Sunday, May 24, 2020

Eli McMorn and the Strange Case of Kill Devil Hill – Part Three

The star Celaeno in constellation of Taurus.

From our vantage point atop Kill Devil Hill, I watched a featureless black buzzard off in the distance. It spiraled high in the sky on an invisible column of wind. “Do you really think there’s gold and Indians buried around here?” I asked my grandfather.

He pondered this question for a few seconds, picking the right way to answer a 12-year-old boy. “Nah, but I wouldn’t be surprised if you found some old bones and spear points,” he said. “I’ve heard tell that the Indians would bring their dead up here and burn them on wooden pyres, them that worshiped what we call Celaeno.”

This was the first time that I had heard the word “Celaeno.”

“What’s that?” I asked.

“It’s a star in Taurus,” he said. “It’s easy to see if you know where to look. The Indians no doubt called it something else because our name for it is from Greek mythology.”

My thoughts turned to the names of the planets. “You mean like Mars and Mercury?”

My grandfather took a long drag from his cigarette. “Those are Roman,” he said. “Celaeno was Greek. It literally means something like ‘the dark one.’ Who knows why they chose to worship it?”

An eerie breeze blew across the top of the hill. Gooseflesh broke out on my arms.

“Long before you were born, my own Pa told me that in the spring of ’06 – before I was even born – a man and a mule were killed, and three women were hurt bad in a lightning strike up here,” he said.

“What were they doing with a mule way up here?”

“Not using their heads, that’s what,” he said. “The story was that they’d got the idea that this would be a good place to cut out a slab of stone for a grave marker. Back then, not everyone got a headstone. It was for a dead baby and the mother – one of the three women – wanted a headstone. They were going to lash the block of stone to their beast to move it to the graveyard.”

I tried to imagine someone leading a stubborn mule up the side of the mysterious hill.

“Sure enough, they got up here and began to chisel away,” my grandfather continued. “There is nothing neat or simple about that type of job. They worked up a sweat and didn’t pay any attention to a big thundercloud that blew up on them out of the southwest.”

My grandfather pointed to a dust-dry stump near the center of the hilltop, muted sunlight glinted off the fraternal ring on his right hand. “There used to be a big ash tree up here back then,” he said. “That’s all that’s left. When it started to rain, they sought shelter beneath its branches. Lightning struck, killed the man and mule and the tree too, I guess. All the women got knocked out. When they woke up, their clothes were just black shreds.”

“Pa said every bone in that man’s body was broke,” he said. “When folks went to collect his corpse, he was all loose inside, like a bag full of blood jelly. Same with the mule. The smell must have been inhuman.”

I looked to the west, over the Alabama River and into the eldritch, black woods of Clarke County. There was a dark cloud way off in the distance, sliding north across the sky towards Claiborne. “We should camp out up here some night,” I said in a weak attempt to lighten the mood. “Bring our sleeping bags and a tent. Build a camp fire.”

My grandfather turned and looked me dead in the eye. I had never seen him so serious, so grim. “Boy, you need to put that idea out of your head right now,” he said. “This cursed place is bad. As many folks who have died up here, you’d be asking for big time trouble.”

With that said, he threw down his cigarette and mashed it out with the heel of one of his leather brogans. “Come on, boy,” he said. “It’s time to go home.”

(All rights reserved. This story is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons living or dead is entirely coincidental.)

Old newspaper excerpts from The Monroe Journal newspaper of Monroe County, Alabama

Monroe County's Cunningham Cemetery.

25 YEARS AGO
MAY 25, 1995

The 55th annual Beulah Camp meeting will be held June 8-18 at the camp located 1-1/4 miles south of U.S. Highway 84 on Monroe County Road 37 between Repton and Excel.
Guest evangelists will be Dr. Harold Spann from Jackson, Miss. and J. Carl Coulliette from Wilmore, Ky. Doug Lepter will be the Bible teacher and music will be led by song evangelists Tom and Louis Kildow.

