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Houston County History | Historic Chattahoochee Trace | Alabama Historic Areas | Georgia Historic Areas
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Houston County

ASHFORD DEPOT

Ashford Depot

Location: Intersection of 3rd Avenue and Midland Street, Ashford, Alabama
Marker Dedication or Erection Date: November 15, 1989
Erected by the Historic Chattahoochee Commission and the Ashford Depot Committee, 1989.

This depot, an example of late 19th century Victorian railroad architecture, was constructed by the Alabama Midland Railroad in March, 1888 as a way station on the Bainbridge-to-Montgomery route. The depot was the only building to survive a devastating 1915 fire which destroyed the original town area parallel to the railroad track. The Ashford Depot Committee has restored the building to its former appearance and has furnished it with original antiques. The depot houses an "Artifacts of the Wiregrass Museum", political history memorabilia and has a community room for use by area citizens.

ASHFORD UNITED METHODIST CHURCH

Ashford United Methodist Church

Location: Intersection of Adams Street and 5th Avenue, Ashford, Alabama
Marker Dedication or Erection Date: January 1, 1990
Erected by the Historic Chattahoochee Commission and the Ashford United Methodist Church, 1990.

This building site was purchased March 9, 1889 by trustees of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, of Gordon Circuit. Services were held in a three-walled wood structure until the completion of a permanent building in 1893. In 1927 a brick building replaced this structure which burned in 1924. When a larger sanctuary was built in 1956, the old sanctuary became the fellowship hall. In 1987 an education building was constructed. The following year the sanctuary was renovated and stained glass windows were installed. "They that trust in the Lord shall be as mount Zion, which cannot be removed, but abideth forever." Psalm 125:1.

ATLANTIC COASTLINE PASSENGER STATION

ATLANTIC COASTLINE PASSENGER STATION

Location: Depot Street, just east of Headland Avenue in the "Dixie" section of downtwon, Dothan, AL
Marker Dedication or Erection Date: January 1, 2008
Erected by the Historic Chattahoochee Commission, Dothan Landmarks Foundation and the Wiregrass Transit Authority 2008.

SIDE 1:
Atlantic Coastline Passenger Station
Constructed by the Atlantic Coastline Railroad in 1907 during Dothan's rapid growth as a commercial center of the Wiregrass Region, this building serves as a reminder of the most popular and accessible form of transportation in the early 20th century, linking Dothan citizens to larger cities and beyond. Adjacent to this station was the city's first passenger & freight depot, built by the Alabama Midland Railroad in 1889 and demolished in the early 1970's. This two-story brick station served Dothan until 1979 when it was closed to passenger traffic. (continued on other side)

SIDE 2:
Atlantic Coastline Passenger Station
The railroad used this station as an office complex until it finally closed in 1985. The building was purchased by the City of Dothan from CSX Transportation in 1989 to stop its planned demolition. The Atlantic Coastline Passenger Station is listed on the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage and the Department of the Interior's National Register of Historic Places. During 2007 & 2008, the Wiregrass Transit Authority renovated the station to serve as its headquarters.

BIG CREEK UNITED METHODIST CHURCH

Big Creek United Methodist Church

Location: Located in Houston County Route 203, ten miles south of The Ross Clark Circle (Old Campbellton Road), Dothan, Alabama.
Marker Dedication or Erection Date: October 21, 1979
Erected by the Historic Chattahoochee Commission and the Dothan Landmarks Foundation, 1979.

SIDE 1:
One of the oldest churches in southeast Alabama and reportedly the oldest church in Houston County. The first church structure was a log building constructed about 20 yards north of the present building. The second structure was a larger frame building erected in 1865. In 1905, a new frame structure was built. Four Sunday School rooms and a brick exterior were added to the church in 1959.

SIDE 2:
Big Creek United Methodist Church
Adjacent to Big Creek United Methodist Church is a cemetery containing the grave of Joseph Watford. Mr. Watford served as a soldier for four years during the American Revolutionary War. In 1833, he emigrated from South Carolina to this area of southeast Alabama. He died in July 1845. Mr. Watford is believed to be the only Revolutionary War Veteran buried in Houston County.

