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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Spring in Springville

  The lake that is no more Story by Jerry C. Smith Submitted photos Water is an absolute necessity for any permanent settlement, be it an Indian village or a major city. An area in northern St. Clair County is blessed with five springs, arranged in a circle around a sixth major spring that provided […]

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