Fourth-quarter drive propels Excel to win: In a fashion typical to any Excel-Flomaton matchup, Excel High School staged a late touchdown drive Thursday to defeat Flomaton High School, 27-20, during a spring football scrimmage in Excel.
(Quarterback Steven) Pharr paced the Excel offense, rushing and passing for a total of 127 yards. (Jimbo) Bishop collected seven tackles to lead Excel’s defense.
(Other top Excel players in that game included Kelvin Betts, Cedric Brown, Lee Fore, Kelvin Martin, Derek Millender, Shane Moore and Travis Smith. Al Bowen was Excel’s head coach.)

Cunningham cemetery dedication: Members of the 2nd and 7th Alabama cavalries fire a salute at the April 30 dedication of Cunningham Cemetery off the Ridge Road near Peterman. The cemetery, where many Confederate soldiers are buried, was recently restored by Monroe County preservationist Dawn Crook. A Confederate marker was placed in the cemetery. A brief history of the cemetery was presented by Joe Holley and the dedication was led by Carter English. Dennis Owens provided the invocation and benediction. Robert Champion and Robert English of Monroeville were among the Confederate reenactors who assisted in the presentation.

75 YEARS AGO
MAY 24, 1945

Lt. Charles R. Skinner, who was confined in a German prison since last August, has been liberated and is now in France. A letter to his parents, Mr. and Mrs. M.E. Skinner, received last week, brought the good news that he is getting along fine and he hopes to be home soon.

Sgt. Robinson Harper, who was captured by the Germans last December, has been freed and is all right in every way. A letter written on May 7 was received by his mother, Mrs. G.H. Harper, this week.

Peterman Soldiers Knocks Off Japs: With the American Infantry Division in the Philippine Islands – a 50-calibre machine gun crew with which Pfc. Thomas Dean of Peterman is fighting has been credited by its company commander with being instrumental in the capture of an important hill feature during bitter fighting in the Philippines.
Dean and his crew were serving as a base of fire to cover the advance of infantrymen moving up a steep slope against strongly entrenched Japanese troops. Firing constantly as the riflemen pushed forward, Dean’s gun knocked out several pillboxes and killed an undetermined number of Japs. The volume of fire which his crew laid down cleared the way for the seizure of the hill.
The Peterman solider is the son of Mrs. S.W. Dean. Overseas 26 months with this battle-hardened division, he is a veteran of the Guadalcanal and Bougainville campaigns. A brother, Pfc. James Dean, is serving with the field artillery in Europe.

100 YEARS AGO
MAY 27, 1920

Mr. and Mrs. A.C. Lee and children visited relatives at Graceville, Fla. last week.

Mr. J.D. Rawls, who suffered fractured ribs and other painful bruises when his mule became frightened and ran away, has so far recovered from his injuries as to make his appearance on the streets again.

Mr. J. Conrad Scott, the piano tuner of Pensacola, Fla., will return to Monroeville and vicinity, taking care of all contract work during the month of August of this year. All parties wishing to have work done, who have signed no contract, will please notify him by mail as he will not have time to call only as requested.

Commencement at the Repton high school was the event of the past week. The commencement sermon was preached by Rev. Mr. Kimbrough of Bay Minette, and there was a series of interesting programs on each evening following, concluding with a recital by the music class under the direction of Miss Margurite Wilson. Exercises by the primary grades conducted by Mrs. Hines and Misses Lucy Thompson and Wynona Simmons were especially interesting. On Tuesday and Wednesday night, plays were presented entitled “Mrs. Biggs” and “Tony, the Convict,” respectively. Thursday night the graduation exercises took place. The graduates were Misses Evelyn Hicks, Mary Straughn, Catherine McInnis, Lucile Nicholson, Messrs. Charles Carter and Eugene Hines.
Contest medals were awarded to Clay Kelly and Mary Blackwell.
Miss Eustis, one of the teachers in the high school, was called home on the eve of commencement on account of serious accident suffered by her aunt.

125 YEARS AGO
MAY 23, 1895

There was a rain and hail storm (in the Ridge community) on the 10th inst., the heaviest witnessed in 40 years, say our oldest inhabitants.

