Days Gone By - stories from the past

Have you ever heard of these ghost towns in Baldwin County, Alabama? [vintage pictures]

The following transcription about Fairhope was written and compiled by Francois Ludgere Diard March 24, 1939, and from a Vacation Visit to the two principal ghost towns in Baldwin County, Alabama Federal Writers Project (Alabama State Archives) – Photographs are from Library of Congress.


Ghost Towns in Alabama

Old Alabama City, which perpetuates as the present town of Fairhope, the only single taxed town in the world, was long a ghost city prior to 1894.

A group of students of the Henry George philosophy founded Fairhope that year. The difference between Blakeley and Alabama City can be said this:

“Alabama City was born again and in its reincarnation became Fairhope, a resort and trading point with a future greater than the builders of Alabama City ever dreamed of.”

There was Tensas Bluff once Stockton, Montgomery Hill and Pierce’s Landing, on the site of the present Tensaw, Swift’s Landing, or Sibley’s Mill or D’Olive, predecessors of Bay Minette, where are these?

Also, where are the outlying villages of Claire and Byron, around Perdido, once inhabited but now unheard of?

What is known of the industry of Roscoe, west of Orange Beach: of Gasque, between Bon Secour and Fort Morgan, Styx on Styx River, River Park below Marlow; Sumatra, between Robertsdale and Seminole, or Elkhart, below Stapleton?

Photographs below are of the McMillan House – W. N. Manning, Photographer, March 13, 1934. Front and Rear-, County Road 21, Stockton, Baldwin County, AL

W. N. Manning, Photographer, March 13, 1934. - McMillan House, , Stockton, Baldwin County, AL

W. N. Manning, Photographer, March 13, 1934. - McMillan House, County Road 21, Stockton, Baldwin County, AL

Photograph below is of the Tunstall House W. N. Manning, Photographer, March 6, 1934. FRONT ELEVATION. State Highway 59, Tensaw, Baldwin County, ALW. N. Manning, Photographer, March 6, 1934. - Tunstall House, State Highway 59, Tensaw, Baldwin County, AL

Atkinson-Till House, State Highway 59, Tensaw, Baldwin County, AL by photographer W. N. Manning March 7, 1934Atkinson-Till House, State Highway 59, Tensaw, Baldwin County, AL by photographer W. N. Manning 1939

Atkinson-Till House,  Rear – State Highway 59, Tensaw, Baldwin County, AL by photographer W. N. Manning March 7, 1934Atkinson-Till House, State Highway 59, Tensaw, Baldwin County, AL by photographer W. N. Manning 1939.jpg2

Atkinson-Till House, Fireplace – State Highway 59, Tensaw, Baldwin County, AL by photographer W. N. Manning March 7, 1934Atkinson-Till House, State Highway 59, Tensaw, Baldwin County, AL by photographer W. N. Manning 19393

Photograph below is of pulpwood going down the River Styx to Mobile by inland waterway. Near Robertsdale, Alabama by photographer Dorothea Lange 1937

Pulpwood going down the River Styx to Mobile by inland waterway. Near Robertsdale, Alabama

 

Other Ghost towns

Bromley is almost a ghost town, now that its post-office has been discontinued and transferred to the village of Hurricane.

Park City was once on the site of the present Bridgehead. Pendro, above Loxley, has vanished into the past and Cavanac, the predecessor of Barnwell, is remembered only by the old timers living today.

Van Kirk, a small settlement below Rosinton is just a memory, as are probably other villages in the county of which history has no record. There are many once flourishing resort towns along the shoreline of Baldwin are just a memory today.

Another ghost town is Hollywood just north of Montrose, which once boasted several hundreds of resorters both winter and summer, and where the Confederate soldiers landed from Mobile on their way to points in Florida and Georgia.

There was Shell Banks and Palm Beach and Navy Cove, the latter the early home of the quarantine station and which was practically wiped out by the hurricane of 1906, are seldom spoken of, as well as the early towns along the bay in French, British and Spanish colonial times.

SOURCE

  1. Conversations with older Baldwin Countians about the ghost towns and some of the inhabitants. Personal visits and observations in the past to the old ghost towns of Baldwin County, Some notes from The Baldwin Times, February 2, 1939.

VINEGAR OF THE FOUR THIEVES: Recipes & curious tips from the pastis a collection of household tips, medical cures, clothing care and old recipes from the 1800’s and 1900’s. Many of the tips, such as the household cleaners, cooking tips and ways to control pests, still work and are helpful in today’s ‘green’ environment while others such as ‘how to cure a dog of eating eggs’ will make you laugh. Either way, this book will help you appreciate the difficult life your grandparents endured.

With Bonus: First two chapters of novel Ribbon of Love

 

VINEGAR OF THE FOUR THIEVES: Recipes & curious tips from the past


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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19 comments

  1. Has anyone done any extensive research on The dead city of Alabama City, Baldwin County? I am very interested in finding out more.

  2. Lindley Mayfield

    Christopher Dewayne Seagle

  3. Margie Padgett Slaughter

    Julian Brown Claudia Campbell

  4. Dana Jackson

    Tara Pennington Reanee Thomas Amanda Marlow

  5. Lisa Calloway

    Jess Brabham Weihe

  6. Kay Hansen

    oh yes..interesting stories

  7. Beth Hammond

    I was in Hollywood last week. The cemetery and chimney of the old inn are still there.

  8. Teresa King

    The McMillan house on 21 looks like the old stagecoach house in Stockton. It is still there and was for sale the last time I was there. In need of much repair but still awesome.

  9. My grandmother was born in Gasque which is located about halfway down Fort Morgan Road (Ft. Morgan Peninsula) in Baldwin County. Her family had land further down Fort Morgan Road but walked away from it after Hurricane of 1906. They were German farmers, which always seemed odd but my Dad said before the storm washed away the top soil it was a rich and highly productive farm land. Who knew?

  10. Joe King

    When are we going to here something about trusville al

  11. Suzanne Marshall

    There was a house in camp hill pa where I grew up most always empty supposedly haunted a friend of my sisters lived there and said the windows would go up by themselves for one

  12. I don’t know that I’d call any of these “ghost towns”.. maybe forgotten city names. Town names that were incorporated into other parts of the city and towns there. But no, no where in Baldwin County do you drive through any sort of ‘ghost town’, or any other town thats been abandoned.

  13. What a great article. This blog is wonderful. My cousin lives in the Atkinson-Till house now.

  14. Cheri Allred

    Wow, that’s as hard to read as the old King JAMES Bible…

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