Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Road to Roanoke – Alabama That Is!

Continuing with our Florida trip, we finally made it across the state line into Alabama as we moved south along secondary highways…


Every once in a while we come across a true scenic gem… This dam and cataract below that manmade obstruction is on Wehadkee Creek.  Wow…some creek!  It’s located on AL Hwy. 34 in Rock Mills.  Wehadkee Creek Yarn Mill manufactured yarn and twine until recent times.  A grist mill was first established here in 1832.  It was followed by a sawmill and blacksmith operation and then a cotton factory.  The oldest part of the current structure was built in 1881.



We’ve noticed that many small towns have taken to painting murals on the walls of some of the older buildings in their downtown area. 

Roanoke was originally called High Pine when it was settled in the early 1830s. The entire town was burned to the ground by the Indians during the Creek uprising in 1836.  For a short period of time, the name was changed to Chulafinnee, but soon afterward changed to Roanoke.  The town was incorporated by an Act of Legislature on December 13, 1900.  Like many towns in the southeastern USA, Roanoke suffered and declined with the growth and domination of the fabric industry.  The population peaked in 2000 and it’s declined by about 9% to roughly 6,000 since then.


The US Post Office, which was built in 1940, is part of the Roanoke Downtown Historic District which is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.  This historic district includes 68 contributing properties on about 18 acres of land… To learn more about this historic area go to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roanoke_Downtown_Historic_District_(Alabama)


By now we were running late and I knew that we weren’t going to get to our hotel before nightfall so we took just one more photo.  This time it was of the First Methodist Church.  This simplified gothic structure was built in 1906.  Three other churches are included in Roanoke’s Historic District.


The former Central of Georgia and then the Southern Railroad in La Fayette Alabama was built in 1908.  It now serves as the Chambers County Historical Museum.  Among the exhibits are a large scale that’s built into the floor, a collection of regional stoneware, a goat treadmill for making butter and a spinning wheel collection.  The names of old local businesses are still engraved on the walls of the freight room.  A number of other exhibits are adjacent to the depot or in another building annex. 

To learn more about this museum, you can go to http://toureastalabama.com/attraction/chambers-county-museum/.  Check before planning a visit as it operates on a very limited schedule or by appointment.


This massive and handsome building is the Chambers County Courthouse.  It’s the centerpiece for one of the most historically intact courthouse squares in Alabama.  The courthouse was constructed in La Fayette in 1899.  Scenes from the movie, “Mississippi Burning” were shot here…

Notes:

·       Like many of the towns we passed through, La Fayette is loaded with historic buildings.  The Chambers County Courthouse Square Historic District encompasses 63 buildings.

·       Joe Louis, the boxing legend known as “The Brown Bomber” is from the La Fayette area.  There is an exhibit about his life with pertinent memorabilia at the aforementioned Chambers County Museum.


As we hurriedly drove through Opelika Alabama on our way south, we’d stopped looking for historic buildings and places.  Nevertheless Laurie took this photo as we drove by.  She liked the look of the place because of the iron work and the attractive appearance of this establishment.
 
As it turns out, a quick check revealed that this is just 1 of 6 locations for the Irish Bred Pubs and Restaurants.  There are 2 restaurants in Alabama and 4 in Georgia.  After checking out the menu, I wish we’d been able to stop by for a bite or two!  Learn about this local pub/restaurant chain at http://www.theirishbredpub.com/.   

Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

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