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Lee County

AUBURN UNITED METHODIST CHURCH FOUNDER'S CHAPEL

AUBURN UNITED METHODIST CHURCH FOUNDER'S CHAPEL

Marker Dedication or Erection Date: 2004
Erected by the Historic Chattahoochee Commission and Preservation Alliance of Auburn, 2004.

In 1836 Judge John Harper with 34 other Methodists from Harris County, Georgiasettled here. They built a log structure on this site, the first church and school in Auburn.In 1856 church leaders inspired the Methodist Conference to open East Alabama Male College. It later became a state institution and namedAuburn University in 1960. In 1899 this building was encased in brick and the pipe organ installed.It became a fellowship hall when the sanctuary was built in 1955. In 1992 it was restored and named Founder's Chapel.

AUBURN UNIVERSITY CHAPEL

AUBURN UNIVERSITY CHAPEL

Marker Dedication or Erection Date: May 7, 1995
Erected by the Historic Chattahoochee Commission and the Auburn Heritage Association, 1994.

SIDE 1:
AUBURN UNIVERSITY CHAPEL
The University Chapel is the oldest public building in the city of Auburn. Built as a Presbyterian Church, the first service was held in the original Greek Revival-style building on September 13, 1851. Edwin Reese, spiritual leader to the tiny congregation, had the bricks made by slaves on his plantation. The founder of the town, Judge John J. Harper, gave the land. The first minister was the Reverend Albert Shotwell. The small church has seen several renovations over the years, and dramatically changed in appearance from Greek Revival to Gothic style. Originally the church had two entrances, one for men and one for women. The church building has served many purposes, and played an integral part in the town's history. In the 19th Century it was used as a Confederate hospital, a meeting place for the first Episcopal congregation and in 1887 when the main building burned at Alabama Polytechnic Institute, the college used the building for a temporary classroom. By 1917, the Presbyterian congregation with over 100 members, moved to their new building on the corner of Gay and Thach. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places by the Department of the Interior, National Park Service, May 22, 1973.

SIDE 2:
AUBURN UNIVERSITY CHAPEL
In 1921, the Alabama Polytechnic Institute acquired the building which had been renovated in a Gothic style around 1900. Until 1926 it served a variety of social functions housing the U.S.O. and later the Y.M.C.A. - Y.W.C.A., giving it the long time sobriquet the "Y" Hut. On July 27, 1926, the Auburn Players made their debut performance, and until 1973 it was University Theatre. In 1976, after extensive renovation designed by Professor Nicholas Davis, the old church re-opened as the University Chapel, and interdenominational, multipurpose building. During renovation, the hand-made trusses, girders and joists, slotted and pegged together, were discovered. The new ceiling was built above this wooden network to highlight this original feature. The new entrance doors are replicas of the originals, as is the steeple. The beautiful old bricks were cleaned, repaired, and a new layer of mortar put into the joints. Landscaped walkways and curving brick walls were all added. Funds for the project were given by the E. L. Spencer, Jr. family. It stands today as a blend of the old and the new, a reminder of Auburn's religious, academic, and social history.

BAPTIST HILL

BAPTIST HILL

Marker Dedication or Erection Date: March 5, 1995
Erected by the Historic Chattahoochee Commission and the Auburn Heritage Association, 1994.

SIDE 1:
BAPTIST HILL
Auburn's first separate black community cemetery offers a rich source of the city’s black heritage. Much of the history is oral but it is known that a white man gave most of the land in the early 1870’s. The four acre cemetery contains over 500 marked graves and many others are unmarked. The oldest grave is dated 1879. Those interred here are a cross section of the city’s blacks. Many were born slaves but later succeeded in teaching or business. The cemetery is still in use and is maintained by the City of Auburn but its ownership is unknown. Documentation of the site was done by the auburn Heritage Association in 1990.

SIDE 2:
BAPTIST HILL
Though located at the base of a slope, the cemetery derives its name from Ebenezer Baptist Church on a hill to the west. Ebenezer, established in 1865, was the first black churched formed in Auburn after the Civil War. The church building was erected before 1870 on land donated by Lonnie Payne, a white man. The church was so prominent in the area that it gave the name "Baptist Hill" to the vicinity. Its members were the first buried in the cemetery although members of other black churches are now interred here. Ebenezer was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978. The cemetery was added to the Alabama Register in 1994.

BEAN'S MILL

BEAN'S MILL

Location: Located on US Highway 29 at mile marker 197 (approximately 6 miles east of Opelika)
Marker Dedication or Erection Date: May 11, 2002
Erected by the Historic Chattahoochee Commission and Lee County Historical Society, 2002.

SIDE 1:
BEAN'S MILL
In 1832, Kotch,ar Yoholo owned the site. Moses Wheat and son, Francis, owned saw and grist mills on this site in the late 1830s. Francis died in 1838 from an accident at the mills. In 1852 the property was owned by John 'Jack' Floyd and son, James C. In 1858 John sold his share to James, who took Hiram Murphy as a partner. The Grist Mill washed out in 1874 and was replaced with a structure on stone foundations above normal high water. The mill remained in the Floyd Family until 1899. It is the only one left of several mills once located on Halawakee Creek.

SIDE 2:
BEAN'S MILL
Here in 1897 the first iron bridge in Lee County was built. In 1903 George W. Bean bought the mill, operating it until his death in 1952. About 1910 Bean installed an iron overshot wheel to replace the old turbine. Later, the dam height was raised two feet. On March 30, 1939, FDR on his way to Warm Springs stopped his motorcade for a visit. In 1989 John M. Ross purchased the deteriorated mill with 80 acres. Ross reconstructed the mill to operating condition in 1997. On October 1, 1997, the Alabama Historical Commission placed it on the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage.

BOTSFORD SCHOOL 1923 – 1950

SIDE 1

Botsford School 1923 – 1950

Erected by the Auburn Heritage Association, Farmville Community Club and the Historic Chattahoochee Commission 2015

Botsford School 1923 – 1950 The Botsford family came to the Farmville area, then Chambers County, in 1839. Later, Robert and Ida Botsford donated land for a new school. In 1923, the white wood frame structure with white siding was built. It had three classrooms housing grades one through three, four and five, and six and seven. Each room had a pot-bellied stove for heat. Two of the classrooms could be joined by moving folding doors to create an auditorium. The first principal was Mrs. Elizabeth Bradley. Families attending through the early years include the Bradleys, Woods, Clements and Coopers. Today, Botsford School is the oldest standing school building in Lee County.

