Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Historical marker describes important events in history of Pine Hill, Ala.

Historical marker in downtown Pine Hill, Ala. 
This week’s featured historical marker is the “PINE HILL, ALABAMA” marker in Wilcox County, Ala. This marker is located on the north side of Broad Street, in front of a small park near the intersection of Broad Street and Dunn Street, in Pine Hill, Ala.

This marker was erected by the Alabama Tourism Department and the Town of Pine Hill in October 2010. There’s text on both sides of the marker, and both sides are different. What follows in the complete text from the marker:

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“PINE HILL, ALABAMA – Incorporated December 2, 1895 – This area was Choctaw Indian country before the arrival of settlers moving south and west in this new nation. The first settlement, known as Arnold, was located one mile north of the present town center. Mr. Charley A. Sheldon from Massachusetts, scouting for timber, described the area as that ‘pine hill,’ thus the first post office was given the name Pine Hill when established in 1839. The arrival of the railroad in 1888 was the catalyst that brought Pine Hill to its present location. Many of the original settlers came from North and South Carolina. Among early families were Arnold, Brewer, Evans, Fuller, Gorman, Hall, Hare, Jordan, Lindsey, Mayton, Morgan, Shamburger, Sheffield and Small. There were other settlements in the area that contributed to the population of Pine Hill, namely Yellow Bluff, Bethel and Enon. (Continued on other side)”

1839 – Post office established
1856 – Dr. J.A. Thompson becomes first doctor
1888 – Birmingham & Mobile Railroad established
1890 – First official school begins
1894 – First church building, Pine Hill Baptist Church, begins
1895 – Town of Pine Hill incorporated and Clay Sheffield Bank established
1903 – Vredenburgh Saw Mill Company begins operating
1911 – Alabama & Northwestern Railroad established
1925 – First telephone system established
1927 – Electrical service begins
1946 – Bank of Pine Hill chartered
1951 – Municipal water system built
1952 – Volunteer Fire Department begins
1966 – MacMillan-Bloedel Wood Products Complex established and municipal airport built
1967 – Natural gas distribution system begins
1970 – Surface water treatment plan and sewage system established
1981 – Pine Hill purchases municipal park and museum property.”

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The thing that caught my eye about this marker was the mention of the Pine Hill museum, which is located on Oak Grove Street, not far from this historical marker. Today, the museum’s called the Pine Hill Depot Museum, and it’s located in the town’s old 1905 railroad depot. According to the Encyclopedia of Alabama, this small museum is dedicated to the preservation of the history of the Pine Hill community and the surrounding area and features railroad-related artifacts. If you’re interested in visiting this museum, a good day to do so is the town’s annual Depot Day, which is held in September.

In the end, visit this site next Wednesday to learn about another historical marker. I’m also taking suggestions from the reading audience, so if you know of an interesting historical marker that you’d like me to feature, let me know in the comments section below. 

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