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  • A galvanized Yankee in the Old West

    Kevin McKinley, Guest Writer|Jul 16, 2020

    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 Gray. Among the worst prisoner of war camps was Camp Douglas, Illinois which was located in what is today's Chicago city limits. In late December 1862, a very young Monroe County lad by the name of Private John William McKinley was captured at the Battle of Murphysboro and sent to the camp. In those...

  • Geneaology in the times of COVID-19

    Jim Stanton, Guest Writer|Jul 16, 2020

    With this Covid 19 pandemic just about everything has changed. One thing that hasn't changed that much thanks to the internet is doing family research. I've been able to continue my research at about the same as before the pandemic came about due to the fact that now a lot of research can be done online and you don't have to visit actual libraries to do research. Even with the fact that a lot of research can be done online, I still encourage anyone serious about family research to visit local libraries because a lot of times you can find local...

  • June bugs on a string, tumble bugs tumbling

    Earline Smith Crews, Guest Writer|Jul 16, 2020

    Remembering the days of playing with June Bugs tied on a string makes me know for sure we Smiths were born with gaps. So, at the ending days of July the figs were ripening full tilt. Mama was making fig preserves full tilt. We were eating figs full tilt like the season would end before sundown. The milk from fig leaves caused us to break out in a rash of hurt. Our tongues got raw from eating. Blisters on arms and legs and around the mouth caused from milk of unripe figs was reason to hang around the water well to wash off some fig rash hurt....

  • Tips to recognize and treat potential tree hazards

    Special to the Ledger|Jul 16, 2020

    Trees are a coveted asset in the yard—that is until the trees present a hazard. Recognizing these potential tree hazards in the early stages could save a tree, as well as your wallet. Identifying Potential Tree Hazards Leans One of the first major signs of a hazard is a tree with a recent lean. Trees can lean naturally; they might be growing towards the light or away from other trees and structures. Beau Brodbeck, Alabama Extension community forestry and arboriculture specialist, said, “You should be very worried about a tree if a storm has...

  • German and The Canoe Highlands colony

    Kevin McKinley, Guest Writer|Jul 9, 2020

    Canaan Freewill Cemetery, located on the western extremes of Canoe, contains the gravestones of many early Canoe residents. Contained in the cemetery are the stories of young men who died fighting our nation's wars, mothers who died in childbirth and many others who simply passed due to old age and the passage of time. Yet in one area of the cemetery, the headstone of Fred German modestly states his time on Earth but the story of the visionary, settler and farmer who moved to a now forgotten...

  • Getting a new baby for Independence Day

    Patsy Green, Guest Writer|Jul 9, 2020

    Today I write a personal column about the year I got a baby brother for Independence Day. On July 4, 1953 we headed for Maw's house. We, my family, lived in McDavid, Florida. Maw lived on a farm north of Evergreen. Her address was on a route from Garland, Alabama, but we always thought of it as going to Evergreen. We always drove through Evergreen on the way, and, as far as I know, I have never seen Garland. The family, when we began the trip, consisted of my parents, Cecil and Inez Chancery, my 8 year old brother Bobby, my five and a half...

  • Remembering my 'real friend' Anne V.

    Earline Smith Crews, Guest Writer|Jul 9, 2020

    Some people just click with me the moment I first meet them and if they want to be friends they must be real. Let me see who they are right off. I have had a handful of friends in my 79 years that made the cut, I mean really stayed in my heart. Real friends. I called her Annie V. I met her in church when she came over to introduce herself and told me she lived just across the woods from us. Her smile was so pretty. Her teeth were nice and white, her toe nails were painted fire engine red. I don't know why I noticed that, but there it is. I...

  • The Cotton Scouting School is going digital

    Special to the Ledger|Jul 9, 2020

    The Alabama Cooperative Extension System Cotton Scouting School is iconic. For 60 years, Extension scientists taught the Scouting School in person and hands-on. But the 61st Cotton Scouting School is going digital—pushed to an online version because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The short course will be July 24 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. via Zoom. Growers, consultants, scouts and other are encouraged to attend just as they would an in-person scouting school. Alabama Extension cotton, peanut and soybean entomologist Scott Graham will facilitate the c...

