Days Gone By - stories from the past

The Legend of Geraldine and the Green Lantern

The old Tuscaloosa Highway is one of the oldest roads in Alabama, parts of the remains of the Old Huntsville road one of the early settlement roads can still be seen near it.


Old town of Bucksville

The stretch of this Highway that I want to discuss is around the Tuscaloosa/Jefferson county line in the old town of Bucksville. This area was settled early in our history and was a busy little hamlet due to the Tannehill ironworks(1865) operations and later the Iron ore pits and Coal mines that dotted the area. During the 1920s and 1930s many roadside taverns and beer joints began to spring up along this main road to quench the thirst of the roughneck iron ore and coal miners and were known for their knife and gunfights. Some of these bars were Shorty’s, Twin Springs, The Green Lantern and many more who’s names are lost to history.

Raised in a sawmill camp

Geraldine Ledbetter was born and raised in a sawmill camp, she grew up hard and she grew up mean and could handle her own against girls or boys. She later met and married young a coal miner by the name of Grady Humphries and moved to Bucksville. Grady loved hanging out at these taverns and Geraldine would march down to these local watering holes and haul him home most times against his will. This broad shoulder lass begin to get a reputation of holding her own in starting and breaking up fights.

One of the legends is the time Geraldine served as the unofficial bouncer at the Green Lantern and one of the male patrons began to smart off to her before he could finish his rant Geraldine had grabbed him by the nap of the neck and knocked him through the front door of the Green Lantern into the dirt parking lot.
Geraldine passed away in the early 1980s and is buried in the Bucksville cemetery but her legend and the Green Lantern are alive and well especially on a Saturday night when the jukebox is playing and the beer is flowing.

ALABAMA FOOTPRINTS Confrontation: Lost & Forgotten Stories is a collection of lost and forgotten stories that reveals why and how the confrontation between the Native American population and settlers developed into the Creek-Indian War as well as stories of the bravery and heroism of participants from both sides.

About Shannon Hollon

Shannon Hollon lives in McCalla Alabama graduated from McAdory High School and the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Served 9 years in the US Navy Seabees with one tour in Afghanistan.Currently employed with US Steel and serving on the board of directors for the West Jefferson County Historical Society. http://wjchs.com/

Liked it? Take a second to support Alabama Pioneers on Patreon!
Tags:

54 comments

  1. Betty Shubert

    Thank you, I really enjoy these snippets of history.

  2. Martha Harmon Price

    I’ve driven by the Green Lantern on my way to and from town more times than I can count. For many years it had the reputation of being a very rough place. From what I understand now, it has been cleaned up and is a nice place to stop in for a drink or music.

    1. Bill Hannah

      Isn’t that the place that has a restraining order against you?

    2. Jack R. Hamilton

      Remember driving the old Bessemer Highway to Tuscaloosa that was an all-day trip? We used to pack a picnic lunch and stop along the way (sometimes at Holiday Beach!) and have our much-anticipated lunch. Wonderful times, I miss them so much. Mainly the times with my Mom, Dad, and brother.

    3. Martha Harmon Price

      Jack R. Hamilton Holiday Beach is still there, just drag racing now.

    4. Jack R. Hamilton

      Is that at the Beach area? I thought that was different. Well, either way, I know it was beautiful back then. They had a picnic area that I don’t think you had to pay for if you were just picnicking.

    5. Martha Harmon Price

      Jack R. Hamilton The beach has been long gone. The racing is in the same general area.

    6. Martha Harmon Price

      Jack R. Hamilton The beach has been long gone. The racing is in the same general area.

  3. De Anne Copeland Riley

    Nancy Copeland, Todd Copeland

  4. Gene Turner

    A fun spot that caters to everyone. Always clean and friendly. They do a lot of great benefits for local charities.

  5. Jenny Allen

    If you haven’t been to the Green Lantern, you haven’t lived!

  6. Brenda Dee

    My grandfather’s family was from Bucksville. Would love more info on the area since I have so little about him

    1. De Anne Copeland Riley

      Hi Brenda, what was your Grandfather’s name. I was born and raised in Bucksville.

