Alabama Grist Mill

Alabama Grist Mill
Discover lost and some not so lost history of the state of Alabama

99: Preaching Standing on his Knees
Jan 26 • 22 min
Moving to our state in the early early days of Alabama, described by the pioneers of the day.
98: Kendall Lewis Tavern
Dec 24, 2019 • 13 min
Travelers who passed through the Creek Nation between 1820 and 1830 left some descriptions of the Taverns and Inns. Peter Brannon used notes and statistical data to write a story about them. The Kendall Lewis tavern was on the Federal Road from 1815 to…
97: Pray all day, fight all night
Dec 20, 2019 • 20 min
Today’s story is about some people who were here before 1819 —-Alabama’s first people, the Native Americans. Written history on Alabama’s Native Americans is limited because they only had mostly oral history —- handed down for generations.
96: The suspicious history of Blue Springs
Nov 22, 2019 • 13 min
The unique thing about Blue Springs Park is that old-timers will tell you that the spring first appeared north of the highway approximately 300 yards from the present site. They said that the spring suddenly dried up and reappeared just south of the…
95: History Along Highway 10
Nov 17, 2019 • 17 min
A short (approximately 30 minute) drive on Highway 10 in southeast, Alabama from Clio in Barbour County to Abbeville in neighboring Henry County, takes, you through three historic sites; the birthplace of Gov. George Wallace, a famous spring that has…
94: The Alabama Indestructible Doll
Oct 30, 2019 • 17 min
Entrepreneurship among women must have been strong in early 1900s in Alabama. We had a previous podcast on the Birmingham, Alabama woman who invented the windshield wiper now one who invented the Alabama indestructible doll. ……During its peak, a doll…
Elberta, German colony and Dinosaurs
Oct 11, 2019 • 19 min
The town of Elberta in Baldwin County, Alabama was settled in 1904 by German pioneers. Today, the small town is also known for DINOSAURS IN THE WOODS, a collection of dinosaurs created by Mark Cline. an artist who also created Bamahenge and other…
92: The Story of Gees Bend
Oct 1, 2019 • 14 min
There is a small, remote, community of Gees Bend where hundreds of quilt masterpieces date from the early twentieth century. The quilts of Gee’s Bend have been created by the African American women and their ancestors in the community of Gee’s Bend along…
91: Great Hartselle bank robbery is still an unsolved mystery
Sep 20, 2019 • 9 min
Early on the morning on March 15, 1926, the town of Hartselle in Morgan County, Alabama was held hostage for almost four hours while “thieves stripped the bank of all its cash and gold and some silver coins.” The robbers were never caught.
Freedmen’s Bureau - The First Step to Rebuild
Sep 6, 2019 • 17 min
The war had liberated nearly four million slaves and destroyed the region’s cities, towns, and plantation-based economy. It left former slaves and many whites dislocated from their homes, facing starvation, and owning only the clothes they wore. The…
89: Alabama’s First People
Aug 16, 2019 • 18 min
Alabama is home to one of the densest concentrations of ancient Native American monumental architecture in all of North America. And there are hundreds of Native American mound sites across Alabama, most of which lie hidden away in forests and fields.
88: The Legend of Kin Moony
Aug 8, 2019 • 21 min
In the early days of Alabama, it was like the wild west, and one thing that was often explosive was political fever. Many people were vying for positions of governing the State. It was especially controversial between the old Whig and Democratic parties.…
87: The Married CCC began in Alabama
Aug 1, 2019 • 13 min
The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) was a public work relief program that operated from 1933 to 1942 in the United States for unemployed, unmarried men from relief families as part of the New Deal. Originally for young men ages 18–23, it was eventually…
86: The historic village laid out in the form of a liberty bell
Jul 16, 2019 • 21 min
Sheffield, city of Senators and home to history has a historic village laid out in the form of a liberty bell, we discuss the history and how it all came about in this episode.
85: This is where Alabama began
Jul 12, 2019 • 21 min
Old St. Stephens was the capital of the Alabama Territory. The ruins of the former capital now lie across the river above Jackson, yet the city was probably the largest in the state in early days. There are actually two St. Stephens, the Territory’s…
84: The history of Fountain Heights
Jul 9, 2019 • 22 min
Fountain Heights is one of Birmingham’s historic neighborhoods and was home to some of Birmingham’s most prominent business leaders, the city’s first permanent weather station, and the start of WBRC and St. Vincent’s Hospital.