SIDE 2

FARNVILLE COMMUNITY CLUB

Location: Located at the corner of US Highway 280 and Alabama Highway 147, Auburn, AL
Erected by the Auburn Heritage Association, Farmville Community Club and the Historic Chattahoochee Commission 2015

Mr. P. I. Washington offered a resolution on July 16, 1958 to form the Farmville Community Club for the purpose of promoting knowledge and establishing places of public recreation. On July 18, 1958, the Club was incorporated and purchased the Botsford School building and property from the State of Alabama for $500. Initial trustees were Milligan Earnest, Ward T. Bryant, and Louis Lyman Pittman. Mrs. A. C. Carter was Secretary. The By-Laws Committee was composed of Mrs. Mable Bryant, J. O. Helmes, and Mrs. Wilda Pittman. The Farmville Community Club continues to nurture a community of caring families involved in improving and enjoying this area of Lee County.

CARY HALL

CARY HALL

Location: Cary Hall front lawn, corner of Thatch & Donahue, Auburn, AL
Marker Dedication or Erection Date: October 26, 2007
Erected by the Auburn Heritage Association and the Historic Chattahoochee Commission with support from the College of Veterinary Medicine Centennial Club and the Alabama Veterinary Medical Association 2007.

SIDE 1:
CARY HALL, BUILT 1940, A MEMORIAL TO DR. CHARLES ALLEN CARY (1861-1935)
Dr. Charles Cary, a native of Iowa and graduate of Iowa State in 1887, came to Auburn in 1892 and taught the first class of veterinary medicine at Alabama Polytechnic Institute. He has been called the Father of Veterinary Medicine in the South. In 1896, he helped to establish the first meat and milk inspection system in the United States. Named the first Alabama State Veterinarian in 1905, Dr. Cary became the dean of the newly formed College of Veterinary Medicine at Auburn (API) in 1907, the first in the South. Innovative campaigns to eradicate bovine tuberculosis and Texas tick fever were just a few of Dr. Cary's accomplishments, as well as work with brucellosis. He was President of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Executive Secretary of the Alabama Veterinary Medical Associaiton, Alabama Livestock Association and United States Livestock Sanitary Association.

SIDE 2:
CARY HALL, BUILT 1940, A MEMORIAL TO DR. CHARLES ALLEN CARY (1861-1935)
Dr. Cary's practical teaching methods included performing animal surgery under a campus shade oak to instruct his students. His Saturday clinics and summer institutes taught farmers about the prevention and treatment of animal diseases. When he was nominated to the Alabama Hall of Fame in 1957, it was stated Dr. Cary did more for Alabama livestock production and for the protection of the purity of food products than any other man of his time. Built as a memorial to Dr. Cary in 1940, Cary Hall denotes classical revival architecture with symmetrical design indicative of academic and governmental buildings of the era. Four Tuscan style columns highlight the stair portal. The recessed door consists of an Ovum trim with Scotia stone accents at the top. Stone Quoins are at the vertical recessed steps of the building.

CHEWACLA STATE PARK (CCC)

Chewacla State Park (CCC)

Location: Chewacla State Park, 124 Shell Toomer Parkway, Auburn, Alabama
Marker Dedication or Erection Date: October 25, 2009
Erected by the Historic Chattahoochee Commission and Auburn Heritage Assocation.

SIDE 1:
CHEWACLA STATE PARK (CCC)
Under President Franklin D. Roosevel'ts New Deal (1933-1942), the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) was established to provide work for single young men. The CCC's Company 4448, Camp Alabama SP-12, began work in September 1935 to construct Chewacla Park. By March 1941, they had built a dam and 26-acre lake, roads, trails, cabins, bathhouse, manager's house, arch bridge, and office. Barracks, mess hall, and canteen were also built on site to house the men who were from Alabama and other Southern states.

SIDE 2:
CHEWACLA STATE PARK (CCC)
Company 4447, Camp SCS-9, was located in Lee County about one mile south of Auburn. Company 4447 did soil conservation work on farms, controlled highway erosion, and assisted Company 4448 with quarrying stone for the new park. These camps were in District H, headquartered in Fort Benning, Georgia. Vocational and educational opportunities were made available to enrollees of the CCC program. The park was turned over to the State of Alabama, with the creation of the Alabama State Park System in 1939, and CCC work continued through 1941.

CITY HALL

CITY HALL

Location: Located at 144 Tichenor Avenue, Auburn, Alabama
Marker Dedication or Erection Date: September 17, 2002
Erected by the Historic Chattahoochee Commission, the City of Auburn and the Auburn Heritage Association, 2002.

SIDE 1:
CITY HALL
In 1846, Auburn's Founder, Judge John J. Harper deeded the property on this corner to Simeon Perry, as town agent for two of the earliest public schools in Auburn. A member of the settlement party, Perry laid out the original boundaries of the City of Auburn. In 1931, the City of Auburn donated this land for a larger post office. Congress gave $90,000 for its construction and the building was completed in 1933, while Levi Knapp was Postmaster. First class status was attained here in 1940 under Postmaster Homer Wright, and it served as the post office until 1991. It was at least the seventh location for town postal service.

SIDE 2:
CITY HALL
The City of Auburn bought the building in 1992 for $375,000. In 1999, the City Council voted to renovate it as City Hall. It was dedicated in 2001. The building has a "Starved-Classical," symmetrical style, with pointed pediments, typical of Federal Depression architecture. These elements have been preserved through several additions and renovations. Postmasters who served Auburn on this site: Levi A. Knapp; Homer Wright; Mrs. Katherine Wright; Jay G. Hitchcock; Harold Nall; Charles M. Dawson; Bill Kitchen; J. Dan McLaughlin. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places by the U.S. Department of the Interior in 1983.

DARDEN HOUSE

DARDEN HOUSE

Location: 1323 Auburn Street, Opelika, Alabama
Marker Dedication or Erection Date: June 27, 2003
Erected by the Historic Chattahoochee Commission and the Opelika Historic Preservation Society, 2003.

