Days Gone By - stories from the past

[Vintage photographs] from a very old community in Alabama that had three names.

One historic small community in Alabama had three names, Crocketsville, Crawford and Tuckabatchee.crawford, alabama


Named Crockettsville in honor of Davy Crockett

The community of Crockettsville was settled at about the time Russell County was formed in 1832. Among the first settlers were Jerry Sagar and Green Sewell. It was named in honor of David “Davy” Crockett who served as a scout in Andrew Jackson’s Tennessee Militia at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend in 1814.

Named Crawford for a distinguished Georgian

The name of the city was changed to Crawford in 1843 by Act of the Alabama Legislature. This was done to honor the family of William Harris Crawford (1772-1834), a distinguished Georgia teacher, lawyer, duelist and statesman. The city served as the seat of government for Russell County from 1833 to 1868.

S. H. Baldwin laid out Crockettsville in 1840, complete with lots and streets. The city limits extended about one-half mile in every direction from the courthouse which stood facing east on the present site of Crawford United Methodist Church.

Crawford United Methodist

crawford united methodist, russell county

The jail was across the street to the east.  “Golgotha Hill,” located one-half mile north of the city and east of the cemetery, was the site of executions by hanging.

Sir Charles Lyell – Geologist

Sir Charles Lyell

“Crawford, during its heyday was on the stagecoach route running from Clayton in Barbour County, to Salem, which was then in Russell County.” In 1846, the town was visited by Sir Charles Lyell, a noted British geologist. He wrote in his journal of a small log hotel, where he dined on “Roast turkey, venison steak, partridge pie, and a jug of milk.”

What appears to be a Post Office document reads as follows: Alabama – No. 3728- From Clayton, by *Feagan’s Store and Crockettsville, to Salem, Russell County 50 miles and back, one a week.
Leave Clayton every Thursday at 5:00AM; arrive at Salem next day by ll AM. Leave Salem every Friday at 1PM- arrive at Clayton next day at 7 PM -Contractor E. V. Lamdingham $500.00.

W. N. Manning, Photographer, May 14, 1935 FRONT AND SIDE VIEW N.E. – Tuckabatcha Masonic Lodge No. 863, U.S. Highway 80 & County Road 79, Crawford, Russell County, AL built 1848

Tukabahchi masonic lodge

A two story, Greek temple-front wooden frame building with four original tapering square columns and outside “dog-leg” staircase in front is located at the eastern edge of the town of Crawford.

W. N. Manning, Photographer, May 14, 1935 Interior of Tuckabatcha Masonic Lodge No. 863, U.S. Highway 80 & County Road 79, Crawford, Russell County, Alabama

Tukabahchi masonic lodge interior

It was the original Masonic Lodge and was named for one of the four mother towns of the Muscogee Creek Confederacy, Tuckabatchee.

W. N. Manning, Photographer, May 14, 1935 REAR AND SIDE VIEW, S.W. – Tuckabatcha Masonic Lodge No. 863, U.S. Highway 80 & County Road 79, Crawford, Russell County, AL

Tukabahchi masonic lodge2

Tuckabatchee was the home of Big Warrior

The pre-removal tribal town was located on the Tallapoosa River in Alabama. The town is believed to be the first site of the ancient busk fire which began the Green Corn Ceremony. Tuckabatchee was the home of Big Warrior, one of the two principal chiefs of the Creeks until his death in 1826. Chief Opothleyahola was born here in 1780.

Tecumseh addressed Creek leaders in Tukabatchee town square

In 1811 Tecumseh and Tenskwatawa (better known as the Prophet) addressed Creek leaders in the Tukabatchee town square. Tecumseh was so disappointed in Big Warrior’s response at the end of his speech against American expansion that he said upon reaching Chalagawtha the Prophet would “…stamp his foot and all of Tuckabatchee’s cabins would fall.” The town was leveled by the New Madrid Earthquake a month later.

“The original weatherboarding and wood shake roof are intact on the old Masonic Lodge beneath asbestos siding and asphalt shingles.”