  • Canoe Depot was major hub of activity

    Kevin McKinley, Guest Writer|Jul 2, 2020

    Trains and the railroad have always been a big part of Canoe. The earliest recordation of the presence of a depot in the Canoe area may be a blip in The Standard Gauge, a Brewton, Alabama newspaper which noted on December 8, 1898; " A nice new depot is nearing completion at Canoe." North of Canoe, the Alger Sullivan logging railroad ran through the woods around Seizmore and Big Escambia Creek. The exact date of construction of the original depot in Canoe is lost to the fog of history but The...

  • Alger-Sullivan Heritage Museum to reopen

    Russell Brown, Guest Writer|Jul 2, 2020

    A few weeks ago my sister was sitting at home and getting a bit stir crazy as we all get in the age of covid-19, so she decided to take her household on a little ride along the state line. Part of her ride was around the old sawmill area of Century. She told me later that she was a bit surprised by the several big houses in the old town. I told her that they were built as homes for the executives of the old sawmill company and if that was a surprise, she had to visit the museum. The Alger-Sullivan Heritage Museum has cautiously reopened in the...

  • Remember old school efforts last longer

    Earline Smith Crews, Guest Writer|Jul 2, 2020

    I sat down to write something wise and profound, but then decided to write something much needed now in these unsettled times. I awoke this morning to the memory of our old wood burning stove having a heavy oven door that had to be propped with a forked stick to keep the heat controlled for brown biscuits. Daddy finally got the door latch fixed and Mama kept browning our biscuits. Nothing unusual about a stove oven door propped with a forked stick from where I come from. I married Lamar and his Mama propped her sprung Hotpoint oven door with a...

  • Snakes, best avoided, are vital to our ecosystem

    Special to the Ledger|Jul 2, 2020

    Snakes are found just about anywhere. Inevitably, humans and snakes will cross paths. Like everything in nature, snakes play an important role in their environments. While many people may have a fear or dislike the slithering creatures, there are many tasks they perform that help keep the natural balance. Understanding the roles they play in the environment may help open people’s eyes to see the importance of these creatures. Nature’s Pest Control Many snake species are fairly opportunistic when it comes to their prey. However, Bence Car...

  • The Sunshine REport

    Lou Vickery|Jul 2, 2020

    One of the more difficult things for assertive people to do is to take a “pause for the cause.” There are times when we actually become victims of our circumstances. Events seem to rush us, press us, move us along at a pace that is injurious to emotional and physical health. Taking a self-restoring timeout is as much about a mental gain as it a physical gain. This "timeout" gives our creative juices a chance to flourish. It gives us a chance to think through ideas and solutions buried under the hustle and bustle of daily activities. A wise mov...

  • Canoe Weldery held things together

    Kevin McKinley, Guest Writer|Jun 25, 2020

    Sometimes old landmarks from the past leave an impression. Among the various images of places and things I remember from the Canoe of my childhood was the sign on the old block building at the caution light which read "Weldery." In an earlier time the building had been Stallworth's Hardware, and to another generation of Canoe residents the old sign "Guns and Coffins" on the front of the building served as a sign that you were in old Canoe. John Conn had an office there as did Mr. Barnett in a...

  • Country clean in paradise with a twist

    Earline Smith Crews, Guest Writer|Jun 25, 2020

    So today I saw a post of Texans washing their prize longhorn in the local car wash. Pros and cons of comments set me to remembering my childhood and how Mama & Daddy saved time and energy by doing things the easiest way possible while letting us enjoy life to the fullest. As the slight cool opening of the hot summer day ahead I remember hearing Mama & Daddy talking in the kitchen as they made breakfast for us. Somewhere in the bluish time of daybreaking, the smell of bacon and sausage frying, the smell of coffee as the old aluminum percolator...

  • Tips to keep garden vegetables fresh all year

    Special to the Ledger|Jun 25, 2020

    Fresh from the garden vegetables make any meal better. While many fresh garden vegetables are available this time of year, there is a way to have the same fresh selections all year long. With a few simple steps, people can freeze and store almost every garden vegetable. Having high-quality frozen vegetables that keep their taste and nutrients relies heavily on the selection, preparation and storing processes. Selection Bridgette Brannon, an Alabama Extension food safety and quality regional agent, said the best vegetables to freeze are ones...

  • The Sunshine Report

    Lou Vickery, Guest Writer|Jun 25, 2020

    I met Alexander Hart in the year 2000. I was part of a volunteer program for prisons. At the time Alexander was in his 46th year in a maximum security prison. He was convicted at age 20 to life without parole. His crime? He was an accessory to murder. Alexander was one of four young black men from Detroit who headed south during the segregation days, with no real purpose in mind. The two young men in the front seat talked about how they would like to “stir up the waters,” without going into any detail. Much to Alexander’s surprise, stir it up t...