BOYHOOD HOME OF REVEREND BOB JONES

Boyhood Home of Reverend Bob Jones

Location: Located on Highway 84 West at the entrance to the Highlands.
Marker Dedication or Erection Date: July 1, 1995
Erected by Bob Jones University, Wheelless Development, Ltd., and the Historic Chattahoochee Commission, 1995.

Near this spot was the boyhood home of Reverend Bob Jones, (1884-1968), D.D., L.L.D., internationally known evangelist and founder of Bob Jones University. The eleventh child of W. Alexander and Georgia Creel Jones, he was three months old when the family moved to Brannon Stand in 1884, where he lived until his father's death in 1900. Four years after his conversion at the age of eleven, Bob Jones held his first revival under a brush arbor two miles from here. The only structure remaining today from his boyhood home is the brick water well, located on Edinburgh Way just inside the Highland Oaks Golf Course entrance.

CHERRY STREET AME CHURCH

Cherry Street African Methodist Episcopal Church

Location: Located at the Church, 308 North Cherry Street, Dothan, Alabama.
Marker Dedication or Erection Date: October 28, 1979
Erected by the Historic Chattahoochee Commission and the Dothan Landmarks Foundation, 1979.

On this site in 1877 Gaines Chapel Church was organized. A wooden structure was erected adjacent to an existing graveyard. In 1891 and 1901 additional land was purchased. In 1908 the present building was dedicated. This structure was of early twentieth century design. At this time its name was changed to Cherry Street AME Church. The Church has been declared the "Mother Church" of the AME denomination in the State of Alabama. 

COLUMBIA BAPTIST CHURCH

Columbia Baptist Church

Location: 200 N. Main Street, Columbia, Alabama
Marker Dedication or Erection Date: January 1, 1990
Erected by the Columbia Baptist Church and the Historic Chattahoochee Commission, 1990.

SIDE 1:
This church was constituted in 1835 following the withdrawal of six people from Omussee Baptist Church in a dispute over the role of missions. The first pastor Edmund Talbot, who served the Church until 1853, donated that land and had the church built at his own expense. It was situated at the present site of the Willis J. Bell grave in Columbia Cemetery. In 1859 a new building was constructed by Nathaniel Ferris Oakley just to the south of the original church. This was replaced by a red brick auditorium which was erected in 1885.

SIDE 2:
Columbia Baptist Church
The Omussee Baptist Church dissolved shortly after the "split-off" which resulted in the organization of the Columbia Baptist Church. Both churches probably belonged to the Chattahoochee River Association in their formative years. In 1839 the Church joined the Bethel Association of Georgia. It later affiliated with the Judson Association. On November 7, 1885 the Columbia Baptist Church participated in the organization meeting of the Columbia Baptist Association which was held at Bluff Spring Church in Henry County, Alabama.

COLUMBIA METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, SOUTH

COLUMBIA METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, SOUTH

Location: 108 East Church Street, Columbia, Alabama
Marker Dedication or Erection Date: March 29, 2009
Erected by the Historic Chattahoochee Commission, S.A. and Gerry Williams, and the Columbia United Methodist Church 2009.

SIDE 1:
COLUMBIA METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, SOUTH
History suggests that, in the early 1820's, circuit riding preachers from the South Carolina Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church arrived in the newly settled town of Columbia. Assigned to the Early County Mission in Georgia, these men served settlements on both sides of the Chattahoochee River. About 1832, a one room Methodist preaching house was established about two blocks west of this site. In 1889, a wooden structure at this location was completed at a cost of $2,000 and the first service was conducted on July 14 by Rev. J. M. Brown. The church was dedicated on September 27, 1891, at the close of the 11 o'clock service. In 1949, the building was bricked and annexes were added in 1956 and 1979.

SIDE 2:
COLUMBIA METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCH, SOUTH
On June 26, 1883, a Good Templers Lodge was organized at the church with about 25 members to promote temperance in the community. --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Prominent church members have included: Rev. Alpheus Reid Adams (1859-1933), a Methodist preacher of early churches in Barbour and (old) Henry County; Dr. John Fletcher Yarbrough (1864-1950), who was involved in work to eradicate pellagra; Mr. William L. Lee (1873-1944), a distinguished attorney who served southeast Alabama; Bishop Clare Purcell (1884-1964) who was elected President of the Council of Bishops; and Dr. William Graham Echols (1892-1982), minister and professor of religion at a number of colleges and universities.

