Odds and Ends


Phenix City is in Alabama, I know, but, it is so close to us and I feel some of their sites are worth mentioning here.


I have looked on the Internet and there is not much info on Idle Hour Park so here is what I know, and pictures of the park as it is today. Our guide is My Mom, who gets refered to quite often around here.

Idle Hour Park was visited by Many Columbus Folks. My mom says it goes back to the late thirties or early fourties. I am still trying to find this out. At one time it had a zoo, skating rink, bowling alley, swimming pool, lake, picnic and concession areas. It also might have had amusement arcades and rides. The mural at the park shows some rides. Several of the old red brick buildings are still there today. My favorite is the one that has bowling written over the door. The picture I took does not show this almost faded away writing the way I had hoped it would.

These are the gates to the park

The old bowling alley and probably the old skating rink

The old pool has been filled in and this volley ball area is in the middle of it.

This is part of the mural depicting many of the attractions at the old park


I had heard of Cobb Hospital all my Life, But had never seen it. I saw it for the first time a couple of weeks ago.I was impressed and surprised at the size of it. I am still trying to get more info, but I'll go ahead and post some pictures of it as it now looks. Who knows how long it will be around.


This once was a restaurant back in the thirties or Forties. Parties were also held here. I have heard all my life that visiting dignitaries from Columbus and Fort Benning were often brought here. Several famous people have eaten here, I don't know if this is true, but, I heard growing up that Gen Patton or Gen Macarthur were taken here. A man down the street said many soldiers came here for an evening out. The old restaurant is located a little past Seale. it looks as though someone is trying to restore it. I hope they do.



These are some pictures I took of the old Mainstreet or downtown area of Seale. I will get back to take more soon.

City Drug Store

the old bank

This is the inscription on the top of the old bank building


I ran across this marker while looking for the old Villula Tea Garden. I thought it was really interesting. There was nothing else in sight to photograph. I guess this is what happens when you fight progress.


RUN TO THE ROUND HOUSE NELLIE, THEY'LL NEVER CORNER YOU THERE! Leebo and I found this house while looking for something else. I don't know anything about it but would love any info. It just looks great, it is in Phenix City.


This home is quite intimidating when you first see it. The road practically dead ends at the front door. This house once belonged to a well known Doctor by the name of Floyd. The most unique thing about this house is that at one time it was a one story home. It was built in the late 1800's and remodled in the 1920's. The now second story was once the first story. The house was raised and added onto from the bottom. The family continued to live in the house during the process. The current owner said the lower level that juts out from the back has matching floors and glass with the top level and not the bottom. The door on the second story was once the front door at ground or first story level.


These mounds are located in a residential area off Summerville RD. They were built and used by Confederate Soldiers to look down over the Chattahoochee. They could see and not be seen by Union troops.



Healing Springs is located in Millry Alabama, Washington County. It is near the border of Mississippi. Healing Springs was once a resort. Around the turn of the century and the early 1900's this was a popular Honeymoon and vacation destination. The waters were said to have therapeutic qualities. The remains of this resort are now on private property, but the owners will let people visit and take home water from the still active spring.There are reamins of a large pool and cinderblock building, part of the spring itself and 2 homes that at one time were probably part of the resort.


Citronelle is a quiet, small town in Mobile County. At the end of the 19th century it was full of resorts. Many people visited here and the small town thrived. There were springs in the area that many people traveled many miles for. There is a small white Church across the street from the Library,which looks like a Church itself, The front window of the Small Church has a stained glass memorial to W.S. Burroughs, founder of the Burroughs Adding Machine Co. It seems Burroughs was lost track of in the late 1800's. No one knew wht happened to him. It was as if he simply disappeared. Well many years later this mystery was solved. Burroughs and his wife suffered from Tuberculosis. Burroughs and his wife, no longer rich, came to Citronelle hoping the climate would help. Both died in Citronelle not Long after. Burroughs died within one year of his wife.

Citronelle has a small visitors center and museum in the Old train depot. There is also a renovated cabin from one of the old resorts. There is also a haunted house in Citronelle. Go to the Strange link on this site for pictures of this house and to learn more about "George".


I was looking on a site that lists paranormal places for each state. I was very surprised to see Phenix City listed. I have lived in Columbus all my life and have never heard this. The old school is no longer there but here is some pictures of the lot and what was said about it on that web site.

Old Girrard school is supposed to be haunted. Images of children in 1930's clothing are said to be seen. The school was next to Girrard cemetery. It was said cold spots were felt in the summer and warm spots felt in the winter. They also said the school bell could be heard ringing long after the power was cut off to the building.


Where this Church now stands in Girrard, was the first Public school for blacks. It burned down in 1956.