83: Only loose women will vote
Jul 5, 2019 • 29 min
The struggle for women’s voting rights and being allowed to serve on juries was long lasting for the women of Alabama. The struggle lasted longer than people think.
82: Geronimo in Alabama?
Jul 3, 2019 • 14 min
Did you know that Geronimo was held a prisoner in Mt. Vernon, Alabama?
81: When the Indian fires were going out
Jun 28, 2019 • 24 min
In the 1830s many Native-Americans were divided in their opinions about moving west. Some voluntarily moved with the first treaties, and others delayed in their old homes until forced to remove by the encroachment of white settlers, and the power of the…
80: The long history of the town of Arley
Jun 25, 2019 • 16 min
Arley in Winston County, Alabama, is almost completely surrounded by Lewis Smith Lake. Many people have weekend homes in the area, and 357 call it home. This is the story of Arley.
79: Ariton, a unique birth to a town
Jun 21, 2019 • 26 min
In the year 1861, when America was beginning the struggle over Civil War issues, a little town, named Utopia, was started about three miles northeast of the present site of Ariton in Dale County, Alabama is today. This is a story of how the unique town of…
78: What is the meaning of “1232” on the Alabama Stone?
Jun 18, 2019 • 16 min
Christopher Columbus discovers America in 1492. Some historians are beginning to question this date and a stone found in Alabama in 1817 adds to these doubts.
77: A Birmingham woman’s invention that people almost daily
Jun 15, 2019 • 23 min
Inventor of something we use in our cars every time it rains – invented by woman from Alabama, only to never profit from it
76: A Fateful Conversation
Jun 12, 2019 • 13 min
A fateful conversation between a white southerner named and a former-slave, named took place in 1880 in the little town of Tuskegee, which was the capital of Macon County in Alabama and it started what became Tuskegee University.
75: The Angel of Prisons
Jun 4, 2019 • 17 min
The lyricist of the Alabama State song, Julia Tutwiler was a woman with progressive ideas who contributed much to the education of women and was influential in reforming the penal system in Alabama.
74: Early Alabama Roads
May 31, 2019 • 14 min
Trails, paths and even roads in Alabama had a historic path. Roads run quietly through the woods of Alabama but are not often recognized for their history.
73: Fairhope - a single tax town
May 28, 2019 • 14 min
Which city of Alabama was one of the properties on the 1910 version of the board game The Landlord’s Game, a precursor of Monopoly? It is the city of Fairhope, originally a single tax town and home of the Jubilee.
72: The Burning of the University of Alabama
May 25, 2019 • 16 min
University of Alabama was burned a week before the end of the War between the states – probably because it was a military school at the time. Also discussed the University of Alabama Bottle Corps Band.
71: Preacher Glenn sparks the foundation of Auburn University
May 21, 2019 • 21 min
Many people know that Auburn was once called Alabama Polytechnic College at Auburn but they may not know why so I thought I’d share a little history. The idea of Auburn actually began in the town of Glennville, Russell County, Alabama.
70: The Rise and Fall of the Ghost Town of Bellefonte
May 17, 2019 • 28 min
Bellefonte is a ghost town in Jackson County, Alabama, United States,near the site of the Bellefonte Nuclear Generating Station. It is located roughly two miles southeast of Hollywood, Alabama. In ante-bellum days, and in fact up to 1868, Bellefonte was…
69: Deliver me to Blocton!
May 14, 2019 • 17 min
We all have heard of West Blocton via the cahaba lily but did you know there was once twin towns of Blocton and West Blocton.