Dr. John Wesley Darden, was the first AfricanAmerican physician to treat patients within a 30-mile radius of Opelika. He built the Darden House in 1904, and later married Maude Jean Logan of Montgomery. Dr. and Mrs. Darden shaped many lives through their commitment to the community by providing better health care and education. The Darden House became the social and political center of the African American community in Opelika. Dr. Darden sometimes saw patients in a clinic on the main floor and many gatherings and events were held here over the years. Prominent visitors to the Darden House included Booker T. Washington, George Washington Carver, and A. G. Gaston.

 

DILLARD-LAWSON HOUSE

DILLARD-LAWSON HOUSE

Marker Dedication or Erection Date: 2000
Erected by the Auburn Heritage Association and the Historic Chattahoochee Commission, 2000.

Built by Auburn merchant A. L. Dillard in 1894, the home was once part of the old Scott Plantation. It was one of the first homes in Auburn to have an indoor bath and electricity. An unusual feature of the house is the gray stone, for which Dillard invented a secret formula to make it moisture proof. Mrs. Dillard and her daughter were the first registered women voters in Lee County. In 1925, Sigma Pi Fraternity was chartered here. The James L. Lawson family owned the house from 1939-1984. It was home to Mabel Yearby, the first woman defense lawyer in Alabama. In 1984 the house was sold to business interests.

 

DR. ALEXANDAR NUNN/LEE COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY

DR. ALEXANDAR NUNN/LEE COUNTY HISTORICAL SOCIETY

Marker Dedication or Erection Date: August 3, 2008
Erected by the Historic Chattahoochee Commission and Lee County Historical Society 2008.

SIDE 1:
Dr. Alexandar Nunn
Dr. Nunn was born in Loachapoka on September 17, 1904. Beginning in 1924 he contributed to and edited the Progressive Farmer Magazine for 43 years. He helped to start Southern Living Magazine, retiring in 1967 as executive editor and executive vice president. In 1968 he was a founding member of the Lee County Historical Society and was appointed Lee County's first official historian. He wrote two books and numerous articles about Loachapoka and the communities nearby. He believed in education for all people and contributed liberally to scholarships for black youth. He died January 6, 1985.

SIDE 2:
Lee County Historical Society
The Society was organized in 1968 to study the history and traditions of Lee County and to preserve the findings, to collect records, books and items relating to its history, to mark historic sites, and to promote and preserve buildings and objects of historical value in and around Lee County. The First Trustees were: Alexander Nunn, Chairman; T.J. Peddy; A.B. Williams, Jr.; Prince Webster; Jimmy H. Graves; J.G. Adams; James Noel Baker; Mrs. Carolyn Dixon; James Trammell. The First Officers were: T.J. Peddy, Pres.; M.H. Hawkins, Vice-Pres.; Mrs. J.G. Adams, Sec.; Robert H. Slaton, Treas.

EBENEZER BAPTIST CHURCH / BAPTIST HILL / EAST THACH AVENUE

EBENEZER BAPTIST CHURCH / BAPTIST HILL / EAST THACH AVENUE

Location: ocated at the Church on East Thach Avenue, Auburn, Alabama.
Marker Dedication or Erection Date: December 10, 1978
Erected by the Historic Chattahoochee Commission, 1978.

SIDE 1:
EBENEZER BAPTIST CHURCH / BAPTIST HILL / EAST THACH AVENUE
This simple frame structure was built by newly freed black men and women before 1870. The property on which the building stands was given to a member of the Ebenezer congregation in 1865, the year the War Between the States ended, by a white landowner, Lonnie Payne. The church is built of hand hewn logs, felled on the Frazer plantation, northeast of Auburn, and were hauled by mule to this site. Members of the congregation constructed the building. The Church and its early leaders figured prominently in Alabama's black Baptist history. The church congregation held its services here until 1969.

SIDE 2:
EBENEZER BAPTIST CHURCH / BAPTIST HILL / EAST THACH AVENUE
Pastors serving church at this site: Reverend Tom Glynn Reverend Ishman Pollard Reverend I. T. Simpson Reverend C. J. Davis Reverend H. E. Jones Reverend Saunders Reverend O.D. Slaughter Reverend J. M. Alexander Reverend G. R. Young, Jr.

EMMANUEL EPISCOPAL CHURCH

EMMANUEL EPISCOPAL CHURCH

Location: 800 1st Avenue, Opelika, Alabama
Marker Dedication or Erection Date: November 6, 2004
Erected by the Historic Chattahoochee Commission, Opelika Historical Preservation and Emmanuel Episcopal Church, 2004.

Organized in 1858, Trinity Mission was admitted to the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama on May 5, 1860. When the first church was consecrated on this site in 1862, it was renamed Emmanuel, meaning "God With Us." That building was destroyed by a tornado in 1869. The cornerstone for the present church was laid on Easter Day 1872. Built of native fieldstone from the Nelson and Sarah Carruthers Clayton Plantation north of Opelika, Emmanuel is the oldest public building in Opelika. Born of hope during Reconstruction, this little stone church stands as a testament to pioneer faith and endurance and remains a living monument to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

FIRST ROSENWALD SCHOOL

FIRST ROSENWALD SCHOOL

Location: Located in Pioneer Park, Loachapoka, Alabama
Marker Dedication or Erection Date: November 12, 2011
Erected by the Historic Chattahoochee Commission and Lee County Historical Society 2011.

SIDE 1:
FIRST ROSENWALD SCHOOL
On this site once stood the first of over 5,300 Rosenwald schools for black children built between 1913 and 1932. The schools were started in a collaboration between Julius Rosenwald, CEO of Sears, Roebuck, and Company and Booker T. Washington, Principal of Tuskegee Institute. The dedication was held on May 18, 1913. Rosenwald grew up poor and believed in self-help; consequently, he paid for only part of the expenses to build the schools. The rest was to be raised by community members, both black and white. All of the schools were built from a selection of plans designed by an architect at Tuskegee Institute.

SIDE 2:
FIRST ROSENWALD SCHOOL
The first teacher at the Loachapoka school was L. Pearl Rouseau. Initially, there was no principal; the school was overseen by the State. The initial school year lasted only three months; the second was expanded to nine months. Basic courses in reading and arithmetic were taught in the one-room building, with no power or plumbing. Rosenwald gave three hundred dollars toward the school, and the remainder of the total cost of nine hundred forty-two dollars and forty-six cents was given by local residents, both black and white, along with the labor. This school was the only source for educating black citizens in the area. It closed in the late 1950's.

