Tag Archives: Decatur



It is so nice to come across the bridge into Decatur and see a riverboat. We have the Pickwick Belle stationed here now, not nearly as grande as the American Queen. It is used mostly for local excursions. This is a beautiful riverboat. I immediately turned down to Rhodes Ferry Park, good thing I had my camera! I rarely go anywhere without it lately.

There was a four-year hiatus for the Queen on the Decatur waterways. It has returned, so glad! It is the largest steamboat ever constructed at 418 feet. It has returned from a ten-day civil war cruise, from Vicksburg to Chattanooga, and was last through Decatur on Aug 13, 2012.

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GTO The Judge

GTO The Judge

I didn’t even know there was an antique car show today. We had gone to the farmer’s market in downtown Decatur. Which was having their corn festival. Unfortunately, it has been so dry, the corn was not local. This did not stop my husband from chomping on an ear. On our way home, we passed several antique cars, that seemed to be going in the direction of Point Mallard. Once we got home, I checked the Decatur website, and , sure enough….Antique Car Show! We have been going to Third Friday in downtown Decatur, which features mainly local cars. A nice thing to do on a Friday night.

From Third Friday Decatur

I was going walking anyway, so I made my way in the direction of the cars. That is, in the direction of all the card entering Point Mallard park. It was quite busy! The park has quite a few events throughout the year. This was one event that I did not know was coming. Good thing I caught it! It was a free event for spectators, and a $25.00 registration fee. Quite a few really cool cars. I will remember this one for next year. Here is a link to the North Alabama Car Show events.

Apparently, I like red cars! Who doesn’t. It makes the car go faster!!!!

The Metropolitan, first American Sub Compact car




July 10, 1862: Forty men from the hill country of northwest Alabama sneak into Decatur to join the Union army, prompting Gen. Abel Streight to mount an expedition to the south to recruit more volunteers. With the help of an impassioned speech from fervent Unionist Christopher Sheats of Winston County, a center of anti-secessionist sentiment, Streight added another 150 Alabamians to his force.

Burleson house ( photo by Tim Carr )

July 10, 1864: Gen. Lovell H. Rousseau of the Union army begins his raid through Alabama at Decatur. Under orders from Gen. William T. Sherman, Rousseau’s 2,200 cavalrymen raided south more than 300 miles to the West Point and Montgomery Railroad in east Alabama. By July 20 they had destroyed more than thirty miles of track between Chehaw Station and Opelika, thereby aiding Sherman’s march on Atlanta by cutting a vital supply line to the city.

The Burleson house above was used by both Union and Confederate troops. At different times, of course!!

Decatur Train Depot Restoration Project

The Decatur Daily has a story today about the Depot

City train depot restoration will cost more than $900K – The Decatur Daily – Decatur, Alabama.

I just posted some pics of the train depot the other day. I found it interesting there is a plan for a restoration in the works. It would be awesome if this truly could happen. So much still needs to be done in downtown Decatur. Many comments on this story were negative, feeling as if the city would not maintain the structure once it is restored. Others, feels it is necessary to revive a historical part of the city. I am on the latter side.

City train depot restoration will cost more than $900K
By Tiffeny Owens

City leaders’ plan to bring the aging former L&N Railroad Depot in Northwest Decatur back to its former glory will take more money than the $900,000 awarded through a state grant.

Work on the 112-year-old structure at Railroad and Vine streets Northwest must begin by Jan. 17 or the city could lose the $720,000 the Alabama Department of Transportation gave Decatur in 2009.

The grant requires a $180,000 local match, and the city and Downtown Redevelopment Authority have agreed to put up $90,000 each.

Officials are confident they can make the deadline once they get an estimate of the project’s cost from an outside firm, said Wally Terry, economic and community development director.

Preliminary estimates for the renovation range from $1.2 million to $1.5 million. DDRA Executive Director Rick Paler said the project is so important, his agency would be willing to pay more to make sure it’s done right.

Public and private support could be sought to pay for costs not covered by the ALDOT grant, Terry said.

“It’s such an iconic, one-of-a-kind building with so much history attached to it, it warrants that we do everything we can to take it to the next level and preserve it as stewards of our culture and history,” Paler said.