MASONIC: A regular communication of Monroeville Lodge No. 153 will be held on Saturday before the third Sunday in June. The annual election of officers and other important business will come before the lodge. A full attendance of members is desired. – F.M. JONES, Secy.

George Agee, who was arrested last week for complicity in the burning of Mr. J.H. Moore’s warehouse at Claiborne, had a preliminary hearing before Judge Stallworth on Tuesday and was discharged, there being no evidence to implicate him in the crime.

Mr. J.H. Moore Jr. of Perdue Hill was in Monroeville on Tuesday. He informed us that he has already begun the erection of a new and larger warehouse on the site of the one recently burned, and expects to have it ready for occupancy in a few weeks. In the meantime, temporary arrangements have been made for handling all kinds of goods with the greatest safety to consignees and shippers.

The closing exercises of Monroeville Academy, which took place at the courthouse on last Friday evening, consisting of a number of appropriate recitations by the pupils of the Primary and Intermediate grades, were of a most entertaining nature and greatly enjoyed by all so fortunate as to be present. The epidemic of whooping cough and measles prevailing in the community so deranged the plans for the exercises that it was necessary to dispense with that part of the program arranged for the high grades.

150 YEARS AGO
MAY 28, 1870

A portion of this county was visited by a hail storm on Wednesday last.

COUNTY COURT: The May term of this Court commenced on Wednesday, the 25th inst., Hon. J.W. Leslie, presiding, and a full bar in attendance.
There was a large amount of business before the court, and it required two days of industrious work to clear the docket. From this, it would appear that crime is on the increase in Monroe County, but it is also an indication that our county officers are watchful, from the prompt manner in which offenders are brought to justice.
The following cases were disposed of…
Ailsey Wootson, alias Ailsey West, petit larceny of a chicken cock. This was a somewhat difficult case, as it involved the identity of two fowls, one of which was a black gamecock and had been “trimmed” by one of the witnesses; the other bird belonged to Ailsey, but the witness would not acknowledge having “trimmed” it. There were a number of witnesses examined on both sides and some of them swore in direct opposition to the facts. The cross-examinations in this case were more amusing than instructive, and can be imagined as well as described. Ailsey was found guilty, and the court fined her five dollars and costs.

PROPOSALS: We, the undersigned committee, are now prepared to received sealed proposals for the building of the Monroeville Academy, and will continue to receive them until Sat., the 18th day of June next. Plans and specifications of building can be found at the office of J.F. McCorvey. Proposals can be handed to either of the committee or to J.F. McCorvey. (Signed) J. Russell, J.W. Perrin, C.R. Broughton, Committee.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Singleton said lower Monroe County volcanic rock resembled monster

George Buster Singleton

(For decades, local historian and paranormal investigator George “Buster” Singleton published a weekly newspaper column called “Somewhere in Time.” The column below, which was titled “Rock formation resembles huge monster” was originally published in the Jan. 15, 1976 edition of The Monroe Journal in Monroeville, Ala.)

As I roam the countryside and observe the wonders of natures, there are times when it seems that the Creator of all beautiful things might grow tired of making everything pretty and pleasing to the eye.

He does, at times, make things that make us notice that everything is not beautiful – some things are different, odd and sometimes even ugly.

Such was the case of the odd-shaped rock formation that I came across in lower Monroe County. This odd phenomenon seemed to me as a huge prehistoric monster, frozen in time but ever waiting to pounce on any unsuspecting prey who entered his domain to despoil it.

A sixth sense

Man has developed a sixth sense. When he is being observed by unseen persons, he is aware of it, in most instances. This is the feeling that came over me as I walked around the huge, odd-shaped formation. It seemed as through the sightless eyes were following me everywhere, I went.

The atmosphere seemed thick, and each movement or sound was magnified to the point that I found myself trying not to make any noise that might awaken the monster and cause it to become angry. And always I would turn, expecting the eyes to be moving in my direction.

The trees and brush around the rock formation were empty of birds, as though they felt as I did. They, too, seemed to keep their distance.

I knew that this was only a large pile of volcanic rock, but the feeling that came over me is hard to explain.