FIRST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH

FIRST UNITED METHODIST CHURCH

Location: Located at 702 Avenue A, Opelika, Alabama.
Marker Dedication or Erection Date: 1987
Erected by the Historic Chattahoochee Commission and Opelika First United Methodist Church, 1987.

Established as the first religious organization in the area in 1836 with 22 members as Labanon Methodist Episcopal Church, around which the village of Opelika developed. Moved to present location in 1879 as Opelika Station, Montgomery District, Methodist Episcopal Church, South. Red brick steepled building completed in 1881. Renamed "First Methodist Episcopal Church, South of Opelika" by Quarterly Conference in 1905. Remodeled in 1909 to present Classical Revival style characterized by fluted columns, Corinthians capitals and sanctuary dome. 

GENERAL JAMES HENRY LANE HOUSE/WOMAN’S CLUB OF AUBURN

GENERAL JAMES HENRY LANE HOUSE/WOMAN’S CLUB OF AUBURN

Location: Located at the corner of Thach & College Street, Auburn, Alabama.
Marker Dedication or Erection Date: October 8, 1992
Erected by the Historic Chattahoochee Commission and the Women’s Club of Auburn, 1992.

The Lane House, built in 1853 at the corner of Thach and College Street, was home to several Auburn University notables. E. T. Glenn, Treasurer, leased it in 1873. General James H. Lane, Aide to General Stonewall Jackson and Head of Engineering, purchased the house in 1884. Daughter Mary married Dean George Petrie, author of the Auburn Creed. Daughter Kate Meade Lane was the last resident. Mollie Hollifield Jones purchased the house in 1960 for the Woman's Club. The house was moved to its present location in 1962. It was placed on the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage in 1991.

J.F. DRAKE HIGH SCHOOL/ALMA MATER

J.F. DRAKE HIGH SCHOOL/ALMA MATER

Marker Dedication or Erection Date: 2008
Erected by the Historic Chattahoochee Commission and Auburn City Schools Board of Education Dedicated to J.F. Drake High Alumni 2008.

SIDE 1:
J.F. DRAKE HIGH SCHOOL
J.F. Drake High School, formerly Lee County Training School, educated Black children of the community from 1958 to 1970. It bears the name of Dr. Joseph Fanning Drake. Drake consisted of 12 classrooms, gymnasium, kitchen, and band room/storage room. The State of Alabama curriculum was the course of study which included vocational and college preparatory. Extracurricular activities included sports, theater, and performing and fine arts. Dr. R.E. Moore was principal during the school's existence. School colors were maroon and white and the mascot was the Wildcat.

SIDE 2:
ALMA MATER
Hail to thee, Our Alma Mater, Drake High School Though we toil we'll not forget thee, Drake High School We will love thee as our home, Though amid life's grandeur roam; Alma Mater, Alma Mater Drake High School Lee County the home of southern beauty, We love thee well. Let our voices ring with praises Thy wonders tell. We, thy loyal sons and daughters, Pledge to thee our loyalty, for we love thee, yes we love thee Drake High School

 

KILLGORE SCHOLARSHIPS

KILLGORE SCHOLARSHIPS

Marker Dedication or Erection Date: 1997
Erected by the Historic Chattahoochee Commission, 1997.

SIDE 1:
KILLGORE SCHOLARSHIPS
Here James A. Killgore (1888-1966) and his wife, Ophelia Parker, operated a grocery store from 1916 to 1944. The Killgores worked hard, practiced frugality, and invested money wisely, desiring to help deserving students pursue a college education. The Killgores willed one million, two hundred thousand dollars for a trust fund to provide college scholarships for graduates of Lee County High Schools: Auburn High, Opelika High, Beauregard High, Beulah High, and Smith's Station High. Since 1967, the Killgore Scholarships have assisted hundreds of students with their college education.
Provided by a friend, G. A. "Chief" Mitchell and the Lee County Commission. 

SIDE 2:
SOME TERMS OF SCHOLARSHIPS
Since its beginning over 900 students have received scholarships. The Killgore Scholarships were established to reward students for their efforts and to encourage them to continue their education. Four-year scholarships are awarded annually to students from Auburn, Beauregard, Beulah, Opelika, and Smith's Station High Schools for achieving excellence. Girls receive $750 each year, boys $500. Military service, personal illness or family matters only may interrupt a student’s education funded by these scholarships.
Provided by a friend, G. A. "Chief" Mitchell and the Lee County Commission. 

LEE COUNTY COURTHOUSE

LEE COUNTY COURTHOUSE

Location: Located on Lee County Courthouse lawn, Opelika, Alabama.
Marker Dedication or Erection Date: July 19, 1978
Erected by the Historic Chattahoochee Commission, 1978.

SIDE 1:
LEE COUNTY COURTHOUSE
Lee County was created from portions of Russell, Macon, Chambers and Tallapoosa by act of the Alabama legislature, approved December 5, 1866. The county's first election was held January 21, 1867. An early courthouse stood across the street from the present structure. In 1896, when W. C. Robinson was Probate Judge, erection of today’s courthouse got underway: low bid, $23, 000; architect’s fee, $1,000; total bond issue, including jail, $35,000. Last bonds paid off in late 1930’s. Placed on the National Register of Historic Places July 23, 1973.
Erected by the Historic Chattahoochee Commission, 1978.

SIDE 2:
LEE COUNTY PROBATE JUDGES
David Read, January 21, 1867- August 10, 1872 Wilson Williams, August 1872 – 1880 James K. Edwards, 1881- October 20, 1883 Thomas L. Frazer, November 2, 1883 - 1886 William Carlisle Robinson, 1887 – 1898 Frank Monroe Renfro, 1899 – 1904 John B. Lyons, Late 1904 – May 24, 1915 Griffin P. Butler, June 1, 1915 – November 28, 1932 Lum Duke, late 1932 – January 1935 John T. Frazer, January 15, 1935 – January 25, 1949 James Lewis Killian, 1949- 1950 Ira H. Weissinger, Sr., November 11, 1950 – January 17, 1977 I. H. (Hal) Smith, January 18, 1977 –

 

LIEUTENANT COLONEL DALLAS B. SMITH

LIEUTENANT COLONEL DALLAS B. SMITH

Location: 600 7th Avenue, Opelika, AL
Marker Dedication or Erection Date: May 26, 2006
Erected by the Opelika Historic Preservation Society and the Historic Chattahoochee Commission 2005.

