Sunday, September 16, 2018

Lost Treasure in Carrabelle, FL

The Album

Best maps and photo reproductions restorations Ive seen.  Just lucked up on this photo artist and bike repair guy while taking pictures outside his shop. The GULF map of the FL Panhandle coast is one I think I may have in ragged condition in my archives. I ordered a copy of it for framing. He refines the art and maps so they pring clear on large format canvas or poly materials.  Chumuckla (my hometown) is clear on this map. A walk through the shop interview will be added here soon. The shop is directly opposite the Carrabelle Museum. ....  posted by   
( Look for more references to this post for easy social media sharing at our youtube channel ( ) and blog (

FOUND ... on the forgotten coast of Florida....

The Album

Sunday, September 09, 2018

Miss Kitty's - Camden, AL

July -- It is late - after 2 pm. I hope they are not closed !   Karen and I traced a track across Alabama from Old Cahawba, en-route to home in NW Florida but after an hour or so we were ready for some food. Anther hour put us into Camden and we spotted Miss Kitty's place.  We hoped it was not closed.  

Our good fortune. NOT CLOSED.   They were about to put away the food but left out the buffet for us and made us welcome.  Savory food . Home cooking style.  People that served with a smile even though we were pushing the shift envelope.  

As we neared the desert portion of the meal... we struck up a conversation with Miss Kitty herself.

A strong and personable woman of deep faith and humanity.  We listened to some of her story.  How she manages her business. How she works with employees. With customers.  It was a lesson in business and good marketing and community spirit as well as family values.

I took an opportunity to share with her one of my navy challenge coins from USS O'Callahan.  The ship was named for a Navy Chaplain, Fr. Joseph O'Callahan.  The shamrock and the cross in the ship's seal (on the coin) make a nice conversation piece and encourage a brief prayer for a veteran or others who touch our lives.   

Before we left, she and her husband  Larry sang us a hymn. It is one she often sings.  
Ms Kitty's daily prayer on the back door

Here is a copy of a prayer she says every day as she enters the backdoor of the restaurant to open up.  THE BIG request is to be humble.  And to bring her team and customers to a happy experience.

 By the time we left we felt we had been blessed and fed by one of God's Angels.  The trip home was another couple of hours but it was ever more pleasant for the food and the warmth of new friends.

How about a little Gospel   - right in the  Restaurant... along a full album of photos.  If in Camden, AL, stop in for some great Southern Home Cooking and hospitality.  (click)

Larry and Veronica M. Wilson are the owners and operators of Ms Kitty's.  Find them in Camden on Hwy 41 N.

Monday, August 20, 2018

MEN vs WOMEN - a few jokes

Lighten your day:

Men vs. Women...
Bookseller conducting a market survey asked a woman,  “Which book has  helped you most in your life?”
The woman replied, “My husband’s check book!!”
A prospective husband in a book store “Do you have a book called ‘Husband – the Master of the House?’"
Sales girl: “Sir, fiction and comics are on the 1st floor!”
Someone asked an old man: “Even after 70 years, you still call your wife – darling, honey, luv.  What’s the secret?"
Old man: “I forgot her name and I’m scared to ask her."
Pharmacist to customer: “Sir, please understand, to buy an anti-depression pill you need a proper prescription.      Simply showing marriage certificate and wife’s picture is not enough !
For MEN.....and WOMEN with a bit of humor ??
A man was granted two wishes by God. He asked for the best drink & the  best woman ever. Next moment he got mineral water & Mother Teresa.
There are 3 kinds of men in this world. Some remain single and make wonders happen. Some have girlfriends and see wonders happen. The rest get married and wonder what happened!
Wives are magicians. They can change anything into an argument.
 Why do women live a Better, Longer & Peaceful Life, compared to men?
A very INTELLIGENT student replied: "Because Women don't have a  wife!"
COOL MESSAGE BY A WIFE: Dear Mother-in-law, Don't teach me how to  handle my children. I am living with one of yours and he  needs a lot of improvement!?
When a married man says, I WILL THINK ABOUT IT - what he really means is that he doesn't know his wife's opinion yet.
A lady says to her doctor: "My husband has a habit of talking in his sleep! What should I give him to cure it?"
The doctor replies: "Give him an opportunity to speak when he's awake! "