I know that all these things are His creations and can be appreciated if received in the right perspective, open-mindedness and imagination. But I found it hard to cast the feeling from me that this thing was not really alive and watching.

As I returned to my Jeep through the woods, the temptation to turn and look into the sightless eyes was overwhelming.

[This column included a photo taken by Singleton that had the following caption: South Monroe County rock formation resembles monster.]

(Singleton, the author of the 1991 book “Of Foxfire and Phantom Soldiers,” passed away at the age of 79 on July 19, 2007. A longtime resident of Monroeville, he was born to Vincent William Singleton and Frances Cornelia Faile Singleton, during a late-night thunderstorm, on Dec. 14, 1927 in Marengo County, graduated from Sweet Water High School in 1946, served as a U.S. Marine paratrooper in the Korean War, worked as a riverboat deckhand, lived for a time among Apache Indians, moved to Monroe County on June 28, 1964 and served as the administrator of the Monroeville National Guard unit from June 28, 1964 to Dec. 14, 1987. He was promoted from the enlisted ranks to warrant officer in May 1972. For years, Singleton’s columns, titled “Monroe County history – Did you know?” and “Somewhere in Time” appeared in The Monroe Journal, and he wrote a lengthy series of articles about Monroe County that appeared in Alabama Life magazine. It’s believed that his first column appeared in the March 25, 1971 edition of The Monroe Journal. He is buried in Pineville Cemetery in Monroeville. The column above and all of Singleton’s other columns are available to the public through the microfilm records at the Monroe County Public Library in Monroeville. Singleton’s columns are presented here each week for research and scholarship purposes and as part of an effort to keep his work and memory alive.)

Five UFO reports filed in Alabama during the month of April 2020

Burner directs flames into hot air balloon.

It’s the fourth Saturday of the month, so today I’m giving you an update on UFO reports in Alabama from the previous month, courtesy of the Mutual UFO Network. A search for UFO reports in Alabama between April 1 and April 30 on MUFON’s website, www.mufon.com, resulted in five reports from within our state during that time.

The first incident occurred on Thurs., April 9, around 3:30 a.m. in Hamilton, which is in Marion County. The witness in this case awoke to a noise that sounded like thrusters filling a hot air balloon. He looked out a window in time to see a column of flames pass over the top of his neighbor’s house and then the flames turned into sparks as the noised died away. The sparks cast light on top of the house and illuminated the bottom of the craft, the witness said.

The second incident occurred on Wed., April 15, around 8 p.m. in Bessemer. The witness in this case, along with his fiancĂ© and two other friends, saw six lines of moving star-like orbs that appeared to be coming out of a craft that wasn’t visible. The witnesses said they watched these orbs for 15 to 20 minutes and estimated that there were 50 to 70 of them in all.

The third incident occurred on Mon., April 20, at 4:54 a.m. in Silverhill, which is in Baldwin County. The witness in this case was walking to his truck and saw two bright lights following each other, moving northeast. As they disappeared, the witness saw what looked like shooting stars or maybe a small meteor shower that he described as “weird.” He continued to watch as several more rounds of “bright lights” followed by shooting stars or meteor showers illuminated the sky.

The fourth incident took place on Wed., April 29, at 8:36 p.m. in Cullman. The witness in this case was standing at his back door when he saw 20 to 25 high-speed objects flying in formation. He continued to watch as they spread apart uniformly without emitting any sound, reference lights or blinking lights.

The fifth incident occurred on Thurs., April 30, at 8:13 p.m. in Salem, which is in Lee County. The witness in this case saw a series of at least 50 white, bright orbs that were flying in tandem in a straight line.

“They were all the same space from each other,” the witness said. “The last two orbs were side by side of each other. They were going very fast, no tails, absolutely no sound. They appeared to come from what we believe was Venus, and they just all disappeared into space.”

Before closing out, I just want to put it out there again that I would be very interested to hear from anyone who has witnessed a UFO, especially in Conecuh County. I think a lot of other people would be interested in hearing your story too, and I’m willing to accept your report anonymously.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

'Riley's Crossing' in Monroe County named after South Carolina settlers

Turnbull Cemetery in Monroe County, Alabama. 

