Last month, we spent a day in Winston County, Alabama. This little building used to be a post office, I think, for a community just outside Addison.
There are only four places in Winston County on the National Register of Historic Places, and this isn’t one of them (one of them is in an undisclosed area as it is a prehistoric village site near Haleyville).
And here we have bustling Addison International Airport:
It’s actually called Addison Municipal Airport, has a grass strip, and in 2000 it averaged over 100 flights a month.
In 2006, this is what the historic old Houston jail looked like:
…and after restoration:
What makes this jail so unique is that the walls are studded with nails in the belief that no one would be able to cut through the wood for an escape. It’s dated 1868:
That monument, bottom-center above, is for John Anthony Winston who was the 15th governor of Alabama and for whom this county was renamed from Hancock County. Part of the plaque reads, “During the Civil War he became a Colonel in the 8th Ala. Inf. Reg. of the Confederate Army. When told to surrender at the Battle of Seven Pines he shouted, “I didn’t join the army to surrender.” With horse reins in his teeth, drawing both pistols, he began firing, leading his men from the trap.”
…which…Winston County was named after this gentleman, but it’s very well known as the Free State of Winston because so many of its residents opposed secession. People can talk forever about the real roots of the war (states’ rights, slavery, taxation…in fact, the NY Times is running an interesting ongoing feature right now about the War, called Disunion) but one of the reasons that Winston County may have wanted to secede from the State of Alabama — if you can secede from the US, we can secede from you, I imagine they were thinking — is that comparatively they didn’t have many slaves here. For example, in the 1860 census, Conecuh County had 4882 slaves. Winston county had 122.
And here in front of the Winston County courthouse in Double Springs is this monument called ‘Dual Destiny’, which the last paragraph of the plaque reads, “This Civil War soldier, one-half Union and one-half Confederate, symbolizes the war within a war and honors the Winstonians in both armies. Their shiny new swords in 1861 were by 1865 as broken as the spirits of the men who bore them, and their uniforms of blue and gray, once fresh and clean, were now as worn and patched as the bodies and souls they contained. Johnny Reb and Billy Yank, disillusioned by the realities of war, shared dual destinies as pragmatic Americans in a reunited nation.”
Drove on one of the gravel Forest Roads:
At Fairview Missionary Baptist, their cemetery had many examples of traditional folk customs, with the curbing (outlining the plot), swept (sanded to keep out grass), and mounded:
Leaving the county, we had plans to eat at Slick Lizard Smokehouse where their motto is (seriously) ‘fill your gizzard at Slick Lizard’:
The next time I’m up that way, I’m going back to visit my friend Cheryl at her Simple Life Farm in Arley where she makes her own goat milk soaps, shampoos, lotions…and candles…jellies…