Baldwin County (Images of America)

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9780738568348: Baldwin County (Images of America)
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Although 2009 marked the bicentennial of Baldwin County, the history began long before and included Native Americans, European colonists, pioneers, Chief Red Eagle, Andrew Jackson, William Bartram, and soldiers of the North and South. However, what makes Baldwin County's character today is the story of the growth in the early 1900s. As the railroad began to replace the Federal Road and Mobile Bay boats, land developers voiced the call, and Baldwin County boomed as a destination for colonists. Immigrants from all over the world came for land and for work in lumber and agriculture, building towns to fulfill their dreams. And somehow they succeeded in maintaining their cultural heritage in more than 20 distinct ethnic communities, most still thriving today. This is their story, their legacy, and the heritage of a county--the people.

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About the Author:

Harriet Brill Outlaw, a retired educator, works with the Historic Schools Project, producing documentaries and living history programs. John C. Lewis is a professional photographer and artist who owns The Gallery studio in Bay Minette. He collects and enhances old photographs. Both authors live in Baldwin County.

Review:

Title: Weaving an historic tale
Author: Theresa Swope
Publisher: Baldwin County Now
Date: 12/12/09

After 200 years of history, it's nearly impossible to be able to tell everything that has happened since Baldwin County was established.

John Lewis and Harriet Outlaw may not have put a dent in that historical retelling with their book, "Images of America: Baldwin County," but the history is there for the telling, Outlaw said, and is done so on a regular basis by those whose ancestors built this county into what it is now.

People have come to Baldwin County and remained here since the early 1700's, when English and Scottish Europeans were attracted to the forested land and its abundance of hunting, fishing and trapping.

"The Native Americans came even before that to gather shellfish along the shores," she said. "The mounds at Bottle Creek and along the eastern shore of Mobile Bay give testimony to the bounty of the sea used to sustain the Native Americans of the Alabamos."

Outlaw said residents and visitors can learn about those English and Scottish settlers from Leslie Smith in Stockton -- one of many native storytellers the authors leaned on during the publishing process.

"Leslie's experiences include stories of the early German settlers in Elberta, where he lived and taught early in his education career," Outlaw said. "He can tell you of the heritage of Foley High School, where he served as principal after his service in World War II."

A look around the county will reveal a number of storytellers with similar tales of their own. The stories of the early French settlers in Elsanor are told by Jeannette Ryan in her book "Pig Trails," or in Bon Secour by Mickey McConnell, Outlaw said.

McConnell tells of the early French fishermen, the Cooks and the Weeks, and of her memories growing up in Bon Secour. In Orange Beach, she can show you photographs of her ancestors, the Callaways, who made a living from the sea.

In Bay Minette, Outlaw said, Albert Thompson still remembers the days when Pine Grove was actually larger than Bay Minette and knows the location of the original Pine Grove school on the family land there.

Foley boasts former Mayor Arthur Holk, who can regal the listener with tales of his father's general store and days of the railroad, when the depot was the center of all town activity. In Daphne, Al Guarisco and Doris Allegri, often found at the Daphne Museum in the old Methodist Church, tell of the early Italian settlers and the old world heritage they share.

The Greek colony at Malbis is documented well in a publication available at the Malbis Greek Orthodox Church. The colony was started by Greek immigrants as a plantation to equip Greek immigrants with strong values and life long skills in agriculture.

The story of Bromley is told by the descendants of the Thompkins family, an African-American family who built a community school where Rebecca Tompkins taught for many years. A stop by the Black Education Museum in Daphne will afford the chance to listen to Gartrell Agee's stories of the days when there was only one high school for blacks in Baldwin County.

"The story of Baldwin County is best heard on the front porches of those who are descendants of the earliest settlers here in the most beautiful county in the world," Outlaw said. "Even today there are at least 20 distinct communities that have maintained the heritage of those earliest immigrants."

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9781531644970: Baldwin County

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Book Description Arcadia Publishing, United States, 2009. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. Although 2009 marked the bicentennial of Baldwin County, the history began long before and included Native Americans, European colonists, pioneers, Chief Red Eagle, Andrew Jackson, William Bartram, and soldiers of the North and South. However, what makes Baldwin County's character today is the story of the growth in the early 1900s. As the railroad began to replace the Federal Road and Mobile Bay boats, land developers voiced the call, and Baldwin County boomed as a destination for colonists. Immigrants from all over the world came for land and for work in lumber and agriculture, building towns to fulfill their dreams. And somehow they succeeded in maintaining their cultural heritage in more than 20 distinct ethnic communities, most still thriving today. This is their story, their legacy, and the heritage of a county--the people. Seller Inventory # BZV9780738568348

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