DOTHAN FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH

Dothan First Baptist Church

Location: Located at 509 West Main Street, Dothan, Alabama.
Marker Dedication or Erection Date: December 6, 1987
Erected by the Historic Chattahoochee Commission and First Baptist Church, Dothan, 1987.

In November 1887 nine charter members organized the First Baptist Church of Dothan. In 1888 the Church erected a one room frame structure at 205 South Saint Andrews Street. A beautiful Gothic brick building in the SE corner of Main and Oates Streets was built in 1893 by the 120 members. By 1928 the congregation of 1,712 commenced services on this present site, 300 West Main Street. This Centennial year, 1987, having 21 pastors and established five other churches, the 4,569 members are engaged in a six million dollar expansion program. Our cornerstone, "The love of Christ constraineth us."

DOTHAN OPERA HOUSE

Dothan Opera House

Location: Located at the Opera House, 103 North St. Andrews Street, Dothan, Alabama.
Marker Dedication or Erection Date: February 11, 1979
Erected by the Historic Chattahoochee Commission, 1978.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places by the Department of the Interior December 16, 1977, through the efforts of the Dothan Landmarks Foundation, Incorporated. Constructed in 1915, this three-story masonry structure remains basically unaltered from its original plan. It has had an important cultural influence on Dothan, attracting from its early days, a wide variety of performing groups. It was completely renovated and restored in 1971. This splendid building, long noted for its fine acoustics, has seen a revival of its original cultural activities.

FIRST MISSIONARY BAPTIST CHURCH

First Missionary Baptist Church Dothan, Alabama

Location: 370 Chickasaw Street, Dothan, Alabama
Marker Dedication or Erection Date: January 31, 2005
Erected by the Historic Chattahoochee Commission and the first Missionary Baptist Church, 2004.

SIDE 1:
In 1889, Georgia Baptists led by Reverend W. M. Carter organized the New Hope Baptist Church in the village of Poplar Head. Reverend Robert Nelson was called as the first pastor. In 1907, newly-elected trustees incorporated its successor, the First Colored Baptist Church. In 1912, under pastor Dr. Thomas Bellinger of Pensacola, the church purchased land from the Saxon family, erected its original building, and renamed itself the First Missionary Baptist Church. The pastorate of Reverend C. C. Clency began in 1926 but ended in a schism that resulted in creating the North Highland Baptist Church.

SIDE 2:
First Missionary Baptist Church Dothan, Alabama
In 1940, the City of Dothan auctioned the Church property for unpaid gutter and curb assessments. The Church later regained ownership of its property and constructed its 1962 education building during the pastorate of Reverend Howard Creecy, Sr., of New Orleans. Reverend Rochester Johnson served from 1972 to 1992 and oversaw construction of a fellowship hall. The Church buried a centennial capsule near the halls entrance in 1989. The parsonage, parking lot, education wing, and fellowship wing complete the Churchs physical plant. First Missionary Baptist Church was listed on the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage in 2001, while Reverend B. K. Marshall was pastor.

GORDON BAPTIST CHURCH

GORDON BAPTIST CHURCH

Location: Gordon Baptist Church, Leslie Street at Church Street, Gordon, Alabama
Marker Dedication or Erection Date: May 16, 2004
Erected by the Historic Chattahoochee Commission, Gordon Baptist Church and Dothan Landmarks Foundation, 2004.

Side 1
Baptists of Gordon first erected a brush arbor church, Hope Arbor, circa 1819. On May 16, 1867 James Pynes gave one acre and timber to build a church in the town center. Pynes, William Wood and John T. Davis, Building Committee, signed the contract; 41 members pledged amountsfrom $5 to $500. Completed in 1868, it had a high portico with white columns and along flight of steps across the width of the portico. A square steeple with belfry topped the roof. Inside were wooden benches and a rear balcony. This wooden building later burned.

SIDE 2:
GORDON BAPTIST CHURCH
In 1907 plans were laid for the present brick church. Building Committee members were Sam Bowdon, E. L. Marbury, W. E. McEachern, J. B. Martin and T. D. McEachern. Solicitation Committee members included Marbury, Dr. C. E. Granberry, J. W. Britt, T. D. McEachern, and C. P. Bowdon. Committee to Secure a Lot Members were Dr. Granberry, W. E. McEachern, and Judge George Leslie. Although a struggle to finance and complete at a time of major economic downturn, minutes reflect E. L. Marbury was instructed June 12, 1910 to finish the building on his estimate of $400 for additional costs. Sam Bowdon gave a Tiffany-style stained glass window.

