

Continue Reading
ragland

Ragland

A good-hearted town Story and photos by Jerry C. Smith Submitted Photos Tucked unobtrusively between Shoal Creek Mountain and the Coosa River, the St. Clair County town of Ragland does little to pique the attention of passers-through. It’s like the town is taking a well-earned furlough from the generic commerce and sprawl that makes other […]

Continue Reading
coosa-river-locks

Locks of the Coosa

Steamboat A-Comin’ Captain Lay raises the bar Story by Jerry C. Smith Photos by Jerry C. Smith Submitted photos In the two years surrounding the end of the Civil War, Capt. Cummins Lay set a Coosa River record that remains unbroken today; he’s the only river pilot to navigate a steamboat over the Coosa’s entire […]

Continue Reading
st-clair-airport-2

Take to the Skies

Destination: St. Clair Airport Story and Photos by Jerry C. Smith Photos by Wallace Bromberg Jr. Peeking through a fence at Pell City’s St. Clair County Airport, 9-year-old Aaron Mathis already knows without a doubt what he wants to do for a living: he will be an airline pilot. For Aaron, this little country airport […]

Continue Reading
doctor-martin-nurses

Dr. R.A. Martin

A legacy remembered Story by Jerry Smith Submitted photos January 8, 1953, was a cold, rainy day. Pell City’s town physician knew he had little choice but to attend a special meeting at the county courthouse. The good doctor had discouraged this meeting, even threatened to not attend, but the city fathers prevailed. As he […]

Continue Reading