Montgomery is a great town. It has lots of great shopping and a lot to see and do. Oh yeah, it's also the State Capital. Here are some pictures of our visit.


Here are some pictures of and around the capitol.


Old Alabama Town is an area covering a couple of blocks in Downtown Montgomery. It is made up of buildings from the 1800's. There is a Church, store houses a tavern and more. I could not get any more info because the visitor's center was closed.


This is where Martin Luther King Jr once preached. It is within site of the Capitol. The Montgomery Bus Boycotts were planned here.


Here lies Hank Sr and Miss Audrey. When we arrived here it was not hard to find Hank's grave. There were 4 people standing around and one was singing and playing a guitar. These folks were from Macon and were in the area attending a funeral. They stopped and visited the grave site while in town. The man with the guitar was Wayne. Wayne has been an aspiring musician for years. We got to hear him play I saw The Light and Your Cheatin' Heart. Hank Williams performed for thousands during his career. Today was a special day, someone performed for him. I hope he enjoyed it as much as we did. Some how, I believe he did.


This is where F Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald lived for 6 months in 1931 and 1932. Zelda was originally from Montgomery. She was from a prominent family. They had one daughter named Scottie. Both F Scott and Zelda had tragic and untimely deaths. F Scott died at a fairly young age and Zelda died in a fire while she was in an institution. Many Thanks to Chad and Mandy Carmichael who got us here, when no one else could!


Today,July 4,2003, Leebo and I visited Meadows Mill. Jimbo, told me about this place. I should know by now when Jimbo says "you can't miss it" , I probably will! I have heard from Jimbo and a couple of local people that this abandoned mill is over 100 years old. If anyone has any more info, I would love to hear it. Leebo took most of these shots for me, I have a great fear of snakes, ticks, rats, satanic cults or anything else that may reside in places like this! A great big hug to Jimbo for telling me about this place and Leebo for boldly going where I refused to go! Mom punked out on me this time around, oh well her loss! Lots of Orbs in this place, check them out on the Strange Link. Oh yeah, this mill is in Salem, Alabama.


Opelika is a charming little town 40 or so miles from Columbus. It runs right right into Auburn. If you ever visit Opelika, make sure you go downtown and visit the Museum of East Alabama. The man who was working there today,Saturday July 12, 2003, and his son are gracious hosts. They will be happy to answer your questions and help show you around. There is no admission charged but donations are accepted. There are many items here ranging from various equipment used by local Doctors to an old fasioined Permanent wave machine. The kind you've seen in movies and pictures where you sit and have these long electrical cords attached to your head. Give me a Lilt or Ogilvie any day of the week!!!


I have lived in Columbus all my life. I have been in and out of Opelika and the area all my life too. Just in the last few months I have found out about Camp Opelika. During World War II There was a problem housing The German Soldiers that were being taken prisoner. There was no room for them in England. There were arrangements made to have these prisoners shipped to the United States and held at some of the many POW camps that were being built here.There were camps in several states. Georgia was one. There were camps in Brunswick and Savanaah and other places. One of these camps was in Opelika Alabama. The South was favored for these camps because of our milder climate. Cheaper housing or barracks could be constructed because of the lack of cold weather down here. The camp at Opelika at one time held 3000 prisoners many if not all were from Rommell's Desert Foxes group. When the camp shut down many of the barracks were dismantled and moved to be used for housing. I don't know if all of it was for veterans or if some were used for civilian housing. I was told some of these buildings that had been moved can still be found around the area today. An industrial park now sits on the site of the old prison camp. Two buildings still remain on the site.


Bean's Mill is located a short distance from Opelika. It is a beautiful place and the water rushing over those rocks is almost deafening! It a wonderful sound. This mill is over a hundred years old. and has quite a history. It is located on Highway 29.


Spring Villa was once a plantation House built by William Penn Yonge. This house is just awesome. I took a close up shot to show the elaborate wood work . From a distance it looks like icecicles hanging down. The house was built around 1850. The grounds are now used as camping and recreation facilities. The house is used for gatherings also. This house is said to be haunted. Read more about it on the Strange link.



The Tuskegee Airmen Museum is located in Tuskegee. It is a tribute to the Black men Who were trained as pilots and crewmen during World War II. These men made many successful missions. They proved to the world that Black men could train and be as skillful as White men in this field. There is a movie about them called the Tuskegee Airmen.


In 1932 a study was conducted at Tuskegee Institute that would shock the whole country 40 years later. It took place at the John Andrew Hospital on the Tuskegee Institute grounds. In 1932 Macon County Alabama was largely rural, poor and black. There was a large number of syphilis cases in this area. In the early 1930's The united states PHS (Public Health Service) along with the County Health Department and The Rosenwald Foundation started a treatment program for African Americans with syphilis.The program soon ran out of funds.