    2. Who was your grandfather. My father was the original owner of Twin Springs. E. J. (Shorty) Coperand. I lived a lot of that history and might remember your grandfather

  7. David McLeod

    Green Lantern, Twin Springs, Harry & Billies, Crazy 8s, Alabama Owl. Been there done that.

    1. Andrea Thomas

      Don’t forget Lisa’s Lounge and Highway Beverage.

      1. I love The Green Lantern!! My mom, a couple of our friends, and I play cards there almost every Thursday! The owners and staff are wonderful! The food is great! It’s really a great place to get together with friends!

    2. David McLeod

      The Hilltop, Riverbend and Pink Lizard.

    3. Back in the day, there was Bam’s, The Castle, Sailor Watkins’ Store…all right there in that general area!

    4. Mack &Sue’s, Sailor Watkins, Kimbril Inn, The Castle, The Harvest Moon, The Last Chance. I saw them all
      Billy C

  8. De Anne Copeland Riley

    “Shorty” Copeland was my Dad. We have lots of stories from these places.

    1. Mike Smith

      Hi DeAnne. Good to see you on here. Often wondered how yall were doing.

    2. Kenny Mcelroy

      Loved going to Shortys with my dad they use to go on motorcycle rides if I remember Shorty had a BMW BIKE

    3. De Anne Copeland Riley

      Mike Smith Hi Mike, good to hear from you. We are good enjoying our retirement.

    4. De Anne Copeland Riley

      Kenny Mcelroy Hi Kenny, what was your Dad’s name? My brother still has my Dad’s BMW!

    5. Kenny Mcelroy

      De Anne Copeland Riley Seth McElroy we live in Woodstock. I’m pretty sure they went to Daytona a few times on their bikes

      1. Seth Jr better know as Bird Dog

    6. De Anne Copeland Riley

      Kenny Mcelroy was his nickname Birddog?

    7. Deborah Higginbotham Passmore

      De Anne Copeland Riley my daddy was probably in a lot of those stories. His name William “Bill” Higginbotham. They were good friends. On Saturdays we would go to town and stop at Twin Springs on the way up and back. Shorty rode my brother and me on his motorcycle one Saturday. I never will forget it.

  9. Mike Smith

    I grew up in bucksville. Caught the bus at twin springs. We lived behind shorty. Bought our house from him.

    1. Steven Michael Kant

      Hi Mike. Hope y’all are doin well 🙂

    2. Mike Smith

      Hi, we’re doing good.

    3. Steven Michael Kant

      Love and miss y’all…really!

    4. Mike Smith

      Same here. Did you know carmen and ann moved to orlando? Are you near there?

  10. Steven Michael Kant

    Had a wild night in the Green Lantern one time. I was like eighteen. Remember it was a knifin shootin place. Never forget it…

  11. I have patronized the taverns mentioned in this article. Twin Springs used to9
    have the best fried catfish a person could find!

  12. Sarah Erwin Burt

    On Thursday’s … sometimes you will find nice card group playing Canasta .. everyone always nice to me there .. best cheeseburgers around !

    1. Hey Sarah!!! We miss you! Don’t forget about the fried bologna sandwiches!

  13. Why do you provide space for comments and then don’t allow them to be posted?

    1. All posts have to be approved before being published to the site to avoid having a site filled with spam. Also, vulgar language is not allowed.

  14. Deborah Higginbotham Passmore

    Kenny McElroy I remember your name but can’t remember your face.

  15. Brenda Dee

    Actually my grandfather was William Davis. His dad was Nimrod Davis

    1. Jason Parham

      You know in the 8 or so years I lived over that way I never did get around to actually going in that place…

  16. I grew up down the street from it but I’ve never been. I’ll have to stop in the next time I am near there.

  17. William Quinley

    Why are the majority of the Alabama Pioneer stories about things from the northern part of the state? There is a great deal of interesting history in south Alabama also.

  18. Carol Smith

    Been there ….great cheese biscuits

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.