Monday, June 28, 2010

Sunday, June 27, 2010

History of Brindley family in Cullman

Long before Col. Johann G. Cullmann brought German immigrants to what is now known as Cullman County, Mace Thomas Payne Brindley had settled in the community. Brindley Mountain now takes up parts of Cullman, Morgan, Marshall, Winston and Lawrence counties in Alabama.

Brindley’s great-great grandson, Joe Brindley, told the June 2010 meeting of the Cullman County Historical Society about his family’s history from its origins in Ireland to running grocery stores in Cullman and other places in North Alabama.

Mace Brindley owned an 1,800-acre farm and became active in politics becoming probate judge of Blount County and later a state representative and senator. As a state tax collector, he would cut the bills sent to the state capital in Montgomery in two and send half by horseman then half later to assure the tax money wouldn’t be stolen. The bills would be put back together in Montgomery.

Joe’s brother Hugh was known as grocer in Cullman, operating Brindley’s Market after a stint managing A&P stores. In the early 1960s, Joe and Hugh Brindley traveled to Birmingham to meet with Joe Bruno, who was experimenting with a new type of store called a “supermarket.” Hugh decided family-named stores were going to pass from the scene and obtained the local Piggly Wiggly franchise. Joe disagreed, and moved on to a career at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, first with NASA, then with the U.S. Army.

Asked about the spelling “Brindlee Mountain” in Marshall County, Brindley explained that a misspelling had occurred at some point and was never corrected. Despite attempts to fix the spelling of Brindlee Mountain Parkway and Brindlee Mountain Middle School, a powerful politician, and then-owner of Brindlee Mountain Telephone Co., Sid McDonald, was successful in quashing them.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

West Point to celebrate centennial in October

The Town of West Point will celebrate its 100th birthday on Oct. 2, 2010 with a car show, tractor show, arts and crafts and children's events.

Memorabilia of the town is being sought: photos, records or anything else of note, to be displayed in Town Hall. Descendants of the following families are encouraged to bring memorabilia to be displayed in the historical booths: Jordan, Tankersley, Cornelius, Morgan, Baker, Huffstutler, Cheatwood, Pesto, Howell/Heck, Ponder, Nesmith, Cochrin, Wix, Wren, Reese, Griggs, Helton and Quick.

For more information, contact West Point Town Hall at 256-734-0006 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Mondays and Fridays only.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Upcoming “Great Alabama Homecoming” events

Some 215 towns across Alabama welcome you home this year during the Great Alabama Homecoming. It’s all part of the Year of Alabama Small Towns & Downtowns- a celebration of everything that is Sweet Home Alabama. There are homecoming events and festivals going on practically every weekend through mid-December. Upcoming events include:

30th Annual Alabama Blueberry Festival- Brewton- June 19
Gainesville Day- Gainesville Day- June 19
Memorial Park Homecoming- Jasper- June 19
Slocomb Tomato Festival- Slocomb- June 19
Small Town Celebration- Susan Moore- June 19
Annual Masonic Day Celebration- Florala- June 24
Helen Keller Festival- Tuscumbia- June 24-27
Brighton Homecoming- Brighton- June 25-27
Peach Jam Jubilee- Clanton- June 25
Liberty Day- Columbiana- June 25-26
Homecoming/Centennial Cemetery Day- Hobson City- June 25-26
Wild West Blocton Davis- West Blocton- June 25-26
Town of Shorter Liberty Day- Shorter- June 26
Sylvan Springs Old-Fashioned Evening in the Park- Sylvan Springs- June 26
God and Country Celebration- Wilsonville- June 27

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Cullman Historic Walking Tour

Carolyn Peinhardt Johnson led the second week of walking tours through Cullman's historic district Saturday, assisted by Michael Sullins, who had lead the first tour. Two more tours are set for the remaining Saturdays in June. Each starts at 10 a.m. at the Col. Cullmann home.

Below, the tour begins at the Col. Cullmann home; Johnson examines a photo of the building that is now home to Rumor's Deli with deli owner Ralph Harris; the group walks by the old sign on the Cullman Banana Supply building; the group hears about the Steifelmeyer Building from inside the renovated building; and the tour concludes at the Weis Cottage.  (Videos of the tour have been interspersed with the photos.)

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Walking Tours of Cullman

Free walking tours of Cullman will be conducted every Saturday during June. They will start at 10 a.m on the front porch of the Cullman County Museum on the corner of First Avenue and Arnold Street NE and end on Second Avenue Arnold Street NE. To help with the heat, there will be three water breaks this year.

And on the other three Saturdays you can choose from one of the other 30 or so towns across Alabama that will be taking part in the Alabama Tourism Department's June Walking Tours. The June Walking Tours are part of state tourism’s “Year of Alabama Small Towns and Downtowns” state-wide promotion.

Towns and starting places for the June Walking Tours are: Ashland, Ashland City Hall; Ashville, St. Clair Tourism Office; Athens, Limestone County Courthouse Annex Parking Lot; Atmore, Heritage Park; Birmingham, Birmingham Civil Rights Institute; Cullman, Cullman County Museum; Courtland, Park on the Square; Decatur, Delano Park Rose Garden; Demopolis, City Hall; Enterprise, Rawls Hotel; Eufaula, Chamber of Commerce Depot; Fairhope, Fairhope Welcome Center; Florence, various starting locations; Gadsden, Pitman Theatre; Gordo, Chamber of Commerce; Guntersville, Chamber of Commerce; Hartselle, Historic Depot; Hayneville, Lowndes County Courthouse; Homewood, City Hall. Huntsville, Constitution Village (June 5 & 12 only); Madison, Madison Roundhouse (June 19 & 26 only); Monroeville, Old Courthouse Museum; Montevallo, Chamber of Commerce; Montgomery; Montgomery Visitor Center; Oak Hill, Bethel ARP Church; Prattville, Autauga County Heritage Center; Selma, Dallas County Public Library; Scottsboro, Jackson County Heritage Center; Sheffield, Sheffield Municipal Building; Silas, Silas Community Center; Sylacauga, B.B. Comer Library; Thomasville, Thomasville Civic Center; Tuscumbia, ColdWater Bookstore; Tuskegee, Tuskegee Human and Civil Rights Multicultural Center; Wetumpka, Chamber of Commerce.

The tours are being coordinated by Brian Jones with the Alabama Tourism Department. “Alabama is the only state in the nation to hold statewide, simultaneous walking tours. The beauty of the June Walking Tours is that any community, whether big or small, can do this. We have done more than 1,000 walking tours since the beginning of the program seven years ago and they keep increasing in popularity every year,” Jones said. More information about the June Walking Tours is available by going online at or by calling 1-800-ALABAMA.

Take Cullman Oktoberfest's historical photo quiz on Facebook.