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Articles written by Kevin Mckinley

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Boatyard lake settled before Civil War

As Dr. John Watkins and other settlers disembarked from steamboats at Holly Creek in 1813 the river culture of Southwest Alabama was already beginning to take shape. Predating Anglo settlers were Native Americans who lived in the river delta for...

 

Old Federal Road: Steeped in history

During the last days of the Civil War Union troops battled Confederate troops in Baldwin County at Blakely and Spanish Fort. Simultaneously the US Army dispatched troops up the Old Federal Road in...

 

Fort Gaines is a good day trip

General Edmund Pendleton Gaines (1777-1849) had a lasting impact on Alabama and US history. Gaines was a hero of the War of 1812, the Seminole Wars as well as the Mexican War. He is also credited as being the officer who arrested fugitive US Vice...

 

Northwest Fla. source of intrigue

The beginning days of the War Between the States brought about a great deal of uncertainty and calculated political moves by leaders in Washington and Montgomery, AL (the capital of the Confederate...

 

Southern hunting influenced war

Throughout the South various subcultures impacted the years leading up to the war in a variety of ways. While the society of the time was influenced by many different factors, the effect of hunting...

 

The men of Armistead's Regiment

In times of old, great armies made up of men and animals moved across our piney woods and fields in search of battle and plunder. Whereas such opening sentences serve to stir the imagination and...

 

Trees were taller and creeks deeper

Around one hundred years ago the landscape of Escambia County and the surrounding area was vastly different than it appears today. It was the dawning of the automobile age yet the roads were still...

 

Pick up trucks and why they matter

A good pocket knife, a trusty gun and a dependable pick up truck are among the favorite things of many in the South. There's good reason for that in that the utility and history behind each of these...

 

Conclusion on South Flomaton

In continuing last week's story it becomes apparent that the town of South Flomaton had a colorful history stretching over four decades. Some have said the bars and nightclubs, which once numbered as...

 

The rise, fall and birth of a town

According to the Pensacola News Journal, South Flomaton was the only other incorporated community in Escambia County Florida for most of its existence. The area had sometimes been the scene of controversy before and after its incorporation. The News...

 

The birth of South Flomaton, Inc

The later part of 1945 was a time of great optimism and hope across the area and the nation in that World War II had concluded with an Allied victory and the men and women of the US armed forces were...

 

The lasting legend of the Bear Man

The late 1800s into the mid-1900s was an era when traveling salesmen and others roamed the railroads and back roads of America making a living off their wits or sometimes by the generosity of others....

 

Historical mineral springs in Canoe

Mineral springs gave rise to many communities in our area and some become vacation locations as well. A mineral springs existed near Bowman Cemetery in the Wawbeek area that led to the rise of the long lost town of Evansville. The Roberts community h...

 

Disasters led to maps and street names

Across the rugged pages of history intersect the crossroads of memory and our own personal recollections and reflections. Yet with the passing of each successive generation much history is forgotten unless close attention is paid to the oral history...

 

Canoe study club kept learning alive

In an earlier time people used some of their leisure time to learn and grow intellectually for no other reason than to expand their minds. This held true for our local area as well. On many an otherwise cold fall or winter night, the only thing...

 

Nathan Rachel: Escambia's first draftee

The recent commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I marked a time that had a great impact on our local area. Many local men fought in the war. Some such as Sidney Manning...

 

More than just a country store

The small country store has its place in American society. Historically, people have gathered at such places to receive their mail, converse with neighbors, learn the news going on around them, and...

 

Mystery of the Butler Street School

Travelling northwest from Robinsonville one will soon reach the lower end of Butler Street. The road and community known as Butler Street stretches into Monroe County and scenic views along the route...

 

Robinsonville son gave all in Phillipines

Along the western end of the Robinsonville Baptist Church Cemetery rests the remains of Lt. William Maxwell. He was born in Monroe County Alabama and later adopted Robinsonville as his home as his family followed the migration of farm and logging...

 

Robinsonville preacher battles bandits

history while sitting at the end of a dusty dirt road and watching an October sunset slowly slip beneath the horizon. A mile or so in the distance, the white steeple of Robinsonville Baptist Church...

 

News from Robinsonville - early 1900s

One of the benefits of living in a small community is knowing the neighbors around you and the history of the area. Knowing history seems to help this writer put life in context as against the...

 

Modern technology meets old quest

Humans have always pondered their own mortality and their heritage. It’s natural and it separates us from the other species living on this planet. The ancient Romans worshiped their ancestors and prayed to them before their conversion to...

 

A line shack on Cowpen Creek

I have to admit I’ve always been fascinated by log cabins. The ones you can find in the woods along old roads and at old homesites especially. No two seem to be alike and most of the settlers who built them had a variety of skill sets and some are...

 

Forgotten graves & ghostly whispers

As William B. Travis' body lay in the cold dirt of a Texas grave, the town of Claiborne, AL was reaching its zenith. The town was an epicenter of antebellum river culture in Alabama and was the...

 

The rise and fall of Claiborne, Ala.

Antebellum river culture during the period of 1814-1855 brought about the overnight rise of many riverfront towns. Settlements quickly grew to towns along the Alabama River in rapid succession. Towns...

 

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