68: The Melting Pot of Birmingham
May 10, 2019 • 13 min
The Jerry D. Young Memorial Field which now serves as the UAB Blazers Baseball Team’s home field was once the location of Behrens Park which was renamed Jordan Park in 1924. The park was located at 840 12th Street South at University Boulevard and was a…
67: A Montgomery corner with a long history
May 7, 2019 • 14 min
The present building that originally housed Sayre Street School only dates back to 1891, but the Sayre Street site located at the corner of Sayre and Mildred Streets, in Montgomery, Alabama has been connected with education since before the Civil War. It…
66: The Man Called Railroad Bill
May 3, 2019 • 20 min
In the history of Atmore records, no more infamous character than “Railroad Bill”, an African American who terrorized this section of the state for several months. His daring robberies on freight cars, his ruthless use of dangerous weapons add a touch of…
65: Legend of gold buried in Shipp’s Pond
Apr 30, 2019 • 14 min
Legend states that during the year 1862 when the Civil War was being fought, many people buried their gold for safekeeping in Shipp’s Pond. We also discuss the history of nearby Castleberry and their annual Strawberry Festival
64: The Confederados - Old South in Brazil
Apr 23, 2019 • 15 min
In 1865 at the end of the American Civil War a substantial number of Southerners left the South; many moved to other parts of the United States, such as the American West, but a few left the country entirely. The most popular country of Southerners…
63: Hackleburg Strong - A Story of Resilience
Apr 20, 2019 • 19 min
The citizens of Hackleburg, Alabama are resilient people. Hackleburg was almost leveled twice by tornadoes, once in 1943 and again in 2011, but both times they simply picked up the pieces and built their town back, better than ever.
62: 24 Columns - Forks of Cypress
Apr 19, 2019 • 15 min
An 1822 mansion in Florence, Alabama, had an air-conditioned basement. Only 24 Columns and its deep history remain from this wonderful landmark mansion.
61: Brierfield Boom Town!
Apr 10, 2019 • 20 min
Brierfield, Alabama was once a booming mining town, on the Southern Railway in the eastern part of Bibb County. Now it is a beautiful State Park south of Birmingham with a lot of history.
60: Family Feud goes to the Supreme Court
Mar 23, 2019 • 15 min
On Monday morning, all five defendants came to the fence of one of Bryars’s lots, which was near the road leading from, and about one hundred yards from his house. All of them were mounted except one, and all armed with guns, and were first outside of the…
59: The Tornado Outbreak of 1932
Mar 19, 2019 • 16 min
On March 21, 1932, Marion, Alabama was the first town struck in one of the most destructive series of tornadoes to wreak havoc across seven states and was hit twice in the same day. From this point at least a dozen vicious twisters ravaged the tornado…
58: The Oldest Alabamian
Mar 16, 2019 • 12 min
In Colbert County, there is a place called the Stanfield-Worley Bluff Shelter that excited archaeologists throughout the world around 1961 when charcoal from campfires found there was believed to provide proof that Stone Age men roamed Alabama 10,000…
57: Patriots in South Alabama form their own independent country
Mar 12, 2019 • 16 min
In 1810, a band of Americans, calling themselves patriots who had suffered cruelty at the hands of the Spaniards, organized, fought and made a Declaration of Independence and took steps to establish an independent government of the United States
56: How eating grits once caused a plague in Alabama
Mar 9, 2019 • 24 min
Grits are a southern staple. In this episode we cover the Ten Commandments of Grits, and how eating a diet of meat, molasses, grits and cornbread caused an epidemic of “Red Death” in the early 1900s. The discovery and cure of the disease was led by…
55: How Silverhill Alabama was founded and named
Mar 5, 2019 • 13 min
There is a town in Baldwin County, Alabama with the strange name of Silverhill and a large population of Scandinavian descendants. This is their story
54: The Alabama city almost named Muddtown
Mar 2, 2019 • 15 min
A city almost named Muddtown was founded in July 1871, through the merger of 3 pre-existing farm towns by an association of businessmen and financiers.
53: A Real Pochahontas Milly Francis
Feb 26, 2019 • 13 min
Milly Francis was the first woman and Native American to be awarded a medal from the U. S. Government. She will be inducted into the Alabama’s Women Hall of Fame in 2019.
