Days Gone By - stories from the past

Ghost in window and an inventor is along the Chunnennuggee Ridge in Bullock County, Alabama

The area of the present town of Midway in Bullock County, Alabama was once known as Feagin’s Store Post Office and Five Points. An Act of Congress on July 7, 1838 provided that a mail route be established from Clayton to Feagin’s Store.


Three Notch Road of 1824 was the Native American trail which Captain Daniel E. Burch followed when he cut the way from Pensacola to Fort Mitchell. The Feagins, Pruitts, Crymers, Halls, Pearsons, Glenns, Mortons, and Kings were early settlers.

Schoolhouse in old Enon Settlement

Along the winding ridge is where the old Enon settlement once existed. Dr. Bank’s had a school house there that ranked high in estimation of scholars. Nearby, General Peter Guerry, an honored figure in east Alabama history is buried. He was born in Georgia but spent the last part of his life on his plantation near Guerryton Station on the Central of Georgia railroad. Also buried in the cemetery are the Travers, Seals, Persons, and other important pioneers.

Front_northern_elevation_of_the_Enon_Plantation_on__Chunnennuggee_Ridge_in_Union_Springs_AlabamaEnon Plantation on Chunnennuggee Ridge ca. 1990 (Alabama Department of Archives and History)

Prizes were awarded in antebellum days

Chunnennuggee Ridge possessed a special charm. In antebellum days, the Chunnennuggee Horticulture Society was there and once a year, the gardens were opened to guests from distant states, counties, and centers, for the exhibits in floriculture, horticulture, and arts. The event was the high spot of the year, and women wore their prettiest gowns, while the men displayed their finest steeds and carriages. Pavilions and summer houses, walks and drives were made ready. Prizes of silver, crystal and fine porcelain were given.

Peachburg was named after Turnipseed’s farm

Cuts by the railroad in Chunnennuggee Ridge yielded fossils sought by collectors throughout the world. David C. Turnipseed, a planter and fruit grower of Flora, Alabama, was born in the part of Bullock County which was originally part of Montgomery County. He was of German descent and produced a number of variety of fruits. He was a horticulturist and set up a canning factory for his huge fruit farm. The name of the town of Peachburg was derived from his fruit farm.

Many beautiful houses

Chunnennuggee Ridge also had a seminary, an academy, and many churches. Schools offered arts, music, painting, ball room dancing, as well as the classics and science. The Chunnennuggee Camp Meetings were famous in their day.

The summer cottage owned by Senator and Mrs. Thomas Sidney Frazer of Union Springs had high ceilings, deep windows and a large hall that terminated into a big dining room.

Sen.Thomas Sidney Frazier House, County Road 40, Peachburg, Bullock County, AL Walker-Frazier-Adams House July 17, 1935 (photographer W. N. Manning, Library of Congress)Sen.Thomas Sidney Frazier House, County Road 40, Peachburg, Bullock County, AL Walker-Frazier-Adams House July 17, 1935 (photographer W. N. Manning, Library of Congress)

Had a Female Seminary

The Chunnennuggee Female Seminary was located between the home of Dr. Norborne B. Powell and the Frazer home. Dr. Powell, was the sponsor of the Female Seminary and Anastasia Powell Foster, mother of Mrs. Mary C. Pittman, was reared in the home and attended the seminary along with Sen. Frazer’s father’s sisters and others.

Oldfield_Powell_House_on_Peachburg_Road_County_Road_40_on_Chunnennuggee_Ridge_in_Union_Springs_AlabamaOldfield (Powell House) on Peachburg Road (County Road 40) on Chunnennuggee Ridge ca. 1990 (Alabama Department of Archives and History)

Ghost likeness remains in the window

The Powell cottage was made famous by Mrs. Agusta Evans Wilson in her story, “At the Mercy of Tiberius”, because on a window pane from the rear entrance of this old home the likeness of Dr. Powell was photographed by lightening as he stood before the window. An African American servant discovered the photograph and the glass pane was taken to the archives in Montgomery, Alabama for safe-keeping.

Another old home of note was the log structure that once belonged to Col. Cunningham, who passed it on to Miss Octavia Atkinson. The home was of logs, whitewashed, with a runway in which fifteen-inch siding was used. It also had a front stoop and an attached kitchen.

Octavia Adkinson House, Wilson Road, Peachburg, Bullock County, AL July 1935 front (photographer W. N. Manning, Library of Congress)Octavia Adkinson House, Wilson Road, Peachburg, Bullock County, AL July 1935 front (photographer W. N. Manning, Library of Congress)

A lady in town was an inventor

Octavia tried her hand at invention. When the big gate at the road was swung open to a visitor, a bell tinkled in the log cottage. When the visitor opened the picket gate in front of the cottage, another bell tinkled to let her know. She spent her time amid the wisteria, mimosa, great oaks, and a wealth of beautiful flowers which were characteristic of the Ridge, while she made cotton poodle dogs and other things with her hands.

Octavia Adkinson House, Wilson Road, Peachburg, Bullock County, AL July 1935 finish of railroad at top of hill (photographer W. N. Manning, Library of Congress)Octavia Adkinson House, Wilson Road, Peachburg, Bullock County, AL July 1935 finish of railroad at top of hill (photographer W. N. Manning, Library of Congress)

Mastered a way  to get water in her house

She built the ‘smart bucket’ for water utilizing the Ridge topography. She mastered the 100-foot drop at the rear of her home by building a little railway of wood, using boxes, corrugated tin, and rope. On the railway was placed a handmade teacart affair, fitted with a bucket, which with a windlass, solved the question of “going to the spring” – and it never jumped the track.

The Atkinson home was originally the old Cary house, also known as the Captain E. Troup Randle residence. It later became the property of William Turnipseed.

Colonel Luther Walker House, County Road 40, Peachburg, Bullock County, AL July 17, 1935 (photographer W. N. Manning, Library of Congress)Colonel Luther Walker House, County Road 40, Peachburg, Bullock County, AL  July 17, 1935 (photographer W. N. Manning, Library of Congress)

House cost #17,000

The Luther Waller home was built by Charles Stuart and cost $17,000. It originally had mahogany stairs, double hall parlors, large dining room, and elaborate mantels of hand-carved gray marble and butler pantry. The brick kitchen and old Dutch oven were to the back of the home.

SOURCE

  1. Griswold, Elizabeth Black, History of Bullock County, (term paper written in 1937 for a class in Southern History at Alabama College, Montevallo, Alabama)

 

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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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10 comments

  1. Were the homes pictured individual homes built in antebellum times by their owners, or were they a “plantation home” where a slave owner lived and build by his slaves? Interested to know for genealogical recordkeeping inside the original Macon County pre-1866 boundaries which included parts of current Bullock County. Thanks.

  2. Jeannie Lott

    Wow, there was a Guerry!

  3. I am a Guerry and would love to know more about the Guerry mentioned in this article. Thank you.

  4. Dan DaMan Elkins

    This house is for sale – just popped up in my news feed an hour ago (spooky coincidence!).

    https://www.facebook.com/ForTheLoveOfOldHouses/posts/1746937555572290

  5. My mother was born and raised in Bullock Co in the 1940 and she was a hall.

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