Lucky Me - She laughs

Saturday, August 18, 2018

OLD CAHAWBA, The old Alabama Captial

Presented by Vic Campbell - AUGb 2018
OLD CAHAWBA, AL - (old capital)

Ghostly columns of the old
Corcheron Mansion and store
that showed notions
from the world.
I’ve been fascinated by pictures and stories of “OLD CAHAWBA” for a long time. I think I first grew aware of it after a visit to Natchez and reading some books on “The Federal Road” which was supposed to become a superhighway from Washington to Savannah through Georgia and the Mississippi Territories and get to New Orleans and the Mississippi River in Record Time (imaybe even as little as six weeks). It was authorized as early as 1799 and began as a horse path - connecting with old Indian trails. The Road actually ran SOUTH of what would become Cahaba (the mouth of the Cahawba River on the Alabama River - “Cahaba” is the modern spelling). But by 1820, as steam travel on the rivers became efficient - the Federal Road waned in value.

Alabama was no longer a territory. But it also wrapped around a lot of Indian territory, especially on the East side bordering Georgia's Indian Territory. This explains the route the Marquis de Lafayette took in 1824 on his Grand Tour of America. The Federal Road passed right through Creek Indian territory to get to Alabama.

The Father of Fathers
It was a big deal to everybody who saw him on his trip. Probably the last surviving LEADER of the American Revolution and a hero to the nation. His son was with him. His name was George Washington Lafayette ! He was also a hero to the Indians. They had a great respect for powerful leaders and Lafayette had been talked
up quite a bit as the Father of Fathers from across the waters. Also a number of the Creek leaders were educated in Europe and had fathers or grandfathers who fought in the American Revolution.  So when he crossed over the Chattahoochee River near Columbus (and a large Indian town) his feet were never allowed to touch the mud. He was carried everywhere .. even to the extent of lifting the carriage bodily to assure the wheels did not get into mud.

The Creeks put on a big competitive lacrosse type ballgame for Lafayette about 20 miles outside of Montgomery. The game went long and was spread over miles of playing area. Carriages followed the game. These games were not tame. It was not unusual to have several debilitating injuries or death in the process. In the end, the competing Indian towns were given appreciation by Lafayette and he and his entourage stayed nearby at a tavern because the post game traffic was awful. But they also missed a grand reception that evening in Montgomery because of the delay. The Lucas Tavern in which they stayed is now preserved in Montgomery at Old Alabama Town - the historical park.

Montgomery was not the Capital. But is was a growing city. Actually the reception took place on Goat Hill that later became the site of the State Capital. Only recently CAHAWBA was chosen as the Capital. It was even more prosperous and active than Montgomery. A steamboat took the party down the Alabama River to the town of Cahawba (Cahaba - modern spelling). It was a dynamic growing town with regular riverboat traffic. They attempted to bring in a railroad from Selma and had shops with goods from around the world. There was every variety of religion and sin. An exciting place.

With canons and garlands and bands
playing the great Lafayette
Strode up this street
I gazed at the site where LaFayette entered the town for his reception. He walked up a sunken road that bore down to the river where the party offloaded. The sunken road was obscured when I photographed it and I thought maybe it was part of an old basement of the three story ghost of a store next to it (see the columns). So this is where the great man arrived. Bands played. Garlands were placed. Arches of flowers decorated. Ribbons and celebration were rampant. AND canons fired off ! What a great experience for this town in Alabama. Except for a few.

Thirty-Five year old James Smith a printer from Pennsylvania was one of the party firing the canon in rapid succession. The canon grew hot and on loading its final load of shot into the hot canon, the powder blew up prematurely and wounded Mr. Smith so much  he died the next day.