52: The Ten Commandments of Cornbread
Feb 23, 2019 • 15 min
Good comfort food when you are sick with the flu – cornbread and hot chicken soup. The staple in any Southern home is good cornbread. Here are the Ten Commandments and how sugar in cornbread is an abomination. What is your take on how cornbread is made…
51: Devastating Explosion in Mobile after the Civil War
Feb 19, 2019 • 17 min
The carelessness of Federals or the accidental fall of a loaded shell produced the terrific magazine explosion of May 25, 1865. Thirty tons of gunpowder, with a large amount of assorted ammunition, were stored in the magazine. Early in the afternoon the…
50: ‘Tis the survivor that dies
Feb 16, 2019 • 17 min
Sam Dale, Alabama’s Daniel Boone, settled in Clark county, Ala. in 1810, and was engaged in the Indian wars of his times, being severely wounded at the battle of Burnt Corn, in which he commanded a company.
49: Hawkins and the Bear
Feb 12, 2019 • 12 min
In this true tale of Alabama’s pioneer days, Legendary Williamson Hawkins kills a bear near Birmingham with just an axe.
48: Alabama Becomes a State
Feb 9, 2019 • 15 min
The steps that Alabama took to become a state with the writing of the first State Constitution. We also highlight the American Camellia Convention in Mobile, AL for the state flower and the debut of new USPS stamp for Alabama Statehood event this month.…
47: The lady who helped saved Birmingham
Feb 5, 2019 • 14 min
Madame Wooster cared for the sick in Birmingham & had a romance with John Wilkes Booth. She is honored at UAB with the annual “Lou Wooster Public Health Award”
46: This school survived the Civil War, 2 fires and four moves
Feb 2, 2019 • 16 min
Founded on a farm in Greensboro, Alabama this school has become a leading institution for education in the state Alabama.
45: First Night flight in history was in Montgomery
Jan 31, 2019 • 11 min
The famous Wright Brothers set up a flight school in Montgomery and take to the air in the first night flight in history. The famous Wright Brothers set up a flight school in Montgomery and take to the air in the first night flight in history.
44: Francis Scott Key In Alabama
Jan 22, 2019 • 20 min
The time that the famous Francis Scott Key came to Alabama to stop a civil war from breaking out and what lead to him to our state. Be a part of our community - be a patron Alabama Pioneers comments -
43: A Tale of Bloody Bibb County
Dec 22, 2018 • 15 min
In the post Civil War era, vigilantism was the law of the land in Alabama. This is a tale of that time from ‘Bloody’ Bibb County. Be a part of our community - be a patron Alabama Pioneers comments -
42: Andrew Jackson’s scandalous love of Rachel
Dec 18, 2018 • 13 min
A scandalous love, a strong woman, and a campaign for president. Rachel’s and Andrew Jackson’s connection to Alabama. Be a part of our community - be a patron Alabama Pioneers comments -
41: The Journey to be Alabama’s first governor
Dec 15, 2018 • 16 min
The story of William Wyatt Bibb and his adventure to be Alabama’s first governor.
40: A Mason Dixon Romance
Nov 23, 2018 • 14 min
A love story that spanned across battle lines. A Yankee soldier’s elaborate plan to defect and marry his true love in time of war.
39: Justice in 1800’s Greensboro Alabama
Nov 10, 2018 • 16 min
Justice was served in a stern manner in 19th century Alabama. These stories of crazy politics, horse racing, and domestic abuse from Greensboro, Alabama demonstrate how these issues were handled in those days. Be a part of our community - be a patron…
38: Albert J. Pickett - THE Alabama Historian
Nov 3, 2018 • 19 min
Much of the history of Alabama is based on and recorded by Albert Pickett. This episode covers the legendary man behind the history. Become a part of our community - be a patron Alabama Pioneers comments -
37: The Little Rocket with a Big Story
Oct 26, 2018 • 17 min
A simple missile stands on a corner in Huntsville, a symbol of the start of the space race with Russia to the moon.
36: The Phantom of Creek Road
Oct 23, 2018 • 18 min
Have you ever heard of the ghost who carried his own coffin and haunted Marion Junction, Alabama? This story involved many respectable, local citizens of the town and a wager of fear. Happy Halloween!
35: The Day the Maple Hill Cemetery Comes Alive
Oct 19, 2018 • 13 min
Stroll through the haunted Maple Hill Cemetery in Huntsville, Alabama and visit the famous people buried there including the Dead Children’s Playground. This year’s Maple Hill Cemetery Stroll will be on Sunday, October 21, 2018
34: Elk in Alabama?
