Thursday, July 16, 2015

Explore local history through the Years

From Janney Furnace, John Pelham, Civil Rights, “LickSkillet,” and “The Model City,” Calhoun County is rich with history.
In 1832, the Treaty of Cusseta ceded the Creek Nation’s lands, east of the Mississippi, to the U.S. Government. Chief Ladiga was one of the Creek Indian leaders to sign the treaty. In 1834, the town of Jacksonville, built on land once Creek Territory, was named for Andrew Jackson.
Also in 1834, Jacksonville began its storied history in education when the town reserved a one-acre square for a schoolhouse. Over the years, the school developed from the Jacksonville Academy into Jacksonville State Teachers College, today known as Jacksonville State University.
Settlers began moving into what is now Weaver in the 1830s, including brothers Simeon and Linzey Weaver, but the city was not incorporated until 1945. 
The city of Oxford was originally a settlement called “Lickskillet,” but was incorporated as Oxford in 1852. Janney Furnace was constructed in 1863, but was burned by Union troops in 1864, destroying the shacks that were built for work and damaging parts of the brick chimneys.
Begun in 1872 by the Tyler and Noble families, Anniston was designed to be a key industrial element in the New South. Originally, a private company town around the Woodstock Iron Company and cotton mill, Anniston opened to a broader public in 1883 and attracted new industries, commercial activities and people.
In 1888, Piedmont was named meaning 'Foot of the Mountains.’ The Eubanks Welcome Center was built in 1889 for the Eubanks Family as a General Store but moved to its current location in 1998, where it serves as the Welcome Center for the Chief Ladiga Trail.
Hobson City, located directly across from Oxford, was incorporated in 1899 when the mayor of Oxford gerrymandered the residents' homes out of the larger city. The displaced citizens refused to leave the area and simply created a city of their own.
In 1899, the county seat of Calhoun County moved from Jacksonville to Anniston.
In 1917, Camp McClellan was established and later became home to one of the largest U.S. Army installations during World War II, training an estimated half million troops at Fort McClellan.
In 1939, Cheaha State Park celebrated its official opening.
May 14, 1961, the Freedom Riders entered Anniston, meeting an angry mob who firebombed the Greyhound Bus along what is now Hwy 202. Historical Anniston sites include the Freedom Riders Murals at 1031 Gurnee Avenue and the intersection of 9th and Noble Street.
Since 1999, Alabama’s Veterans Memorial is the official hom
e of the names of every Alabamaian killed during World War I, World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam, and the Persian Gulf are engraved on the granite Wall. Resolutions have been passed to add Afghanistan, Iraq as well as Firefighters and Law Enforcement killed in the line of duty.

 There’s so much more to see and learn, so stop by the Chamber and Visitors Center office at 1330 Quintard Avenue in Anniston to pick up a historic driving tour. Our hours are Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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