  • Pensacola's Confederate monument

    Kevin McKinley, Guest Writer|Jun 18, 2020

    How a society deals with death and remembrance says a lot about the nation as a whole and our society is unwinding daily. As the War Between the States closed, and many wanted to put away any memory of this great national sadness, organizations began to emerge in the South to retrieve the Southern dead from far flung battlefields and honor them. The Ladies Memorial Association (LMA) arose to establish chapters around the South for the purpose of retrieving the dead and reinterring them in...

  • Clash of cultures occured early in local area

    Patsy Green, Guest Writer|Jun 18, 2020

    One of the important aspects of the early history of Conecuh County was the hostilities between the settlers and the Creeks. This was a part of the larger Creek War in which some factions of the Creek nation, aided by the British and the Spanish, fought against the US military, state militias and encroaching settlers as well as factions of the Creek nation who wanted a closer alliance with their white neighbors. “The first clashes between the Red Sticks and United States forces occurred on July 21, 1813. A group of territorial militia i...

  • Something to ponder on for the future

    Earline Smith Crews, Guest Writer|Jun 18, 2020

    As time takes us into the future, I have been thinking about how we are destroying our future in persuit of perfection I am wondering what effects we are having on the ground water. Let me explain, hopefully some smarter than myself will have a reasonable answer. Big concern is seeing all the enhanced boobs everwhere. When I was a young girl if we noticed a large chested girl, THAT was something to be noticed. Now if a young lady isn't naturally OVERSIZED by high school graduation, some are given a silicone pair by her parents as a gift. Self...

  • Tips to help identify and control Cogongrass

    Special to the Ledger|Jun 18, 2020

    Cogongrass is one of the most significant non-native invasive plants in Alabama. Not only does it invade a wide variety of habitats, but it also disrupts ecosystem function, particularly through fire regimes and fire intensity. Thrives On Fire “Cogongrass is a fire-adapted species that thrives on fire,” Nancy Loewenstein, an Alabama Extension forestry, wildlife and natural resources specialist said. It burns easily and at extremely high temperatures in part because of its leaf characteristics but also because plants often have highly fla...

  • Tips to help stay safe this active hurricane season

    Special to the Ledger|Jun 11, 2020

    This year's hurricane season appears to be developing into an active one. Now, only three days from the official beginning of hurricane season (June 1), three storms have already been named. Two named storms developed before June 1 while a third earned the name Cristobal on Tuesday. Forecaster Predictions for 2020 For the upcoming Atlantic hurricane season, which runs through Nov. 30, forecasters with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predict a 60 percent chance of an above-normal season, a 30 percent chance of a...

  • The Sunshine Report

    Lou Vickery, Guest Writer|Jun 11, 2020

    Emil lived in a small village in Southern France. He was employed as a stone cutter, toiling daily at the task of reducing huge boulders to brick-size stones. Steadily he would cut and chipped with a wooden mallet at the mountain of boulders, stacking the bricks he created carefully as he went. For twenty years Emil labored at his job, and each year he grew more and more weary of the drudgery. Chip…cut…stack, chip…cut…stack, and on it went each day. As soon as one boulder was reduced to a brick, there stood inevitably the challenge of the nex...

  • Homestead Act spurred settlement

    Kevin McKinley, Guest Writer|Jun 4, 2020

    As the War Between the States raged through the nation, the Federal government in Washington, DC struggled with running the day to day affairs of a nation which was ripping itself apart on battle fields that stretched from the Potomac River to the Rio Grande. During this era Congress and the President managed to pass one remarkable piece of legislation; The Homestead Act, on May 20, 1862. The act allowed an adult, over age 21, male or female, to claim 160 acres of land from the public domain....

  • The debate on the dog days of summer

    Jim Stanton, Guest Writer|Jun 4, 2020

    Most of this story about dog days is from a few years ago, but with us at the beginning of the meteorological summer that runs from June 1 until August 31 unlike the astronomical summer that runs from June 20 until September 22, 2020. I thought that since the heat will be one of the main things on most of our minds for the next few months now would be a good time to repeat it since dog days was always a popular thing to talk about at most places I worked at over the years. Today is also the start of the 2020 hurricane season, which we have...

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