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MONDAY MUSINGS: Chilton County, Alabama peaches – there are none better

If you have ever driven south from Birmingham on I-65 you will see a huge peach tower on the side of the interstate at Exit 212. This tower marks the area of Chilton County, and is a “testament to the fruit that makes the region famous means two things: First, you’re slap in the middle of Alabama’s peach country; and second, you better take a nearby exit if you want the freshest and the sweetest.”


peach tower

Constructed in 1992, Clanton’s Big Peach is 120 feet tall and holds 500,000 gallons of water! It was built to celebrate the importance of peaches to the area’s economy. There is a peach-themed (of course!) restaurant nearby and fresh peaches, when in season.

 

 

peachstandlowes_300

Chilton County was created by the legislature, December 30, 1868. Its territory was taken from Autauga, Bibb, Perry and Shelby Counties.

When first established it was given the name Baker County, for Alfred Baker, a citizen of the Autauga section of the county.

Alfred Baker, Sr.

BakerAlfredSr

 

Sadly, in 1870, a Courthouse fire destroyed many original records for Chilton County, Alabama.

On December 17, 1871, it was changed to the present name, in honor of Judge William Parrish Chilton, chief justice of the supreme court, and later a member of the provisional and regular Congress of the Confederacy from the Montgomery District.chilton county map

The act of establishment named Reuben Powell, Anderson Baker, William Vines, E. Ward and John Pernell as commissioners to hold an election to locate a county seat. No date is named, but they were required to advertise the election at least 20 days.

 

The commissioners were authorized and  required to contract for the building of a suitable court house and jail, and a county tax was authorized to be levied by the county commissioners to pay. therefor. The governor was required to appoint all officers.

Chilton County, Alabama Courthouse ca. 1930

Alabama State Archives

chilton county courthouse alabama archives 1930

At the election held as required, a point on the Louisville and Nashville R. R. was chosen to which the name Clanton was given in honor of Brig. Gen. James Holt Clanton, prominent in the political life of the state.

The first officers were Mordecai Robertson, probate judge, and Thomas H. Williams, sheriff, both commissioned in 1869.

The county lay within the domain of the Upper Creek Indians. On De Crenay’s map of 1734, the town of Pacanatache, correctly spelled Pakana Talahassi, is placed on the west side of Coosa River and apparently on the south side of Walnut Creek, nearly opposite the mouth of Pakana Talahassi Creek in Coosa County. In latter times, the town moved across the river and settled on that creek, spelled Puc-cun-tal-lau-has-see, by Col. Benjamin Hawkins.

Chipped implements and other evidences of Native American residence are to be found in some sections of the county. Along Mulberry Creek and the larger streams are a few unidentified village sites. In sec. 16 T. 21. N., R. 16 E.. near the Old Repito “Gold mine” at Varna, are several mounds.

One and a half miles southwest of Thorsby, near Little Mulberry Creek is a large mound.

Train Station at Jemison, Chilton County, Alabama ca. 1906

Alabama State Archives

Train stations at Jemison, Chilton County, Alabama

Stone heaps are found in T. 23 N., R 14 E., three and a half miles northeast of Jemison station on the Louisville £, Nashville R. R.

Train Station at Maplesville, Chilton County, Alabama  ca. 1906

Alabama State Archives

Train station in Maplesville, chilton county alabama state archives

SOURCES

  1. History of Alabama and Dictionary of Alabama Biography, written by Thomas McAdory Owen Vol. 1
  2. Alabama State Archives

ALABAMA FOOTPRINTS Pioneers: A Collection of Lost & Forgotten Stories 

They felt the lure of the frontier and struck out for unknown territory that would become Alabama, bringing with them only very few implements to survive. From Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and many other states they came to settle in the newly opened Mississippi Territory. Alabama Footprints Pioneers continues the series with lost and forgotten stories of the earliest Alabama pioneers.

ALABAMA FOOTPRINTS Pioneers includes the following stories

  • The Yazoo land fraud
  • Daily life as an Alabama pioneer
  • The capture and arrest of Vice-president Aaron Burr
  • The early life of William Barrett Travis, hero of the Alamo
  • Description of Native Americans of early Alabama including the visit by Tecumseh
  • Treaties and building the first roads in Alabama.

