Jackson County Genealogy
An online meeting place for members of the Jackson County, Alabama AlGenWeb group
Wednesday, June 22, 2005
Friday, June 17, 2005
We have a good membership start, 11 members are signed up. Remember to post to this blog you must have a blogger account which is easy to get at http://www.blogger.com/signup.g. Posting pictures requires you to have Picasa and hello software on your computer, both available form Google. Or you can email photos to me for posting.
Thursday, June 16, 2005
The James N. Trigg, docked beside a barge on the Tennessee River, with bags of corn to be loaded onto the Trigg. Note passengers boarding and debarking the boat. A gang plank is used at this docking. If you will note the A frame at the head of the boat, and the extended boom, is a modern new stage for loading and unloading, where wharfs were not available.
The James N. Trigg was 158.2' long, and 28.2 ' wide. Her draft was 4.1 feet, enabling her to operate on very shallow water. She was owned and operated by the Tennessee River Navigation Company, and Captain Paul Underwood was her Master. She was built in Decatur, Alabama in 1910, and was blown into the banks and wrecked in a storm at Guntersville in 1921, where she sank.
Credits to the City of Bridgeport website
There is a lot to be said about this picture. This was a typical scene in Jackson County cotton fields in the days before mechancal pickers. What is happening here? There are pickers with the long "pick sacks". They could be bought 8-10-12 feet long depending on the strenght of the person who would be dragging them through the field. The bottom side was tar or plastic coated to prevent wearing out the bottom side while dragging. The pickers would go between two rows of cotton, some would stoop, some woud walk on thier knees, The good pickers would pick both rows, on to each side as they went down the rows. Some patches had rows a mile long. The pickers were paid by the pound and some of the best would pick towards 300 pounds per day. The man in the hat is probably the patch owner. He is weighing the pick sacks full fo cotton and recording the weights in his book, being careful to subtract the weight of the sack, next to the pickers name so he knows how much to payout at the end of the day or picking. An old balance scale and lever pole is used to get the heavy sack off the ground and to get the weights. After weighing the cotton is dumped on the pile on the ground and the pickers go back to picking with and empty sack. The man with the basket has the job of moving the cotton from the pile onto the wagon. the wagon, with high sideboards added will hold a bale or two of cotton, depending on its size. When the wagon is filled to rounding over it will be taken to the nearest cotton gin for seed removal and baling and the farmer will be paid the going price for cotton, which changed daily. Picking was the preferred way for gathering cotton but at times the crop was gathered by bolling. When the stalked ages the cotton cannot be removed from the burr properly and the burr comes off with the cotton. Bolled cotton paid less for the picking and the gin paid less per pound because of the weight of the bolls. Cotton picking was a hot, dirty, backbreaking job and the workers hands were rough and cut up byt working around the sharp cotton burrs. The cotton would also sap their hands of natural oils so their hands became chapped and cracked from use.
This is the B. B. Comer, named after an Alabama governor, bridge just after the waters of the Tennessee River were backed up to form Guntersville Lake around 1931. Now days a new modern bridge stands on the upstream side of this one, the Bob Jones bridge, and plans are to remove the Comer bridge and replace it with a modern concrete bridge for east bound traffic. This is the last bridge of its type and era in Alabama.
That is Sand Mountain in the background, which goes up about 700 feet in elevation from the river level. At the far end of the bridge Alabama highway 35 goes up the mountain to the right to Section, Rainsville, and Fort Payne. To the left Alabama highway 40 goes up to the Dutton, Pisgah area and on over into northeast Georgia.
Prior to the bridge being built Hales ferry was used on the upstream side of this location and Section Ferry was on the downstream side.
What would Jackson County be without "First Monday Trade Day"? It was once featured in Life magazine as a major regional event but these days it is slowly dying out. There is talk at the local city council of ending the event all together.I suspect though that it will just slowly dwindle away into part of our history.
This is another favorite local photograph of mine. It shows an old time ferry near Bridgeport, could be Reece's. notice that this ferry is tug pushed by a boat owned by J.W. Phillips. It looks as if a farmer and his wife need to go from the valley side of the Tennessee River over to the Sand Mountain side with a load of supplies they may have been to Bridgeport to buy. I love the old hound dog setting there and enjoy seeing how the old ferry was assembled. As a point of interest they had no PFD's in those days but my Dad says they had thick wooden swim boards on board that could support a full size man in an emergency.
This photo was taken at Short Creek which is actually innext door Marshall County, but I thought it would show an idea of how the many ferries on our local river may have looked. Also notice the handbuilt plank canoes along side. the ferries were hand pulled by cable across the water in early days before river traffic ended the practice.
I think this is a gorge at Buck's Pocket on Sand Mountain with an old iron rail bridge. I think all of the old iron bridges have been replaced with more modern concrete bridges throughout the county. Buck's Pocket is said to be the place in the county where all our defeated politians go to live in their shame. It is one of the more remote patrs of the county but is very beautiful.
This is a painting by area artist Ben Hampton of a pioneer cabin on Sand Mountain in Jackson County, Alabama. Remember that the Cherokee did not give up their land on Sand Mountain until the mid 1830's and they left cabins like these that were then occupied by white settlers. Sand Mountain lagged behind the rest of the county, but now the area is a lively, progressive part of the county. Notice the sandy soil, sage grass, and cedar trees . . . all true to life.
Early settlers to our area probably came down river on boats (batteaus) that looked a lot like this re-creation. The boats were sometimes 50 feet long and carried large families, their belogings, and their livestock.
Many boats like this were built at Kingsport, Tennessee at the head waters of the Tennessee River and were fashioned after boats used to carry tobacco on the rivers of early Virginia.
It was hay gathering time in this photo, on a hot day it was hand cut and pitch fork loaded, mile high on the mule drawn hay wagons. Notice the white anuimals to the right of the photo and also the light colored long sleeve shirts worn by the field hands. The shirts were cooler and kept the stinging hay away from their skin.
You don't know about Alabama heat and humidity until you have spent a full day in the hay field.
This is one of my favorite old time photos of Jackson County. It looks like it was take from the roof of the courthouse looking southeast on some warm weather First Monday in Scottsboro. You can see the river in the distance and there is a view of many old homes that no longer exist. The old Baptist church is at the left of the photo.
At this time there were still residences on the square as seen the the fence to the right. Also notice the dirt streets, but they did have side walks. I wonder if the side walks were concrete or wooden?
This is the old, now gone, Central School building that was on the corner of Broad and Charlotte Streets in Scottsboro. I started to the first grade in this building in 1952. My first grade teacher was Ms. Joyce Kennamer. It is such a shame we couldn't preserve our beutiful old buildings like this one.
Beautiful morning in Jackson County
We have clear blue skies in Jackson County this morning with a little fog in the low lying areas. Our humidy is lower than normal and it is a pleasant 59 degrees. We have a forecast for sunny skies and mild daytime temperatures in the mid-80"s for the next four days. We are less than a week away from the first day of Summer, so we had better enjoy the cooler weather I guess.
I noticed over the last few nights that the lightning bugs are coming out and it made for some evening fun for my little four year old niece, Haley, as she raced around our yard snatching the little dots of yello light and putting them into her bug box.
June is also prime bass fishing time on our Guntersville lake and the area is busy with out of state bass fishermen coming in to take advantage of the good fishing. The lake is said to be the best big bass lake in the country right now.
Wednesday, June 15, 2005
Feel free to post about anything
Please don't think I am hogging the blog, I just thought I would post a few things to get the ball rolling. Please jump right in. Read on the blogger site about how to post pictures or just email pictures to me, with a title and I will post them for you.