About four miles east of J.F. Shields High School in Beatrice on State Highway 21, travelers will see a green highway sign that reads “Riley’s Crossing” near the crossroads where Highway 21 veers off towards McWilliams and State Highway 47 continues on towards Midway. Turnbull Road makes up the other point of the compass at this intersection as it leads motorists down into the old Turnbull community.

Despite the road sign on Highway 21, most maps list the name of this crossroads community simply as “Riley,” a name that dates back to the establishment of a post office there in 1882. According to the book “Place Names in Alabama” by Virginia O. Foscue, the Riley community was “named for a family from South Carolina, who settled in this area.” Sources say that the Riley post office closed in 1911.

According to the 2010 book, “Riley’s Crossing” by Kathy McCoy, the name “Riley’s Crossing” traces its roots to an old mercantile store by the same name that was owned by one of the county’s most prominent citizens, Thomas Mercer Riley, who was the longtime president of the Bank of Beatrice. If you go to this place today, there is no sign of Riley’s old store, which more than likely also housed the community’s post office.

A few days ago, after several hours of luckless fishing at the state lake, I found myself passing through Riley’s Crossing with my 11-year-old son, James. We scouted around for a few minutes to see if any old landmarks or buildings remained from the community’s heyday, and we were not disappointed. As many travelers through this area will know, the most prominent building in present-day Riley’s Crossing is the Savannah Missionary Baptist Church, which traces its history back to the 1880s.

According to the church’s cornerstone, the church was organized in the 1880s when R.W. Russell was minister. The church has been rebuilt three times since then - first in 1907, again in 1937 and lastly in 1968. In 1983, the church was bricked and a new addition was added to the sanctuary.

Before heading home, James and I cut down Turnbull Road, and about a mile later, we pulled over at the old Turnbull Cemetery. We walked among the headstones for a few minutes, and, just eyeballing it, I’d say there are about 50 graves there. The oldest grave that we were able to find belonged to Lydia Kile, who died at the age of 17 in September 1846.

Not far from her grave, you will also find the grave of Thomas Mercer Riley, who died at the age of 95 in March 1935. During the Civil War, Riley served as captain of Co. C of the 5th Alabama Infantry and was in command of that unit when it surrendered with Robert E. Lee at Appomattox in 1865. At the time of his death, Riley was one of the few surviving Confederate veterans in all of Alabama.

Sources say that the Turnbull Cemetery is in the flood zone of Turnbull Branch, which flows just west of the cemetery. Maps indicate that Flat Creek, Robinson Creek and Stringer Creek also flow through the Riley’s Crossing and Turnbull communities, and all of these freshwater sources would have been prime real estate for ancient Indians in this area. No doubt there are more than a few old village sites, and maybe Indian mounds, in this part of Monroe County.

In the end, I’d like to hear from anyone in the reading audience with more information about the history of Riley’s Crossing. I’m especially interested in hearing any old ghost stories or local legends from this community as well as any information about old Indian sites there. Many will agree that it’s important to document this information for future generations, so that it won’t become lost like so much of our local history.

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Where was the house of the 'Dancing Skulls' located in Wilcox County?

Rosebud-Saint James A.M.E. Church.

About 10 miles east of downtown Camden on State Highway 10 sits the small crossroads village of Rosebud. No one seems to agree on how this community got its name but there was once a sizeable number of people living in Rosebud many years ago. In fact, sources say that Rosebud had its own post office from 1876 to 1910.

I found myself passing through Rosebud on Friday afternoon and decided to cut down County Road 51 to visit the old cemetery at the Rosebud-Saint James African Methodist Episcopal Church. Those of you familiar with this majestic country church will know that it is unique for a number of reasons.

For starters, the west side of the church’s foundation is painted purple, while the east side is painted gray. In all my travels, I don’t know that I’ve ever seen another church with this distinct type of color scheme.

The church also has two cornerstones, both located near the church’s front steps. The older of the two reads “Bethel A.M.E. Church – Erected June 1898 – Rev. A.M. Green, Pastor.” This cornerstone is painted white and is smaller than the newer of the two cornerstones.