GORDON CEMETERY

Gordon Cemetery

Location: AL Hwy. 95 north of Gordon, Alabama
Marker Dedication or Erection Date: January 1, 2000
Erected by Descendants of the below Gordon Families. The Dothan Landmarks Foundation and the Historic Chattahoochee Commission
2000.

SIDE 1:
Mr. William Wood (b. 22 Mar. 1826, d. 15 Oct. 1885), a prominent Gordon businessman, donated one acre of land located north of the town center adjacent to the old river road, now U.S. Highway 95, from his large plantation estate to the Town of Gordon for the purpose of establishing a permanent cemetery for the town. In 1859 Mr. Wood was elected to the Alabama State Senate, serving four years. He was also an active Mason and served as mayor of Gordon. A prosperous merchant, he established two riverboat landings at Gordon, known as the Upper and Middle landings.

SIDE 2:
Below are some of the prominent early Gordon citizens buried in this cemetery. Mr. Arthur J. Bowdon, b. 1809
Mr. William Wood, b. 1826

Mr. Samuel Bowdon, b. 1835

Mr. Samuel J. Hall, b. 1837

Mr. McKelvey C. Marsh, b. 1848

Mr. Ben F. Snead, b. 1851

Mr. William G. Roundtree, Jr., b. 1852

Dr. T. R. McLendon, b. 1854

Mr. John R. Espy, b. 1856

Mr. E. F. Tuttle, b. 1858

HEADLAND PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH

Headland Presbyterian Church

Location: Located off U.S. Highway 431, north of Dothan, Alabama at Landmark Park, on the grounds of the church.
Marker Dedication or Erection Date: September 15, 1985
Erected by the Historic Chattahoochee Commission, Houston County Commission, Houston County Centennial Committee, 2003.

SIDE 1:
Organized on July 8, 1897 by the commission of South Alabama Presbytery. From the original seventeen members, J.D. Jones, N. M. McDonald, and I. M. Barton were elected ruling elders and Dr. Charles Sporman, D. R. Redding, and W. R. McDonald were elected deacons. A site on Scott Street, one block south of the square, was donated by Dr. Sporman and a building committee was appointed. $240 was subscribed for building materials from the membership. Around turn-of-the-century, a businessman by the name of Priced moved to Headland and joined the church. He offered to provide most of the labor and materials for the building.

SIDE 2:
Headland Presbyterian Church
The East Alabama Presbytery announced in Montgomery on October 13, 1908 that "By special help from Montgomery First Church and Dothan, the congregation at Headland was encouraged to build and has just completed a lovely church 35 x 35 and owe no man anything except to love one another." The membership declined and on September 18, 1966 the Church was dissolved by the Presbytery. The building was donated to Landmark Park by Mr. Sporman Knowles and moved to its present site in 1983. The church was then restored and furnished with the help of the Headland Community and other friends of Landmarks.

HOUSTON COUNTY

Houston County

Erected by the Historic Chattahoochee Commission, Houston County Commission, Houston County Centennial Committee, 2003

After much politicking, on February 9, 1903, delegates from this area, T. M. Espy, Byrd Farmer, and George H. Malone, were successful in getting a bill passed in the State Legislature to form a new county from parts of Henry, Dale and Geneva counties. The new county was named Houston after former Governor George S. Houston. On March 16, 1903 an election was held to choose a new county seat and Dothan won. In 1905 the Houston County courthouse was dedicated on this corner. In 1960 the first building was torn down and a new one was constructed. The new building opened in April, 1962.

Located on the northeast corner of the intersection of US 84 & US 231 (Main and Oates Streets), downtown Dothan, Alabama

GPS Coordinates: 31.22396 N 85.39223 W

Dedication date: 12-12-2003

 

 

 

JOHNNY MACK BROWN

JOHNNY MACK BROWN

Location: 100 bloc of South Saint Andrews Street, Dothan, AL
Marker Dedication or Erection Date: September 8, 2005
Erected by Dothan Landmarks Foundation, the City of Dothan, and the Historic Chattahoochee Commission 2005.