It was decided to go ahead with the study. Except this time no treatment would be involved. The study was to show the outcome of the disease as it ran its natural course. The Study was to last only six months. Instead the study lasted for 40 years. Even after Penicillin was discovered in the 1940's. Men enrolled in the study were not only denied treatment at Tuskegee, but were put on lists to be denied treatment at other facilities. The men were given spinal taps, aspirin, check ups, tonics and rubs. The subjects did not know they were only being studied and not being given treatment.

The men were given yearly checkups and free meals and money for their burials. This enticed them to stay in the study. One of the most well known figures involved in this atrocity was Nurse Eunice Rivers Laurie. She was a black nurse that served as a go between for the Doctor's and or agencies and the men. She often drove to the country and brought the men in to Tuskegee. Many of the men were fond of her, she helped them in several different ways. But never discussed the true nature of the study or their diease. She told them they had bad blood, which covered several ailments. They were given treatment for non syphilitic disorders. Nurse Rivers never saw any wrong in the study or her part in it. she saw her caring for these men as a sort of treatment. Nurse Rivers was not the only nurse involved, just the most well known. A movie was made based on her and her involvement in the study. It is called Miss Ever's Boys. Although probably not entirely factual, it still tells the story for the most part.

In 1972 The story broke Nationwide and the study was ended. Fred Gray, a distinguished Attorney in Tuskegee sued the United States Government on behalf of the men and won a settlement for the few survivors of the study and their families. In 1996 President Clinton issued a formal apology to the even fewer surviviors. Eunice Rivers married Julius Laurie at the age of 58. She died in 1986. She is buried in Greenwood Cemetery in Tuskegee. This is just the basics on this terrible page in history. Much, much more can be found in books and on the internet.


I owe a very special Thank You to Liz Sims. She contacted me and gave Mom and I a very special tour of The Shiloh Church, The Shiloh Cemetery and The Rosenwald School located next door to the Church. She is on a committee to renovate the old school and hopefully to turn it into a museum. She has some wonderful members on her committe and I wish them the best. She also showed me where Nurse Rivers once lived. Again Thank You So very much Liz!


In 1972 when the Tuskegee Syphyllis Study story broke, Charlie Pollard had been in the study for 40 years. He went to Attorney Fred Gray in Tuskegee, he felt his civil rights had been violated by the experiment. Attorney Gray took his case and a class action lawsuit against the United States was begun.The ;awsuit was settled and a fund was set up to compensate the surviving study participants and the families of non survivors.

On May 16, 1997 Mr Pollard along with other study survivors went to the White House to witness a formal apology issued by President Clinton on behalf of the United States. Mr Pollard was interviewed by Barbara Walters at the Shiloh Church located between Tuskegee and Notasulga Alabama. Mr Pollard's Dad Lucious was also part of the study. Mr Charlie Pollard died in 2000, at the age of 93.


On the grounds of Tuskegee there is a small cemetery with the graves of several former Presidents and Teachers.

Booker T Washington was the first President of the school and a well known educator.

George Washington Carver was a well known Educator and Botatanist. The schools museum is named after him

Frederick Douglas Patterson was the third President of the school and the founder of the United Negro College Fund. He was also married to the Daughter of Robert Moton, the second President of the school.

CVS DRUGSTORE ON SUMMERVILLE ROAD A LOCAL HISTORY LOVERS PARADISE! I received an email from Mr. Vince Castle. In that Email he told me about the CVS Drugstore on Summerville Road. As I had some things going on at the time at home it took me two weeks or so to get there. But, was it ever worth the trip! Mr Jim Cannon, the manager of the CVS has a small back room devoted to old Phenix City photos. Leebo and I spent a long time in there looking at them! They are all the property of Mr. Cannon. He has calenders with some of the photos in them for sale. He also has copies of the Phenix City Story for sale.I bought a calendar from him and asked if I could scan the pictures for the website. He graciously gave me permission. I owe a very special Thank You to Mr. Vince Castle for telling me about the CVS and to Mr. Jim Cannon, for use of the pictures and the time he took to talk to Leebo and I.


The photos in this gallery are used with the permission of Mr. Jim Cannon.


The Ritz Cafe was located on Dillingham Street. A daily numbers game called the Bug was ran by Hoyt Shepherd, Jimmie Matthews and Clyde Yarborough t the Ritz. On April 20, 1938 part of the roof caved in and 10n people were injured. The next day, April 21, the building collapsed killing 24 people and injuring 83 others. This tragedy never went to court because although there were many witnesses no one would testify against the men running the game.



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