Days Gone By - stories from the past

Stories and ghostly tales from the 1930s of how Shades Valley in Jefferson County, Alabama was named

Stories and ghostly tales from the 1930s of how Shades Valley in Jefferson County, Alabama was named

(WPA Alabama Writer’s Project)


There are at least two stories of how this beautiful valley was so named. The widow of Bayles Grove, one of Jefferson County’s pioneer citizens gave one of these stories.

A traveler, while making his way through this section of the county was waylaid by a bank of robbers and slain. A number of years later, other people, travelling through this same region, came upon the skeleton, supposedly, of this man. The skeleton was found on the bank of a small creek in the valley. This creek was called “Creek of the Shades of Death” after the finding of the skeleton, thus giving the name to both valley and mountain.

Still another tradition gives a different reason for the name. Because the foliage here is taller, denser and richer, it casts deepening shadows throughout the valley. Thus the name came to be “Shades Valley” or “Valley of the Shadows.”

Shades Mountain with Shades Valley below Postcard ca. 1950

Bibliography

Jefferson County History by F. W. Teeple & A. Davis Smith, Teeple & Smith Publishers (Caldwell Printing Works, Birmingham)

HOW SHADES VALLEY WAS NAMED

Long ago, many traders came through Alabama to trade with the Chickasaw Indians. On the route to Charleston, Savannah, and Augusta was a long dark valley. There were no Indian settlements in this gloomy valley for miles. Any white man, who attempted to cross this valley alone, did so at the risk of his life for treachrous (sic) Indians often killed white men here and left their bodies in the valley. Because of the bones of murdered men, it became known as “the valley of the Shadow of death” and “the land of the shades”. From this the name, Shades Valley originated.

Tapestry of Love: Three Books In One

Inspired by actual people and historical events of colonial America, “The Kingdom of Accawmacke” is revealed and secrets about America’s history are discovered in this well-researched series. The story begins in 17th century England during the reign of Charles I and continues a family’s journey to the eastern shore of Virginia and Maryland.

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Tapestry of Love: Three Books In One


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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