SIDE 1:
JOHNNY MACK BROWN
Johnny Mack Brown, an outstanding athlete and western movie star, was born in Dothan on Sept. 1, 1904. Johnny Mack was one of nine children born to John Henry and Hattie McGillivray Brown. The Brown family home was located on South Saint Andrews Street, just a few blocks south of this marker. He excelled as an athlete at Dothan High School and was an All-American halfback at the University of Alabama. It was his performance during Alabama's 1926 Rose Bowl victory over the Univ. of Washington that propelled Alabama into the football spotlight and Johnny Mack into a Hollywood movie career. (Continued on other side)

SIDE 2:
JOHNNY MACK BROWN
Johnny Mack made his first film in 1927 and went on to appear in 165 movie productions, including several on television. He acted with movie greats such as Mary Pickford, Mae West, Greta Garbo, Joan Crawford, and others. During the years 1940-1950, he was consistently ranked in the Top 10 in popularity polls of movie stars. Johnny Mack Brown is listed in the National Collegiate Football Hall of Fame, Rose Bowl Hall of Fame, Alabama Sports Hall of Fame, Alabama Stage & Screenwriters Hall of Fame, World Cowboy Gun Spinners Hall of Fame and received the Golden Boot Award from the Motion Picture & Television Fund. Johnny Mack Brown died in 1974.

LIBERTY BAPTIST CHURCH

Liberty Baptist Church

Location: 477 Liberty Road, Pansey, Alabama
Marker Dedication or Erection Date: August 8, 2004
Erected by the Historic Chattahoochee Commission and Liberty Baptist Church, 2004.

The church was organized in 1867 under a brush arbor very near the present sanctuary. The brush arbor was replaced by a log building and services were conducted in the log building until approximately 1895. It was in 1895 that Liberty Baptist Church joined the Columbia Baptist ssociation by petition. In 1896 a stacked plank frame building replaced the log building and was used until 1923. In 1924 the present sanctuary was built. All new converts were baptized in Cedar Creek.
"Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and intohis courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name." Psalm 100:4

MAIN STREET COMMERCIAL HISTORIC DISTRICT

Main Street Commercial Historic District

Location: Located at Main Street and Foster Street, downtown, Dothan, Alabama.
Marker Dedication or Erection Date: April 14, 1988
Erected by the Historic Chattahoochee Commission and the Dothan Landmarks Foundation, 1985.

SIDE 1:
The District encompasses the old downtown commercial center of Dothan and is characterized by a high concentration of closely spaced commercial and warehouse structures. The buildings in the District span the period of Dothan's early growth from 1885 to 1930. During this time Dothan grew from a small rural town into the trade and transportation nucleus of the Wiregrass, the last area of Alabama to be settled and developed. The District is composed of simple, one-story brick buildings as well as larger, more ornate urban-type structures such as the five-story Young Building.

SIDE 2:
Main Street Commercial Historic District
Contained within this district are a variety of brick, stone and concrete block structures which illustrate the function of the downtown area as the business center of Dothan. This section of the city began losing its importance as a commercial hub in the late 1960's when retail businesses began moving to outlying shopping centers and malls. Many buildings were vacated but efforts to preserve the historical significance of the area continue. The Main Street District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983, through the efforts of the Dothan Landmarks Foundation.

MALLALIEU SEMINARY

Mallalieu Seminary

Location: Broad Street in Kinsey, Alabama just east of Bethel Road.
Marker Dedication or Erection Date: November 16, 1993
Erected by the Historic Chattahoochee Commission, Town of Kinsey, Houston County Commission and Dothan Landmarks Foundation, 1993.

SIDE 1:
Organized in 1882 at nearby Rocky Creek Methodist Church for educational purposes. This school, which occupied approximately seven acres surrounding this marker, was supported by the Methodist Episcopal Church North. This school was first known as Forest Home Seminary and later named after Bishop Willard Francis Mallalieu. It was burned on 1885 by unknown sources, but was quickly rebuilt.

