In early frontier Eufaula, Alabama, there were but few stores in the town, and not many dwellings, all of them were constructed of rough logs. Up to the winter of 1834 there was not a frame building in the place. (Continued below)
First Home Built in Eufaula, Alabama – The house was built in 1827 and was later the Confederate hospital – in the 1930s the home belonged to Mrs. T.[?] A. Washburn, Riverside Drive, Eufaula, Alabama (ADAH Q1190)
Two public houses
There were two public houses; one of them was built of hewed logs, and was called the crack hotel of the village—the landlord’s name was Slatter. The other house, a less pretentious one, was constructed of rough round logs, and was known as Morgan’s hotel.
Chaotic State of Society
Many were the adventurers who visited the village, and many settled themselves here. This naturally brought all kinds of people together, and many of them not of the best character; hence, lawlessness, drunkenness, and immorality ruled the hour.
Bowie Knives, Pistols and Fighting
Many were the fights and bloody rencounters (sic) that were witnessed on the streets of Irwinton (later named Eufaula). But there were a few good men who, true to every manly instinct, with courage undaunted, stood up like polished “marble shafts” amid all the moral corruption that surrounded them, and by their efforts and examples (and as population increased) open wickedness was toned down; bad men and their evil practices began to be overcome and order took the place of confusion; crime was arrested and punished by the strong arm of law—then Irwinton began her career of progress.
The First Saw Mill—1835
It was now about the summer of ’35 when a saw mill was erected on the Chewalla creek, about one mile from town, on the Columbus road; facilities were, thereby, secured for building better houses, which was duly improved. The mill was owned by Mr. John M. Moore.
Several new store houses were built, and also a two-story hotel, which was called the Irwinton Hotel, and kept by a Mr. Birch. Next door to this building was the then imposing two-story building, owned and occupied by Capt. John M. Moore and Mr. J. G. L. Martin, as a drinking and eating establishment; the upper rooms being used as a billiard saloon and ball room, and known as “Social Hall.” It was an immensely popular resort.
In those days the dance was the only pastime in which ladies and gentlemen indulged together, so the building of Social Hall was hailed with delight by the ladies, of whom there were a good many in the town and surrounding country.
The gentlemen, when to themselves, very freely patronized the gaming table and the horse races; the latter was held in the streets of the town, and inasmuch as the clearing did not extend far, the principal street had to be used, and all business was generally suspended to witness the races. But a year or two after this a splendid course was constructed, about four miles from town, at a cost of ten thousand dollars, and the turf was liberally patronized for many years, but finally neglected, and now, not a vestige of it remains.
Some Men Trying to Make Money.
While some were indulging in pleasure and dissipation, many others were laying the foundation of their fortune and independence, and helping to develop the rich and fertile land surrounding Irwinton.
- Transcribed from History of Eufaula, Alabama: the bluff city of the Chattahoochee By J. A. B. Besson – 1875
- The Yazoo land fraud;
- Daily life as an Alabama pioneer;
- The capture and arrest of Vice-president AaronBurr;
- The early life of William Barrentt Travis in Alabama, hero of the Alamo;
- Description of Native Americans of early Alabama including the visit by Tecumseh;
- Treaties and building the first roads in Alabama.
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