ALABAMA FOOTPRINTS Pioneers: A Collection of Lost & Forgotten Stories


By (author): Donna R. Causey
List Price: Price Not Listed
Kindle Edition: Check Amazon for Pricing Digital Only

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About Donna R Causey

Donna R. Causey, resident of Alabama, was a teacher in the public school system for twenty years. When she retired, Donna found time to focus on her lifetime passion for historical writing. She developed the websites www.alabamapioneers and www.daysgoneby.me
All her books can be purchased at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.
She has authored numerous genealogy books.
RIBBON OF LOVE: A Novel Of Colonial America (TAPESTRY OF LOVE)
is her first novel in the Tapestry of Love about her family where she uses actual characters, facts, dates and places to create a story about life as it might have happened in colonial Virginia. Faith and Courage: Tapestry of Love (Volume 2)
is the second book and the third FreeHearts: A Novel of Colonial America (Book 3 in the Tapestry of Love Series)
Discordance: The Cottinghams (Volume 1)
is the continuation of the story. .
For a complete list of books, visit Donna R Causey

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24 comments

  1. Robbie Chastain Shealy

    The very best peaches in the nation.

  2. Barb Angle Fisher

    They are good peaches, but we prefer GA peaches. JMO…

  3. Yes! And you can pick your own.

  4. Jessie Rice Jones

    We make several trips a year to Chilton County for peaches and produce, it really is the best around. The fresh peach ice cream is a special treat.

  5. Julie Rainey

    I was raised in Shelby Co. Now live in Pensacola Fl their are people saying their peaches are from Chilton Co I confronted them saying those are not Chilton Co peaches. They were none to happy,then asked me how do I know? I then told them I was raised in Shelby Co I know what a Chilton Co peach looks like. Needless to say I didn’t make friends that day! Lol

  6. Christie Hamilton

    I am from Chilton County and very proud of it!!!!!

  7. Julie that has happened to me, when I lived in Fl buying peaches at a road side stand. I know the difference.

  8. My ancestors were among the first settlers in Chilton county. They also founded one of the first Baptist Churchs before Alabama became a state,Mulberry Church. My 3rd great Grandmother was Creek. Still have family in the area.

    1. My ancestors were Creek. Campbell’s

  9. Duke Parden

    My wife and I used to live in Hoover and our folks lived in Mobile, so we saw the peach regularly. When our girls were little we used to call it the peach “butt”.

  10. Gloria Hanaway

    Sorry. I’ve lived in Alabama most of my life, but I cannot tell a lie, the best peaches are in Spartanburg, S.C. They are as big as softballs and sweet, juicy and firm. They can be spiced and canned to eat during Winter or made into a peach cobbler and the trees grow so lush and close to the road you could just reach out from your car window and pick one. I was ringing up a sale for a customer years ago who happened to be friends with Paula Deen (from Georgia, aka, the Peach State). She was so friendly and funny and I wasn’t going to say anything, but she said it first, South Carolina has the best peaches! lol

    1. Patti Perkins Shealy

      I’m living here in Alabama (for three years), but I’m from the Upstate of South Carolina, PEACH COUNTRY! I can’t agree more. I know people around here think Chilton County has good peaches, but only if they’ve never had a peach from the SC Upstate. They are absolutely the best! BTW…SC grows more peaches than Georgia. Second most in the country. Only California grows more than South Carolina.

    2. Patti Perkins Shealy

      Oh, and SC has a peach water tower too. It’s in Gafney, SC on I-85.

  11. Debbie H Collins

    But I went there anticipating one of their fried peach pies and to my dismay, as I walked around the back, there was a huge pallet of gallon cans of sliced delmonte peaches.
    Ruined it for me.

  12. Joseph Meeks

    shout out to Byron Georgia, peach country!

  13. Deborah O

    They taste just like the ones at Scott’s Orchard to me.

  14. Tyrone Short

    Peach Park in Clanton is the best place in Alabama for peaches.

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