SIDE 2: Mallalieu Seminary
One of the few institutions of higher learning in Southeast Alabama, the Mallalieu Seminary taught grades one through twelve and offered courses such as Greek, Algebra, Latin, History, Chemistry, Music, Geology and the New and Old Testament. The Mallalieu Seminary permanently closed October 31, 1923 when the Methodist Episcopal Church North could no longer financially support the school.
Erected by the Historic Chattahoochee Commission, Town of Kinsey, Houston County Commission and Dothan Landmarks Foundation, 1993.

OLD COLUMBIA JAIL

Old Columbia Jail

Location: Located at the Jail, North Street, Columbia, Alabama.
Marker Dedication or Erection Date: September 10, 1978

SIDE 1:
Erected sometime in the early 1860's, the Old Columbia Jail is today one of the last wooden jails still standing in Alabama. Originally, there were two cells, each measuring 10 x 15 feet. Interior walls are studded every two inches with iron spikes to prevent prisoners from being able to escape. The Columbia Women's Club and the Columbia Bicentennial Committee have completely renovated the building as a museum to preserve some of the articles of historical interest to Columbia citizens.

SIDE 2:
Columbia
Formerly a prominent Chattahoochee River port-of-call, Columbia served as a major trading center for communities throughout the Wiregrass area of Alabama. Between 1822-1833, it was the county seat for Henry County which then comprised portions of present day Covington, Dale, Barbour, Coffee, Crenshaw, Bullock, Geneva and Houston Counties. At the turn of the century, Columbia was bypassed by the Alabama Midland Railway in favor of Dothan. As the railroads continued to take freight trade away from the riverboats, Columbia's position as a principal trade center began to decline

POPLAR HEAD SPRING

Poplar Head Spring

Location: Located at Poplar Head Park, intersection of E. Main Street and Appletree Street, Dothan, Alabama.
Marker Dedication or Erection Date: May 2, 1982
Erected by the Historic Chattahoochee Commission, 1978.

Located near this market is the Poplar Head Spring which served as a meeting place for Indian traders prior to the arrival of the white and black settlers. The Alibamu Indians of the Chattahoochee River basin met the Creeks of the Choctawhatchee River basin at the springs frequently to trade. The first whites and blacks arrived in the early 1830's. Of these the lumber and turpentine operators came first. They were followed by William Cawthon, a cattle king from Georgia. By 1858, the community now called Poplar Head had nine families. However, the turmoil of the War Between the States and Reconstruction resulted in virtual abandonment of the community. In 1881, only 3 families lived at Poplar Head Spring. However, by 1885, enough families had settled in Poplar Head to meet the minimum size needed to incorporate. Through a special election on November 10, 1885, Poplar Head community became Dothan, a city to be.

PURCELL-KILLINGSWORTH HOUSE

Purcell-Killingsworth House

Location: 305 N. Main Street, Columbia, Alabama
Marker Dedication or Erection Date: November 25, 1989.
Erected by the Historic Chattahoochee Commission and the Purcell Family, 1989.

This house, also known as Travelers Rest, was completed in 1890 by William Henry Purcell (1845-1910) a prominent Columbia businessman and politician. Purcell had many business interests including a steamboat landing on the Chattahoochee River. This was the boyhood home of Bishop Clare Purcell (1884-1964) who, in 1955, was elected President of the Council of Bishops, the highest place of recognition ever achieved by a native-born Alabama Methodist minister. In 1946 the Purcell family sold the two acre homestead to Mr. & Mrs. Henry Killingsworth who have meticulously restored this imposing Victorian mansion. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places December 16, 1982.

SHELLEY GENERAL STORE

SHELLEY GENERAL STORE

Location: Within Dothan Landmark Park, 430 Landmark Drive, Dothan, AL
Marker Dedication or Erection Date: December 10, 2006
Erected by the Historic Chattahoochee Commission, the Henry County Historical Group and Mac Davis, Jr. (great grandson of W. L. "Billy" Shelley) 2006

SIDE 1:
SHELLEY GENERAL STORE
William Lafayette Shelley (1868-1953), son of Mark Shelley and Mary Jane Ronie Shelley, was a progressive farmer and entrepreneur in the Tumbleton community of Henry County, Alabama. "Papa Billy", as he was known by family, impacted the religious, educational, political and banking fabric of the county. He built this store near his home in 1911 as a cannery for canning vegetables as well as peaches acquired from Georgia. His canned goods carried the Shelley label. The cannery later closed and became the Shelley General Store. The store became a gathering place where "Tall Tales" were exchanged.