LIEUTENANT COLONEL DALLAS B. SMITH
Dalls "Dal" Smith (1883-1935) was a veteran of the First World War. During his time of service, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, Purple Heart and a Regimental Citation. He commanded the 3rd Battalion of the 167th Regiment. After the war, Lieutenant Colonel Smith served in several reigonal and national positions with the Veterans Insurance Program. The Armory was named in his honor in 1938. He is remembered for his community service in the Rotary Club, the Boy Scouts of America and the Masons.

 

LOACHAPOKA HISTORIC DISTRICT

LOACHAPOKA HISTORIC DISTRICT

Location: Located on Alabama Highway 14 in Loachapoka, Alabama.
Marker Dedication or Erection Date: October 14, 1978
Erected by the Historic Chattahoochee Commission, 1978.

SIDE 1:
LOACHAPOKA HISTORIC DISTRICT
One of the larger settlements of the Upper Creeks at the time of Indian Removal to the West, 1835-1837. Their last Council Fire was held here before their forced migration to Oklahoma. Pioneer families began pouring in after 1836. Today's cemetery was known as Pine Level; the fist Baptist church was located there. A half mile south was Ball’s Fork, trade center and stagecoach junction. Loachapoka can be interpreted as "land where turtles live," or "turtle killing place."

SIDE 2:
BOOM AND CHANGE
Coming of the railroad from Montgomery in 1845 started a new era, with Loachapoka's name revived. It became the trade center for Waverly, Roxana, Rome, Camp Hill, Dudleyville and Dadeville. Rousseau’s Raiders hit Loachapoka at sundown, Sunday, July 17, 1864, and stayed one day. Census of 1870 indicated a population of 1,254, but Reconstruction, migration, 1873 panic, and railroad extension from Opelika to Dadeville in the early 1870’s destroyed the town’s preeminence. Loachapoka was placed on the National Register of Historic Places, May 11, 1973.

 

MAX ADAMS MORRIS

MAX ADAMS MORRIS

Location: In front of the William Nichols ROTC Building on Donahue Drive, Auburn University, Alabama
Marker Dedication or Erection Date: May 24, 2012
Erected by the Historic Chattahoochee Commission, Alpha Psi Veterinary Fraternity, Auburn University, and the Auburn Heritage Association, 2012.

SIDE 1:
MAX ADAMS MORRIS
Max Adams Morris b. December 7, 1918, of Blountsville, Alabama, entered Alabama Polytechnic Institute (API) in 1938, was a varsity football player and became a member of "A"club, Scabbard & Blade, and Blue Key honor societies. In July 1941, while attending ROTC camp at Fort Benning, Georgia, Morris rescued Wayne B. Nelson, Jr., and attempted to rescue H. Daughtry Perritt, API cadets, from electrocution from a fallen radio tower. For that act, Morris was awarded the Carnegie Medal for heroism. He graduated in 1942, was commissioned a second lieutenant, promoted to major and awarded the Bronze Star and Army Commendation Ribbon during WWII. During the Korean War, Major Morris served in the 57th Field Artillery Battalion, 7th Infantry Division. He was killed in action at the Chosin Reservoir in North Korea on Nov. 28, 1950. His remains have not yet been recovered.

SIDE 2:
MAX ADAMS MORRIS DRILL FIELD
The original Max Adams Morris Drill Field was dedicated on May 14, 1953, by API President Ralph Draughon and located at the intersection of Wire Road, Thach, and Magnolie Avenues. Max Morris Field was dedicated as a tribute to those men and womean of the Armed Forces who gave their lives in the defense of this country and a tribute to the courage of Auburn students in their determination to preserve the freedom and ideals for which generations of Americans have sacrificed so much. For many years, Max Morris Field served as both ROTC drill field and a venue for intramural sports activities. This drill field in front of William Nichols Center is rededicated as the Max A. Morris Drill Field, a tribute to Major Morris and the above mentioned ideals.

 

NOBLE HALL

NOBLE HALL

Location: Located at 1433 Lee Road 97, 3 miles north of Auburn, Alabama.
Marker Dedication or Erection Date: 1988
Erected by the Historic Chattahoochee Commission and the Lee County Historical Society, 1988.

SIDE 1:
NOBLE HALL
Side 1 The Greek Revival rock and mortar house was built by Addison Frazer (1809-1873) between 1852 and 1854 and served as the center for a 2,000 acre cotton plantation. Frazer owned 100 slaves and was on the Board of Trustees of Auburn Masonic Female College and East Alabama Male College. The contractor from Kentucky used slave labor to build the eight rooms with 12 foot high ceilings and 18 inch exterior walls, two cantilever balconies and eight Doric columns. In the rear are the original separate kitchen, carriage-smokehouse and overseer's house. The Frazer family owned the house until 1922.

SIDE 2:
NOBLE HALL
In 1932, J. V. Brown, Head of Buildings and Grounds at Alabama Polytechnic Institute, now Auburn University, bought the house and began restoration. In 1941, he sold it and 251 acres to Dr. Luther Noble Duncan (1875-1947), who served as president of A.P.I. (1935-1947). In 1943 his daughter, Elizabeth Pearson (Mrs. Allen M.), and family occupied the house and continued restoration. Mrs. Pearson inherited the house in 1951, collected its furnishings and named it Nobel Hall. In 1972 it was the first building in Lee County to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

 

NORTH COLLEGE STREET HISTORIC DISTRICT

NORTH COLLEGE STREET HISTORIC DISTRICT

Marker Dedication or Erection Date: 2013
Erected by the Historic Chattahoochee Commission, City of Auburn Historic Preservation Commission, Auburn Heritage Association, and Auburn Preservation League, 2013.

SIDE 1:
NORTH COLLEGE STREET HISTORIC DISTRICT
With the creation of the seven-member Historic Preservation Commission by the Auburn City Council in 1999, the City took its first step in establishing historic districts to preserve its architectural heritage. The first work of the Commission was the creation of the North College Historic District where homes were built by early settlers. It encompasses thirty-three acres in the northern section of Auburn, with thirty contributing structures out of a total of thirty-seven. The contributing structures were constructed between 1848 and 1937 in a variety of architectural styles; many were built by professors of the growing college to the south.