Oct 6, 2018 • 13 min
Are there Elk in Alabama? At one time there was, in this episode hear how Elk were transported from Yellowstone to Alabama and what happened to them.
33: Butterbeans, Remlap and the New Deal
Oct 3, 2018 • 21 min
FDR’s New Deal established many homesteads in Alabama which resulted in some established cities of today, the story of Remlap and the Alabama Butterbean Festival. Become a part of our community - be a patron Alabama Pioneers comments -…
32: Swedes, Danes and Norsemen come to Alabama
Sep 18, 2018 • 19 min
Swedes, Danes and Norsemen migrate to Alabama setting up three colonies in the state, Thorsby, Fruithurst and Silverhill. These immigrants created vibrant and cultural communities, like Alabama’s Vineyard Colony, which in some cases have been all but…
31: Georgiana, AL and its world renowned native son
Sep 13, 2018 • 15 min
In honor of his September 17th birthday we discuss Hank Williams Sr., his Alabama roots in the town of Georgiana, AL, and his love of Dr. Pepper as a child.
30: Have you seen or heard the mystery of LIttlefoot?
Sep 2, 2018 • 17 min
This episode features history of Fort Payne, the upcoming Boom Days festival, and the legend of Littlefoot.
29: Alabama’s ancient lost Native American town of Abihka
Aug 25, 2018 • 20 min
The oldest Native American town now lost and how it is connected to Henryetta Oklahoma.
28: A Noble town that became a City
Aug 9, 2018 • 15 min
One of the first cities in Alabama with Electric service was due to a dream and foresight of one man. The storied history of this well known city’s founding and how it grew.
27: A revolutionary tale of Charles Hooks and Mary Slocomb
Aug 2, 2018 • 19 min
A tale of a teenage Charles Hooks his sister Mary Slocomb and their truly patriotic endeavors in saving their home and lives.
26: The Alabama native that saved the Panama Canal
Jun 5, 2018 • 19 min
This Alabama native, is known throughout the world as the conqueror of the mosquito, and the malaria and yellow fever it transmits. His pioneer efforts in halting an epidemic of yellow fever enabled the United States to complete the Panama Canal.
25: “I Challenge you to a Duel!”
Jun 2, 2018 • 18 min
From the most famous to the strangest…Dueling occurred everywhere in the United States, including Alabama from its earliest history until about 1861, notwithstanding stringent laws against it as a way of defending a man’s honor.
24: Tuscaloosa’s original rival town
May 29, 2018 • 14 min
On the night of June 6, 1866, Tuscaloosa was deluged with the heaviest rainfall in the (130 years) history of this community and she bore the scars for 44 years
23: World Records and fatal stunts, women drivers at the Alabama State Fairgrounds
May 25, 2018 • 24 min
Women race car and stunt drivers were quite popular in the early days of automobile racing. One outstanding driver was Elfrieda Mais who was born June 19, 1893 in Indianapolis, Indiana was perhaps the first.
22: The Ghost Town of Cotton Gin Port
May 11, 2018 • 18 min
A historic ghost town in Mississippi was once a prospering town in Marion County in Alabama, how the town came to be, how it was moved and its demise in this episode.
21: Love at first sight or after 15 minutes
May 2, 2018 • 21 min
Betty Jane Rase, was a teenager from Phillips High School in Birmingham, Alabama, then she became Miss Birmingham, Miss Alabama and was suddenly propelled onto the world stage with her marriage to Mickey Rooney.
20: The town Elizabeth Taylor named
Apr 26, 2018 • 27 min
A town that was almost named Geneva, and its connection to Robert E. Lee. It became the home to one of Alabama’s leading education institutions.
19: The town Mickle Muckle founded, Hal Kemp and Texas
Apr 19, 2018 • 19 min
The town of Marion has a storied history, originally named Muckle’s Ridge, the town was an education hotbed with multiple well known colleges founded there. The legendary Sam Houston was married there and it was a place the jazz legend Hal Kemp called…
18: Which Alabama city was almost named Dittoville, AL
Apr 16, 2018 • 25 min
Almost named Dittoville and then Twickenham, AL this city had one of the first municipal water systems in the nation. The founder, which the town was named after, lost his land and then ended up buried near the town dump.