In the past three years, the city’s plan to convert the structure into a transportation museum has undergone three revisions. Officials are now considering moving three Decatur police divisions — currently cramped at their City Hall offices — into two-thirds of the 5,000-square-foot building and using the rest for the museum.

The goal is to make the depot look as it did when it was in use in the early 1900s, complete with its original windows and wood, said Decatur architect Fred Underwood, who helped design the project.

“We plan to tear down the ceiling that’s there now to reveal its original ceiling and install cupolas with spires like it used to have,” Underwood said.

Officials hope giving the depot a new use will help connect the city’s historic downtown shopping to the Northwest area.

Having Decatur police’s traffic, investigations and school resource officers units headquartered inside permanently also could give added security to the precious artifacts stored in the museum area, Paler said.

But before any work can begin, the city has to purchase the property from its current owner, Decatur resident Wally Inscho.

Negotiations between Paler and Inscho are ongoing. Inscho wants $180,000 for the depot, but its last appraisal showed its value at $110,000, Paler said.

“We’re at a point, once we can buy it and clean it up, then the clock can start on the renovations,” Terry said.

The cleanup consists of removing lead-based paint from the building and safely disposing of it.

The ALDOT grant will not cover the expense, so the city will have to find money elsewhere.

“That’s why we want to get an independent firm’s estimate on the property, so the City Council can decide how they want to proceed,” Terry said.

A Nashville firm that specializes in detailed cost estimates for proposed projects could be tapped, said Blake McAnally, president of Decatur engineering firm Pugh Wright McAnally.

Terry said he hoped to get the council a resolution to hire the outside firm for its July 2 meeting.

“We don’t want overruns on this,” he said. “We want to do it right and keep it on budget.”


On Sunday, Patrick and I were driving around Decatur near the new Ingalls Harbour Pavillion. Which is really nice by the way. We saw an odd structure at the back of the lot. Now, Decatur has a lot of historical markers, but, this had nothing. Something as cool as this structure deserves a sign of some description, history etc. It took a lot of research to determine what it was. The Morgan county or Decatur websites had no information. It was a photo on Flickr that described it.

Beehive Brick Kiln

As we were driving, we discovered the Burleson home. It is a beautiful Greek Revival set on the Tennessee river west of Decatur.

Burleson house ( photo by Tim Carr )

The Rhea-McEntire House ( Burleson house )  is a historic antebellum Greek Revival mansion located along the shoreline of the Tennessee River in Decatu Alabama.

The house was constructed prior to 1836, and was used as headquarters by both Union and Confederate forces, alternately, during the Civil War.

In 1862, before being occupied by Federal forces, the plans for the Battle of Shiloh were laid out within this building. Because of this, the house was spared when the city was burned, leaving only 2 other buildings standing in the city.

The house was also used as the first temporary courthouse, during the construction of the first permanent courthouse in Somerville, in Cotaco County which is now Morgan County.







While out on Monday, I decided to go to west of Decatur. While I was out looking for decrepit cemeteries, I stopped at the gate of Pond Spring, the Wheeler home. It was closed at the time. So, I decided to go toward Courtland at this point. I was surprised a the architecture there. After visiting the local cemeteries, I headed east again, and this time the gate was open at the Wheeler home. I stopped to take a few photos.

Dogtrot cabin on Wheeler property

I started to walk up the path, and I was approached by the curator who was about to close the gates. She was extremely nice. I was of course inquiring about the cemetery. It is located about 50 yards behind the Wheeler home.The curator was very kind in explaining how I could get to see the cemetery and take photos. Also, the home has a Grand Opening on September 8th. They are doing an extensive remodel of the Wheeler home.


Wimbley Cemetery AKA Kimbell Cemetery

This cemetery is located just west of Decatur Alabama on highway 20/72. It is on the property that belongs to ULA ( formerly Boeing). It’s posted no trespassing…..I can’t read apparently. This means nothing to those of us eager to take a photo not listed. I was sure to be extremely careful. It is within a fenced area and rock wall as well. It contains the Kimbell family as well as names MInor, Mosely and Murphey. It is very poor condition, with many of the monuments overturned. The only information I can find on this family, is that Edmond Kimbell once operated a stagecoach in Decatur. So, it was a point of interest for many to stop, probably because of the  river.

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