SIDE 2:
NORTH COLLEGE STREET HISTORIC DISTRICT
 The land occupied by the Historic District was originally owned by members of the Creek Nation prior to the founding of the City of Auburn in 1836. The oldest home is the Halliday-Cary-Pick house (c. 1848), one of the two homes built in Auburn in raised cottage style. Also included in the district is Auburn's third depot, the previous two having burned, the first by Rousseau's Raiders in 1864. The North College Historic District was approved on March 21, 2006. The character of the district is overseen by the Historic Preservation Commission and the district is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. 

PINE HILL CEMETERY

PINE HILL CEMETERY

Marker Dedication or Erection Date: November 2, 1997
Erected by the Auburn Heritage Association and the Historic Chattahoochee Commission, 1995.

SIDE 1:
PINE HILL CEMETERY
Pine Hill was established in 1837 and is the oldest cemetery in Auburn. Judge John J. Harper, Auburn's founder, donated almost six acres to the new town to be used as a community burying ground for white settlers and their slaves. The original part of the cemetery lies to the north and contains the oldest marked grave – 1838. Early cemetery records are non-existent as the fist survey was conducted in the 1950’s when over 1,100 marked graves were cataloged. Of this number, only one black grave is identified. A cross section of Auburn Citizens are buried here including University presidents and slaves.

SIDE 2:
PINE HILL CEMETERY
In the 1870's a separate cemetery, Baptist Hill, opened to the southeast. For decades Pine Hill served as the primary burying ground for whites in the area. The city’s Confederate marker rises at the rear of the cemetery over the common graves of 98 Texas soldiers who died in a temporary hospital housed in a college building known as "The Main." Pine Hill suffered from vandalism and neglect until 1995 when the Auburn Heritage Association launched a restoration of the cemetery. It was placed on the Alabama Register in 1978 and is owned and maintained by the City of Auburn.

RAILROAD AVENUE, HISTORIC DISTRICT OPELIKA, ALABAMA

RAILROAD AVENUE, HISTORIC DISTRICT OPELIKA, ALABAMA

Location: Located at South Railroad Avenue, Opelika, Alabama.
Marker Dedication or Erection Date: May 25, 1989
Erected by the Historic Chattahoochee Commission and the Opelika Historic Preservation Society, 1985.

SIDE 1:
RAILROAD AVENUE, HISTORIC DISTRICT OPELIKA, ALABAMA
The Railroad Avenue Historic District was the downtown nucleus of Opelika when the city was incorporated as part of Russell County, Alabama in February, 1854. The city limits extended a mile in every direction from the Montgomery and West Point Railway Station. In 1864 another railroad was built from Opelika to Columbus, thus establishing the city as a transportation center. During 1864 and 1865, Opelika's government supply warehouses, its dept, rolling stock and railroad were a target of Federal raiders Rousseau and Wilson. Train service from Atlanta to Montgomery was re-established in 1865.

SIDE 2:
RAILROAD AVENUE, HISTORIC DISTRICT OPELIKA, ALABAMA
When Lee County was established on December 5, 1866, Opelika became its county seat. The commercial district, a collection of wooden buildings, was destroyed by fire in 1868. The physical rebuilding of the district began during the 1870's. The Railroad Avenue Historic District is composed of 105 buildings which date primarily from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It contains the major commercial and political structures in the city. The District was accepted for placement on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984. 

ROBERT WILTON BURTON

ROBERT WILTON BURTON

Location: Located in front of Burton House Apartments on East Magnolia, in Auburn, Alabama.
Marker Dedication or Erection Date: 1999
Erected by the Auburn Heritage Association and Historic Chattahoochee Commission, 1999.

SIDE 1:
ROBERT WILTON BURTON 1848-1917
Near this site once stood "Four-Story Cottage," the home of Robert Wilton Burton. A one-story house with wide porch and bay window, Burton built it in 1885 with proceeds from the sale of four stories to children's magazines. Born in Camden County, Georgia, Burton grew up in Lafayette, Alabama, where he began writing stories for the newspaper, on various subjects. In the early 1870’s, with his brother, he opened a bookstore in Opelika, Alabama. In 1878, at the request of the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Alabama, Burton opened the first bookstore in Auburn. It was soon known as the "Coffee House of the College City."

SIDE 2:
ROBERT WILTON BURTON
Burton wrote numerous local color stories for national magazines and newspapers. Many of his best tales, in Negro dialect, feature "Marengo Jake" Mitchell, a former slave in Auburn known for his tall tales. In 1991, these stories were published as “De Remnant Truth.” An active Presbyterian, Burton also served as Secretary of the Town Board of Education, County School Superintendent, Clerk of the Town Council, and Secretary to the College Board of Trustees. His bookstore was sold in 1968; his home dismantled in 1993. 

ROSSEAU’S RAID TO EAST ALALBAMA

ROSSEAU’S RAID TO EAST ALALBAMA

Marker Dedication or Erection Date: 2000
Erected by The Opelika Historic Preservation Society and the Historic Chattahoochee Commission, 2000.

With orders from General Sherman, General Lovell Rousseau left Decatur with 2,700 cavalry, beginning his raid into East-Central Alabama. Their raid ended successfully in Opelika July 19, 1864, after miles of track were destroyed along with other railroad equipment, two depots, and several warehouses brimming with supplies for Confederate forces defending Atlanta. They then turned northeast to join Sherman's Army advancing towards Atlanta.

SALEM-SHOTWELL COVERED BRIDGE

SALEM-SHOTWELL COVERED BRIDGE

Location: Municipal Park, over Rocky Brook Branch, Opelika, AL
Marker Dedication or Erection Date: August 14, 2007
Erected by the Historic Chattahoochee Commission, Opelika Historic Preservation Society, Auburn Heritage Association, and East Alabama Medical Center 2007.

