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Articles written by Kevin Mckinley

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Dr. D.D. Cole and his adventures in Eliska

The Alabama River is a place of rich history and ancient cultures. Native Americans roamed the rivers in a time before the arrival of Europeans and thereafter Europeans mapped and settled the area....

 

Coleys, Bookers, McNiels farmed near Butler

In a parting glance at the Hollinger community it beckons the call to review the windswept tombstones of Enon's cemetery. Through blistering summers, wintery frostings of snow, hurricanes and a...

 

Gilbert & Louisa Cruit along Old Stage Road

Hollinger, as mentioned last week, was an up and coming community in southern Monroe County in the late 1800s. Yet history is more than the names of forgotten towns on the yellowing pages of old...

 

Let us remember the Hollinger community

History along Butler Street has ebbed and flowed with the coming and going of numerous forgotten communities. Hadley, Vocation, Coley, Steadham are names lost to all but a few who dig into the past. Y...

 

Magazine fire brings devastation to Mobile

Federal forces assumed control of the port of Mobile following the evacuation of Confederate forces at the close of the Blakley campaign. A war weary populace watched as the blue coats marched up the...

 

Boarding houses helped build area

Housing was scarce in the early days of our area as the virgin pine forests awoke from their primordial slumber and the last shots of the War Between the States faded into memory. Sawmills began to...

 

A galvanized yankee in the old west

The years between 1861-65 were a trying time for those involved in the War Between the States. Adding to the turmoil was the misery experienced by those in captivity on both sides of the Blue and the...

 

Finding a lot of history in a weekend

If you find yourself with several days off work and desire to vacate the familiar scenery of our area, northern Mississippi might be calling your name. On a recent June weekend travelled north and...

 

Draining of Indian Pond, other projects

The Great Depression had a profound impact on those who lived through it. It was a test by fire and hardened the resolve of those who made it through those dark days. The times were dark in that jobs were hard to find, starvation was right around...

 

Mystery writer documents Canoe

During the early 1900s a series of local newspapers did much to preserve the history and local news of the infant communities which dotted the landscape of Escambia County Alabama and Northwest...

 

The arrival of the automobile in our area

The arrival of the automobile in the Southwest Alabama/Northwest Florida region marked the beginning of a departure from the slower travel of the horse and buggy and heralded the beginning of the end...

 

Lawrence McKinley farmed near Canoe

During the early 1900s, The Atmore Advance kept a weekly account of area residents in short biographies which were written by Hugh B. Dubose under the column name Who's Who in Atmore. On May 2, 1929, Dubose chronicled the life of local farmer...

 

Goat Man was an American folk hero

The Deep South has given rise to many eccentric and unusual characters in the last 400 or so years that colonists, settlers, Native Americans and Southerners have collectively called the region home....

 

The sun has set on JC Marshall

One of the truly great men I have had the opportunity to have known in my life was a man by the name of J.C. Marshall. He wasn't a politician, an astronaut, a general, or a man of great material wealt...

 

Railroads helped shape communities

By the late 1800s, the L&N Railroad had become one of the major economic engines in the area. Not only did industry thrive on the ability of railroads to convey goods, but the railroads also provided rapid movement of travelers as well as news along...

 

Dugout Lane was agricultural center

In the old days, meaning that time before the early 1960s, when many of the tiny communities in our area seemed to prosper and their residents had more of a home view than a world view, there existed small places like Malta and Dugout which had a...

 

Hwy 31 brought fortune tellers to Canoe

The advent of Highway 31 brought about rapid transportation between the hamlets and towns of the area. Motorists could now travel routes in a few hours that previously would have taken a half day,...

 

The forgotten community of Steadham

The late 1800s-mid 1900s saw the appearance of many small communities in our area as settlers moved in to get cheap land. Many of these settlements had at least one store, a post office, a school,...

 
 By Kevin McKinley    News    April 18, 2019

R.W. Brooks describes indian pond

R.W. Brooks was one of the most prolific writers of local history. He was also a primary source of local history in that his writings reflect his personal observations from an earlier age. One can...

 

Life and courage at Bowman Cemetery

Along Highway 31, in the quite farming community at Wawbeek, sets a lonely red dirt road leading to Bowman Cemetery. History has long moved on from the days when the location marked a vibrant saw...

 

Difficult mail delivery to Dauphin Island

A trip to Dauphin Island almost invariably guarantees beautiful sunsets, white sandy beaches and friendly people who call the island home. My prior assessments of visits to Dauphin Island proved as tr...

 

The sacred stones of Pleasant Hill

The places where we live, just dots on a map to outsiders, hold a far greater meaning to those who occupy the dots. They are the places we have lived and loved, learned to walk, to talk, to pray, our...

 

River culture collides with dogs of war

The age of antebellum river culture was already in decline at the outset of the War Between the States. Better roads and the coming of the railroad allowed easier access to distant inland areas....

 

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...

 

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