The newer of the two stones reads “Early 1900s Renamed Rosebud A.M.E. Church, Rebuilt in 1977, Pastor Rev. J. Walton – Erected 2004, Rev. A. Thrasher-Pastor, Rev. C. Townsend, Presiding Elder, Rev. Rt. L. Kirkland, Bishop – 2008, Rev. L. Jackson-Pastor, Dr. L. Watford-Presiding Elder, Rev. Pt. Davis-Bishop.” This stone appears to be made of polished granite, the same type of material used for modern gravestones.

From there, I took a few minutes to look around the cemetery and noted a number of old graves that date back to the early days of the Rosebud community. Some of the graves are to be found in the surrounding wood line, and others can be found nearly hidden amongst bushes inside the cemetery. I even spotted several graves in underbrush near a large pine tree that’s also home to a sizeable, active hive of bees.

A few minutes later, I found myself back in my truck and headed north of the crossroads up County Road 51 towards Darlington. It was then that my thoughts turned to an old ghost story that I’d heard about this area many years ago, the tale of the “Dancing Skulls.” The best telling of this tale that I know of comes from the 1981 book, “Ghosts and Goosebumps: Ghost Stories, Tall Tales and Superstitions from Alabama” by folklorists Jack and Olivia Solomon.

According to their version of the story, “about three miles north of the crossroads known as Rosebud… there sits on top of a small grass covered hill the remains of what was once a large frame house. This house, which now consists of one large room that has held up in the fight with nature through the years, was once a hospital.”

In the front yard of this former hospital, which was in operation before the Civil War but closed before 1900, is “scattered about an assortment of grave markers in the form of headstones and slabs. There are not many of these, but the small number there suffice to give it a weird appearance.

“The attic of this structure is filled with human skulls and the occupants of the house and the (people) of this section say that within these skulls lie the spirits of their former owners. The belief is that these spirits are very sensitive and are easily excitable, and when they become upset, they dance about in the attic and frequently about the walls and ceiling. In times of great excitement, especially during storms, these ha’nts even venture out into the yard and hover around the tombs that hold their companions.”

During my recent trip up County Road 51, I took my time and drove slowly, but from my vantage point on the highway, I never saw any old house or small graveyard that might indicate where the hospital-turned-house once stood. Perhaps someone in the reading audience will remember. If so, please let me hear from you because it would be interesting to know if this tale has any basis in fact.

The Evergreen Courant's News Flashback for May 19, 2020


14 YEARS AGO
MAY 18, 2006

Evergreen weather observer Harry Ellis reported 0.70 inches of rain on May 9 and 1.15 inches on May 10. He reported high temperatures of 85 degrees on May 9 and May 13 and lows of 50 on May 11 and May 12.

The 2007 Conecuh County Junior Miss Program, presented by the Conecuh Women’s League of Evergreen, was held Sat., May 6, 2006 at Ed Reid Technical College Auditorium. Winners were Jalesyia Gross, daughter of Janice Gross, Spirit of Junior Miss Award; Annice Jessie, daughter of Terrance Jessie and Trent and Chesson McDaniel; second runner-up, Scholastic Achievement Award and Talent Award; Tiara Sanders, daughter of Nathan and Willie Mae Sanders, 2007 Conecuh County Junior Miss and Interview Award; and Courtney Nared, daughter of Russell and Teresa Hammond and Leon Nared, first runner-up.

Sparta Academy will hold graduation exercises Fri., May 19, 2006 at 7 p.m. in the school gymnasium. Honor students for the Class of 2006 are Ashton Garner, Valedictorian Casey Salter, Salutatorian Ava Pate and Erin Brock; Kara Layton, Will Ivey and James Turner Murphy.

Hillcrest High School will hold graduation exercises Fri., May 19, at 7 p.m. at Brooks Memorial Stadium. Honor students of the Class of 2006 are Kristin Searcy, Shaunta Rankins, Valedictorian Treasure Lyons and Cabria Rankins; Rosilyn Stallworth, Salutatorian Jamarlin Williams, Brandon Jackson and Shaneka McCreary.