SIDE 1:
SALEM-SHOTWELL COVERED BRIDGE
This is the last surviving covered bridge in Lee County. It was constructed about 1900 by Otto Puls over Oacoochee Creek in the Town's lattice truss design. Materials used in the 75 foot long bridge included longleaf heart pine, white oak pegs and cedar shakes. Maintained by the Lee County Commission and Lee County Historical Society, the bridge stood until June 2005 when it was damaged by a storm and collapsed into the creek. It was rescued by John Ross and a number of other volunteers from Lee County and placed in storage until it could be reassembled and relocated. Its original location was in the N1/2 of Section 26, Township 19N, Range 28E.

SIDE 2:
SALEM-SHOTWELL COVERED BRIDGE
After its collapse, the bridge was given to the City of Opelika in February 2006 by the Lee County Commission for relocation in the Municipal Park over Rocky Brook Branch. The "Park the Bridge" project was sponsored by the Opelika Kiwanis Club working with the Opelika Parks Board as a community project. The shortened bridge was reassembled by J. Marsh Enterprises, Inc. in 2007. Major sponsors included: Scott Bridge Company, Castone Corporation, Dudley Lumber Company and Thompson Carriers. Many other businesses and individuals contributed to the reconstruction project. The new location is in SE1/4 Section 6, Township 19N, Range 27E.

SALEM, ALABAMA FOUNDED 1835

SALEM, ALABAMA FOUNDED 1835

Location: Located in front of Salem United Methodist Church on U.S. Highway 280-431, Salem, Alabama.
Marker Dedication or Erection Date: July 9, 1980
Erected by the Historic Chattahoochee Commission and Lee County Historical Society, 1979.

SIDE 1:
SALEM, ALABAMA FOUNDED 1835
Among the earliest settlers were the families of Henry Crowder, Dr. D. W. Floyd, Charles Nelms, W. W. Burt, George Heard, John Askew, Moses Pruitt, and Dr. McCoy. Reverend F. L. Cherry, leading historian of east Alabama's first 50 years, wrote that the town was laid off in 1836 by Benjamin H. Baker, Dr. Erastus Jones and B.S. Mangham. A schoolhouse was built in 1837. Professor Sheppard, the first teacher, was followed by professor Sanders in 1838. Academies for the girls and boys, Baptist and Methodist churches and a camp meeting ground were early additions to the community. A stagecoach stop was located on the west side of town. A "picnic" ground popular for public gatherings probably saw its most exciting day in an 1856 presidential rally. By 1855, railroad service had been established from Salem to Opelika and Columbus, Georgia.

SIDE 2:
SALEM, ALABAMA FOUNDED 1835
Local tradition maintains that a district courthouse was built in Salem to serve upper Russell County. The building still stands. When Lee was created on December 5, 1866, Salem became a part of the new county and received the second highest vote total for seat of government. The first three Lee County probate judges came from old Russell County. Two and one-half miles east of this site is Wacoochee Covered Bridge, the last remaining "kissin'" bridge in Lee county and one of a very few found in Alabama. This one span, 75 foot, Town Lattice Bridge was built no later than between 1865 and 1880. It has been fully restored by the Lee County Commission.

 

SCOTT-YARBROUGH HOUSE

SCOTT-YARBROUGH HOUSE

Location: Located at 101 Debardeleben Street, Auburn, Alabama
Marker Dedication or Erection Date: December 8, 2009
Erected by the Historic Chattahoochee Commission, the Auburn Heritage Association and Auburn University.

SIDE 1:
SCOTT-YARBROUGH HOUSE
Colonel Nathaniel J. Scott, from Harris County Georgia, built this house, which he called Pebble Hill, on 100 acres in 1847. With its pyramidal roof and symmetrical lines, the frame house reflects the Greek Revival architecture popular in East Alabama. The half-brother of John J. Harper, the founder of Auburn, Scott served as one of the four commissioners who laid out the town. Auburn's first state legislator, he was a leader in the establishment of the Auburn Female Masonic College in 1847 and the East Alabama Male College (now Auburn University) in 1856. Federal troops encamped at the spring behind Pebble Hill when they invaded Auburn in April 1865.

SIDE 2:
SCOTT-YARBROUGH HOUSE
Dr. Cecil S. Yarbrough (1878-1946) purchased "Pebble Hill" in 1912 and it remained his family's home until 1974. A member of the state legislature in the 1920s, Dr. Yarbrough served four terms as mayor of Auburn. During World War II, he also served as a college physician. Under the leadership of Alice Cary Pick Gibson the Auburn Heritage Association purchased the house in 1974 and began restoration. In 1985, AuburnBank donated the house to Auburn University. Placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978, the raised cottage has hand-hewn heart pine floors and wooden pegged joints and rafters The Ray, Hollifield, Riley, and Hodges families owned the property, 1871-1912.

SHADY GROVE CHRISTIAN CHURCH

SHADY GROVE CHRISTIAN CHURCH

Marker Dedication or Erection Date: November 10, 1996
Erected by the Historic Chattahoochee Commission and Shady Grove Christian Church, 1996.

Organized November 15, 1846, as the Church of Christ at Shady Grove, under the New Covenant of 2nd Corinthians, 3rd chapter, agreeing to believe all the New Testament teaches, and to obey all its injunctions to best of their capacity and submit to the Laws of Jesus Christ, the Head of the Church in all things. Signed by 51 charter members, William P. Allen, as moderator and D. G. Reeves as clerk. The sanctuary was built circa 1890. Circa 1910, a baptistery was constructed across the road; water being supplied from a nearby spring.

 

THE AUBURN GUARDS REVIEWED BY JEFFERSON DAVIS

THE AUBURN GUARDS REVIEWED BY JEFFERSON DAVIS

Location: Michum Avenue, across from the Auburn Train Depot
Marker Dedication or Erection Date: January 21, 2012
Erected by the Historic Chattahoochee Commission, the Auburn Heritage Association, SCV Robert E. Lee Camp #16, and Auburn Guards Chapter #2677 2011.

At the Auburn train depot on February 16, 1861, Jefferson Davis reviewed the Auburn Guards, the first Confederate military company thus honored. Davis was en route to his inauguration as President of the Confederacy. The Auburn Guards were comprised of cadets of the East Alabama Male College (now Auburn University). Forty-two members of the Guards went by rail from Montgomery to Pensacola on January 16, 1861, under orders from Alabama Governor Moore, to fortify the fort there. The officers of the Auburn Guards were as follows: George W. Dixon, Captain; Wm. F. Stanton, 1st Lieutenant; F. G. McElhany, 2nd Lieutenant; J. H. Echols, 3rd Lieutenant.