A Mr. Roberts who was apparently nearby the firing of another canon on the Steamboat was injured by the blast so badly there was a lawsuit. It is recorded as the first lawsuit in the state addressing punitive damages. On that same evening - a member of a New Orleans Band was killed in a knife fight. All this over a big party with a lot of alcohol and noise and celebration. Who could imagine? This would NEVER happen today ! (read the comments in that link)

Lafayette left the next day for Mobile and then New Orleans
(a big deal for a town founded by the French).

The Cahaba is shown here pouring into the Alabama

On our recent visit, as we walked around the area to take in the aura of a lost time in America, we could feel the faint echoes of grandeur and promise this town once had. After only a few years as the Capital of Alabama, the mantle was “stolen” by Tuscaloosa and shortly after that was moved to Montgomery. The town toddled on for decades and declined badly once the railroad took another path. All this after they dug up a large Indian Mound (see below) to get fill dirt for their rail to prosperity ... which failed. It flowered just a bit before the Civil war and one of its factory buildings became a prison for Union soldiers.

Some sad stories followed on about the prison. A lone marker for a grave is near the old prison site.

One of the Union officers was murdered by Confederate soldiers after he made an escape and was given sanctuary by some local citizens. When the war ended, most of the soldiers were sent over to Vicksburg to load on the steamboat, the SULTANA. Only a short distance out of Vicksburg, the extremely overloaded boat blew up. The death toll was enormous. The worst maritime disaster in US History. Just this spring, a ten year old group of Descendants of the Sultana's Survivors held their reunion here at Old Cahawba.

The old Capital cupula eventually graced
the spire of a church in Lowndesboro.
It still does. Historic relic.
Following the War Between the States - with nobody to care for land or plantations … the town drifted to ruin. For a few decades the land hosted a model farm - a kind of Experimental Farm run by Clifton Kirkpatrick. It brought new techniques to the Alabama Farmers. It also became something of a haven for former slaves, looking to eke out a living and start a new life. The community of former slaves managed quite a good start at making it go. One of them became political and moved up in the limelight under the Republican regime. But soon enough he was put back in his place as the systems for restriction of votes came into play. So the town faded more and was an Honest to God ghost town by 1920. Even the model farm faded.

Then it gradually became a fishing camp. By 1950 it was a jumbled camp of ragtag trailers and cabins to enjoy a getaway on the Alabama or the Cahaba Rivers. Fish Bait and Beer and gasoline were available near the site of the old Courthouse.

A revival began about 1990 as the state and non profits began to sense a need for preservation of the history. So now -- there is a place you can go to. FAR from the dynamo of Montgomery or the now re-thriving Selma and far far far into the back roads and woods, you can find this relic of time. This OLD, Old, old Cahawba.


There are several theories about the location of the great city of MABILA, where the Chief was known as Tuscaloosa. This city faced off with Hernando DeSoto and ended up with thousands dead and their town destroyed. This was all grown into weeds by 1700, much moreso by 1800 and the time of the Capital City at the mouth of the Cahaba River. Some of the archaeologists make a strong case for Mabila having been there at the Cahaba site. There are ruins discovered and studied there of mounds, and stockade walls and houses of that era. But others, like Ben Ferguson, who is an independent student of the cultures in our area, thinks it is a good deal further south on the Alabama River but still a distance above the modern MOBILE. I am including a VIDEO TALK with him on the subject.


There is a small museum in the park office. Talk to the people. I learned a LOT by asking just a few questions of the official there. The man is an archaeologist so he was well aware of the Lafayette trip. It is he who told me about the canon accidents and knife fight.


OLD CAHAWBA (Alabama Pioneers Blog)

LaFayette's visit to Alabama (Encyclopedia of AL)

Facebook Post - Old Cahawba - Lafayette’s Visit

THE Federal Road - some books

Maps of the Federal Road - images

Goat Hill History Blog … federal road

Map to Old Cahawba … google maps

THE BURNT CORN - battle re-enactors - Ferguson (last two videos in album)………….. Note this is about 10 years prior to Lafayette's 1824 tour.

Thursday, August 16, 2018

The old days

WOW! What memories

Our childhood in pictures.