25 YEARS AGO
MAY 18, 1995

Local weather reporter Harry Ellis reported 1.5 inches of rain on May 9, .12 inches of rain on May 10 and .54 inches of rain on May 12.

Evergreen Chief of Police Thomas W. Booker was sworn in Monday morning at 10 a.m. as the new state chapter president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police. He was given the oath by Evergreen Mayor Lomax Cassady as his wife, Lauri, and daughter, Jennifer, looked on. They were flanked by the Evergreen Police Department Honor Guard and the Hillcrest JROTC Honor Guard.

The Conecuh County Economic Development Authority announces today that Rosalyn Sales has tendered her resignation as Executive Director effective May 26, 1995.

Valedictorian of Sparta Academy’s graduating class of 1995 is Kelly Rogene Booker, daughter of Rogene and Shirley Booker of Evergreen.

Chad Chesser, son of Mr. and Mrs. Carrol Chesser of Evergreen, is the salutatorian of the 1995 graduating class of Sparta Academy.

Conecuh County Sheriff’s Department Investigator Shawn Sullivan and Conecuh County Sheriff Tom Hall are shown Wednesday afternoon with some of the 523 marijuana plants that were found in an eradication program conducted last Wednesday and Thursday in the county. The plants ranged in size from a few inches in height to over four feet.

39 YEARS AGO
MAY 21, 1981

Evergreen weather reporter Earl Windham reported no rain between May 11 and May 17. He reported highs of 85 degrees on May 14 and May 15 and a low of 45 on May 12.

Clint Hyde, son of Mr. and Mrs. David T. Hyde Jr., is shown with Knight, judged “Best of the Show” at the first annual Kid’s Dog Show held Sunday afternoon at the Evergreen Municipal Park under sponsorship of the Conecuh County Humane Society.

The seniors of Sparta Academy will host Sparta’s annual class night on Fri., May 22, at 7 p.m. in the Sparta Academy Gymnatorium.
Baccalaureate services for the seniors will get underway on Sun., May 24, at 2 p.m. in the Sparta Gymnatorium. The invocation, which will be given by Rev. Bill Lewis of the McKenzie Baptist Church, will be followed by the message to be presented by Rev. Alice Johnson of the Presbyterian Church in Evergreen.
Commencement exercises for the seniors will be held Thurs., May 28, in the Sparta Gymnatorium at 7 p.m. The guest speaker will be John Faircloth. Faircloth serves on the Alabama Private School Advisory Council, the State Superintendent of Education’s Advisory Council and the State Vocational Education Advisory Council.
(Sparta’s valedictorian that year was Paula Lee. Salutatorians were Jeena Simpson and Bud Evers. Other honors students were Cathy Cope, Karen Brown and Beth Dailey.)

66 YEARS AGO
MAY 11, 1954

Forty-Seven Seniors To Receive Diplomas From Evergreen High: Commencement exercises for Evergreen High School have been completed according to announcements from the office of the principal, C.W. Claybrook.
The series of events in connection with graduation will begin Sunday afternoon at five o’clock when the baccalaureate service will be held in the high school auditorium. The baccalaureate sermon will be delivered by Rev. Robert Miller of the Evergreen Presbyterian Church.
Formal graduation exercises will be held on Friday night, May 28, at eight o’clock in Memorial Gymnasium. Dr. C.B. Smith, president of Troy State Teachers College, will deliver the address.
Valedictorian is Annette Bolton and salutatorian is Barbara DeLee.

Repton High School Has 36 Graduates: The schedule of commencement exercises at Repton High School is complete according to Principal E.H. Penny.
The baccalaureate service will be held Sunday at eight o’clock in the school auditorium. The baccalaureate sermon will be delivered by Rev. Fletcher Howington, pastor of the Methodist Church of Monroeville.
Graduation exercises will be held Friday evening, May 28, at eight o’clock in the school auditorium. Judge A.H. Elliott of the 21st Judicial Circuit, Brewton, will deliver the address. Principal E.H. Penny will present diplomas to the class of 36 graduates.