SIDE 2:
SHELLEY GENERAL STORE
Men would sit around the pot bellied stove in winter shucking oysters and pitching hulls out the rear window. A blacksmith shop stood next to the store. Dewey Shelley, a son of Mr. Billy, became the store operator. The Shelley Store closed in 1932 and was used for storage when Mr. Billy built a new store nearby. From 1978-83, this building housed Jo's Antiques owned and operated by Jolaine Masters, a granddaughter of Mr. Billy. This building again was used for storage until 1994, when the William (Billy) Lafayette Shelley family donated the Shelley General Store to the Dothan Landmarks Foundation.

SOUTHERN BOUNDARY OF THE UNITED STATES, 1795-1819

Southern Boundary of the United States, 1795-1819

Location: Located on the east side of Highway 231 at Ellicott's Crossing, Alabama/Florida State Line.
Marker Dedication or Erection Date: October 27, 1995
Erected by the Houston County Commission, Dothan Landmarks Foundation, and the Historic Chattahoochee Commission, 1995.

On October 27, 1795, the United States concluded the Treaty of San Lorenzo with Spain, establishing 31 north latitude as the boundary between its southern territory and West Florida. Despite Spanish delays, commissions representing the two countries began the eastward survey at the Mississippi River. They passed this point in August 1799, and continued to the Chattahoochee River. They later abandoned the boundary survey east of the river due to persistent Indian attacks. The 381 mile survey became known as Ellicott's line in reference to Andrew Ellicott, surveyor for the U.S. commission.

THE NAMING OF DOTHAN

The Naming of Dothan

Location: Located at Millennium Park, 100 block of N. Appletree Street, Dothan, Alabama.
Marker Dedication or Erection Date: May 30, 2001
Erected by the Historic Chattahoochee Commission and Wiregrass Museum of Art, Houston County Kiwanis Club, The Downtown Group, 2001.

SIDE 1:
Near the location of Poplar Head Park (200 feet west of this marker) was once a large spring surrounded by poplar trees. Two well-beaten trails crossed near the spring and the area was often used as a camping and resting place for Native Americans and early settlers. In the early 1800's William Cawthon, from Georgia, built a corral for his cattle near the spring and the area first became known as "Cawthon's Cowpen." Later, several families built log cabins nearby and dubbed the little settlement "Poplar Head" due to poplar trees and spring.

SIDE 2:
The Naming of Dothan
In 1858, the tiny Poplar Head Community requested a post office. Since there was a town called Poplar Spring in the state, the postal authorities arbitrarily assigned the name Dothan to the new post office to prevent misdirected mail. Early maps and documents show the town name was spelled two different ways: Dothen or Dothan. The city fathers finally settled on the spelling to coincide with the Bible passage "For I heard them say 'Let us go down to Dothan' " (Genesis 37:17) when the town was officially incorporated on November 10, 1885.

THE WADDELL HOUSE

The Waddell House

Location: Located at Dothan Landmark Park off U.S. Highway 431, four miles from downtown Dothan, Alabama.
Marker Dedication or Erection Date: December 9, 1979
Erected by the Historic Chattahoochee Commission and the Dothan Landmarks Foundation, 1979.

SIDE 1:
This quaint turn of the century farmhouse originally stood on an 80 acre farm, located 2 miles west of the Houston County Courthouse. The house was built by Bud Bush of heart pine lumber from the sawmill owned and operated by Lesker H. Waddell. In 1906 Mr. Waddell purchased the house and acreage, completely furnishing it during the next three years. In 1909 he brought his bride, Gypsy Hall, to live on the farm. Three children, Earl, Byrd and Iona were born in this house. The house and furnishings remained unaltered until the death of Mrs. Waddell in 1976. Mr. Waddell died in 1956.

SIDE 2:
The Waddell House
This house was threatened with destruction by Dothan's rapid growth. In 1978 the Waddell Family donated the house and outbuildings to the Dothan Landmarks Foundation. In January 1979 these buildings were moved to this site as the first phase toward the development of the Landmarks Center for Natural Science and History. Today this house and surrounding land stand as a living memorial to the early farmers of the Wiregrass Area who contributed so much to our heritage.