W. N. Manning, Photographer, May 14, 1935 Interior. – Tuckabatcha Masonic Lodge No. 863, U.S. Highway 80 & County Road 79, Crawford, Russell County, AL

Tukabahchi masonic lodge interior2

Crawford Masonic Lodge no. 863, F & M (originally Tuckabatchee No. 96) was built in 1848 and served intermittently for Lodge meetings, school classes and church services.

W. N. Manning, Photographer, May 14, 1935 Interior. – Tuckabatcha Masonic Lodge No. 863, U.S. Highway 80 & County Road 79, Crawford, Russell County, AL

Tukabahchi masonic lodge interior3

Only one of seven pre-Civil fraternal halls surviving

“The Masonic Lodge is one of only seven pre-Civil War fraternal halls surviving in Alabama. It is also the most notable structure remaining from 1839-1868, when Crawford served as the seat of Russell County. Several years ago, the lodge was almost lost when the Masons decided to replace it with a new building.

Historic American Buildings Survey W. N. Manning, Photographer, May 14, 1935 CLOSE- UP OF DOOR ON EAST SIDE OF UPPER PART OF BLDG. – Tuckabatcha Masonic Lodge No. 863, U.S. Highway 80 & County Road 79, Crawford, Russell County, ALTukabahchi masonic lodge door

As the demolition date approached, a local philanthropist intervened and moved the structure a short distance to its current location.” Recently, the Russell County Commission has accepted bids for repair of the historic building.Tukabahchi masonic lodge painted

This beautiful historic building has been restored. Check out these updated photographs on their facebook page.

SOURCES

  1. Eugenia Hobday – Ancestry.com
  2. The Phenix Citizen – Phenix City, Alabama
  3. Alabama Heritage Fall 2012
  4. Wikipedia

 

Read about early Freemasons in Alabama in The Grand Masters of Free & Accepted Masons of the State of Alabama 1811-2011


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The Grand Masters of Free & Accepted Masons of the State of Alabama 1811-2011


By (author): Donna R Causey
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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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18 comments

  1. Sam Harris

    Trish Robertson Johnson would enjoy this I think.

  2. Thank you for this information. I am the County Commissioner in Russell County that has started the project for the restoration of the building. The building had a roof leak and probably only had a couple of years left when I took office. It looks so good today and we are working on landscaping and placing restrooms in separate building out back so people can come see the building and relax in the park area we have proposed next to the building.
    Our community is so excited about this project and we are planning a “Day in the Park” on October 18, 2014 from 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. ET as a fundraiser to continue the project.
    I would love to let you have access to the building to continue to story.

  3. […] those that had been quartered about where Columbus now is. This party left the Chattahoochee for Tuckabatchee and traveled pretty much the route that now leads from Columbus to Pole Cat Springs; their trail or […]

  4. […] all our stock, horses and effects taken from us. During the council, an Indian countryman came from Tuckabatche, and informed them that my father had obtained leave from Double Head to come that way from the […]

    1. Alabama Pioneers

      Your community should be proud of what they have done for saving such a historic building. W’e’ll put your facebook link at the end of the story.

  5. You can find updated pictures on facebook on the Crawford Park at The Historic Tuckabatchee Masonic Lodge page, It looks so pretty now.

    1. We added the facebook link to the story. Thank you for sending it.

  6. Jeff Lambert

    A photo of an old Masonic Lodge… Interesting.

  7. Agnes Golden Tatum

    We need to preserve these sites.
    Is anything being done to preserve the Tuckabatchee Town and Talisi Town sites?

  8. Alabama Weaver

    Too bad no one knows what really happened and all the false history is being perpetuated while history within official records is not used hardly at all. Interesting when we figure out that American History is the greatest lie ever told.

  9. Howard Dot Logan

    This is the inside of a Masonic Lodge

  10. The Native American Nations website (http://www.nanations.com/tribes.htm ) in their Alphabetical Enumeration of the Indian Tribes and Nations lists Tukabatche as being on Tallapoosie River, 30 mi. above Fort Alabama, in 1775 as does The Aboriginal Races of North America , by Samuel G. Drake, 1880, 15th ed. Rev., NY

    This is several miles from Crawford.

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