THE BAUGHMAN-HONOUR-STILES HOUSE

THE BAUGHMAN-HONOUR-STILES HOUSE

Marker Dedication or Erection Date: 2001
Erected by the Historic Chattahoochee Commission and the Auburn Heritage Association, 2001.

Designed by William Dryden Baughman and built by Fred Burk in 1929, the house was not finished due to the Great Depression. Because of its two-story turret and French Norman Style, it became known as "The Castle." In 1949, the home was sold to architect Wilfred M. Honour. In 1996, Warren and Mary Ann Stiles purchased it and restored the original heart pine wood floors, gothic archways, wrought iron fixtures and French millwork. They completed the unfinished tower room and the entire second story.

THE BOTTLE

  Auburn  |   Lee County

Location: Located at the corner of Alabama Highway 147 (North College Street) and US Hwy. 280, Auburn, AL

Erected by the Auburn Heritage Association, Hayley-Redd Development and the Historic Chattahoochee Commission 2015

The Bottle Built in 1924 and billed as "the world's largest bottle", The Bottle (also known as the “Twist Inn”) was built by John F. Williams, owner of the Nehi Bottling Company in Opelika, Alabama. A wooden replica of a bright orange Nehi soda bottle, it stood 64 feet tall and measured 49 feet in diameter at the base and 16 feet at the cap. The ground floor was a grocery store and service station and the second and third floors were living quarters and storage. The neck of The Bottle had windows for use as an observation tower. The "bottle cap" was the roof. Inside, there was a spiral oak stairway. The Bottle became a gathering place for tourists and locals alike to swap yarns and have parties every Friday night on the balcony above the service station. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt stopped briefly at The Bottle after visiting Auburn. The Bottle burned one morning in the fall of 1936. Even though the structure no longer exists, the name survives on Alabama maps which still identify the area as "The Bottle."

 

THE CULLARS ROTATION/THE ALVIS FIELD AND COTTON RUST

THE CULLARS ROTATION/THE ALVIS FIELD AND COTTON RUST

Location: Woodfield Drive, Auburn University, AL
Marker Dedication or Erection Date: November 3, 2006
Erected by the Historic Chattahoochee Commission and the Auburn Heritage Association 2006

SIDE 1:
THE CULLARS ROTATION (Established 1911)
The Cullars Rotation is the oldest, continuous soil fertility study in the South and the second oldest cotton study in the world. It was started in 1911 by the Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station on the farm of J.A. Cullars and John P. Alvis. In 1938, the "Alvis Field" was sold to Alabama Polytechnic Institute which became Auburn University in 1960. The experiment consists of 14 soil fertility variables in three blocks that are rotated with cotton followed by a winter legume, corn followed by wheat, and soybeans planter after wheat.
National Register of Historic Places, April 19, 2003

SIDE 2:
THE ALVIS FIELD AND COTTON RUST
In the late 1800s, J.P. Alvis and J.A. Cullars farmed this property which later became known as the "Alvis Field." They allowed Prof. F. F. Atkinson, a biologist at the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Alabama, to use this site to study cotton rust, a disease that causes cotton plants to shed leaves early. Atkinson's research in 1890 led to the discovery that cotton rust was caused by a potassium deficiency. As a result, the Cullars Rotation was started in 1911. Today, potassium fertilizers are used on cotton throughout the South.

WITTEL DORMITORY

WITTEL DORMITORY

Marker Dedication or Erection Date: 1999
Erected by the Historic Chattahoochee Commission and the Auburn Heritage Association, 1999.

Wittel Dormitory has long been admired as one of Auburn's most significant examples of classic nineteenth-century design. Built in the early 1900’s by Samuel S. Wittel to house professional women, it also served as a home for three generations of the Wittel family. After World War II enrollment at the Polytechnic Institute, which is now Auburn University, rose dramatically and Wittel became Auburn’s first dormitory for college women. The original structure features copper roof details, wood floors throughout, silver plate applied to the front entrance ceilings and Auburn’s first elevator.

WORLD WAR II PRISONER OF WAR FACILITY

WORLD WAR II PRISONER OF WAR FACILITY

Marker Dedication or Erection Date: November 11, 2002
Erected by the Opelika Historic Preservation Society and the Historic Chattahoochee Commission, 2002.

Located on this 800 acre site was an enemy prisoner of war camp. Construction of Camp Opelika began in September 1942. The first prisoners, -captured by the British, were part of General Erwin Rommel's Africa Corps. The camp prisoner population was maintained at about 3000 until the end of World War II, in May 1945. In September 1945, the camp was deactivated and deeded to the City of Opelika. For a brief period the camp quarters were used for veteran's housing before the site became an industrial park.

WRIGHT’S MILL

WRIGHT’S MILL

Location: Located at the entrance of Chewacla State Park, four miles south of Auburn, Alabama.
Marker Dedication or Erection Date: July 18, 1979
Erected by the Historic Chattahoochee Commission and the Auburn Heritage Association, 1979.

SIDE 1:
WRIGHT’S MILL
A popular recreation area for more than 100 years. Original dam located a short distance below Chewacla Lake Dam. Mill located on the west bank and ground both corn and wheat. Earlier mill owners from 1840's were Echols, Hiram Reed, Charles Nelms, and John F. Lewis. W.W. Wright (1825 – 1905) owned the mill from about 1873 into early 1900’s when it was abandoned. Most of these years his miller was Joe Broome. Just before Town Creek enters the Chewacla is the Gin-Saw Hole. A water powered gin and sawmill were located here in the 1840’s. For many years it was a very popular swimming hole.

SIDE 2:
WRIGHT’S MILL
In early 1890's a club house was built on the hill between Wright’s Mill and the Gin-Saw Hole. This was a favorite are for Auburnites before Town Creek was contaminated by Auburn Sewage. A bicycle club was formed in Auburn circa 1900. George Petrie and B. B. Ross were prominent members. A bicycle path was constructed from Auburn to Wright’s Mill. It began where Gay Street formerly terminated at Samford Avenue following the east bank of Town Creek much of the way. Chewacla State Park was opened in 1939 and this park included the Wright’s Mill area.