17: A historic house, the Van de Graaff generator and Alabama Football
Apr 11, 2018 • 25 min
This is a story of the very historic and beautiful Jemison-Van de Graaff Mansion. The beautiful Jemison-Van de Graaff Mansion in Tuscaloosa, Alabama is filled with mysteries such as a door that leads nowhere, deep underground tunnels, 2-foot thick brick…
16: The Blonde Bandit captured in Alabama
Apr 6, 2018 • 23 min
You’ve probably heard the story of the robbers, Bonnie and Clyde, but have you ever heard of the Blonde Bandit? Did Bonnie and Clyde Rob a bank in Arab, Alabama?
15: The Great Tornado of 1847 and the three thimbles
Apr 3, 2018 • 20 min
In 1847 just when booming Tuscumbia reached economic freedom, Mother Nature pays a visit and devastates the town. Also an enterprising doctor gathers up real estate with just a thimble and a ball.
14: One of the most historical towns in Alabama
Mar 28, 2018 • 15 min
A town/region that eight state governors called home, saved at the last minute from destruction in the Civil War and one that hosts a wonderful pilgrimage of homes this April 6-7th
13: A true southern lady, Henrietta Boggs, First Lady of the Revolution
Mar 23, 2018 • 16 min
We discuss the upcoming television movie premiere of First Lady of the Revolution, about a true southern lady, Henrietta Boggs who is 99 years old, and her story of becoming the First Lady of Costa Rica. The movie premieres Sunday Night, March 25th 8:00…
12: Massive Land Frauds after the Revolutionary War
Mar 21, 2018 • 19 min
After the Revolutionary War, land frauds were the norm, this episode details two of the largest in the Alabama area. These frauds led to many people ending up settling in Alabama with no other options.
11: A world renowned resort in Blount Springs, chiggers included
Mar 16, 2018 • 12 min
One of the state and nation’s grand resorts was located in Blount Springs, hosting dignitaries and celebrities. One celebrity, in particular, discovered Alabama chiggers the hard way, but the town came to the rescue.
10: How justice was served in the pioneer days of Alabama and Grits!
Mar 13, 2018 • 16 min
The notorious bandit Mason, harsh justice of pioneer days, what was riding the coach, and 39 lashes. Also, we discuss the best way to have grits.
9: Pranking General Lafayette and the founding of Selma
Mar 11, 2018 • 20 min
Eight families set out from North Carolina and stop on a bluff on the Alabama River and Selma is born. Kenan’s Mill ghost stories, Kathryn Tucker Windham and Selma’s Historic Pilgrimage
8: Step back in time in Mooresville Alabama
Mar 8, 2018 • 21 min
Discover the oldest incorporated town in Alabama, where the oldest post office in the state is still in operation. A wonderfully preserved and historic time capsule of the pioneer days. Take a free guided walking tour each weekend in April.
7: Where did the first radio broadcast in Alabama take place?
Mar 2, 2018 • 16 min
It all started with a broadcast to Thomas Edison with some makeshift equipment. A story about the early days of radio in the state of Alabama. Also some tech tips on those new to podcasts.
6: Just you wait!, Burr’s arrest in Alabama
Feb 17, 2018 • 19 min
Vice President Aaron Burr who shot and killed Hamilton in the famous duel was arrested for treason in Alabama. One of the United States most fascinating characters finds his end in Alabama.
5: The Amazing Story of Milly of Montgomery
Dec 15, 2017 • 17 min
Medicine woman, life saver, entrepreneur, a tavern and Aaron Burr, Milly’s amazing story.
4: A fake murder and a stolen courthouse
Dec 11, 2017 • 19 min
How Bay Minette became the county seat of Baldwin County and What is a Jubilee and why is it so rare?
3: River under Birmingham with Dinosaurs
Nov 29, 2017 • 17 min
Is there a river as big as the Mississippi flowing under Birmingham? Does it flow to the Gulf. Check out this strange story from Alabama’s past.
2: What is under the Birmingham Zoo?
Oct 27, 2017 • 11 min
The is something lurking in history under the Birmingham Zoo
1: Have you ever vacationed at Massacre Island?
Oct 26, 2017 • 20 min
Many people vacation at this location every summer but don’t know it’s history