Ghosts of DeSoto Falls and Canyonland Park

I’ve been researching a couple of places in Alabama. The first is the ghost of Desoto Falls in Mentone, Alabama. I love Mentone! What’s not  to love? Quaint restaurants. beautiful scenery…

I was quite surprised to learn that the DeSoto Falls area is haunted by an old woman and her dog. Supposedly, when the woman died in 1931, thieves stole the money she had set aside for a tombstone. She then haunted the site around her old cabin. Many people saw her walking with her dog. In recent years, someone bought a stone for her grave. Apparently, since that time, sightings have decreased dramatically.

 

Does anyone remember visiting Canyonland Park? As a child, my mom would take me there all the time. We’d load up the car (with picnic food and kids and my grandmother) and go. I remember being terrified of the sky lift.

 

 

Today, the park is abandoned. Stories abound of zoo animals turned out into the woods. According to local legend, exotic animals can still be seen in the woods surrouding the abandoned park.

What ghosts haunt this place that was once so full of happiness and fun?

Here is a facebook page link dedicated to the park:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/CanyonLandAL/

I’d love to hear from anyone who has visited these places. I’d love to hear your experiences.

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The Curse of Lorenzo Dow

The curse of an angry minister lead to the demsise of an entire town- and became one of Georgia’s most famous stories.

Jacksonborough (later renamed Jacksonboro), Georiga replaced the town of Rocky Ford as the seat of Screven County in 1797 when Solomon and Mary Gross donated 50 acres of their property for the cause. Named for the Governor of Georgia, General James Jackson, Jacksonboro was a rough town with a terrible reputaton. Saloons outnumbered all other businesses combined. Fighting and drinking were the local pasttime. In 1849, George White wrote in Statistics of the State of Georgia that,  “in the mornings after drunken frolics and fights you could see the local children picking up eyeballs in tea saucers”. In other words, Jacksonboro needed redemption.

Enter Lorenzo Dow (Oct. 16, 1777-Feb. 2 ,1834), also known as “Crazy Dow”. Originally from Connecticut, the odd little man with long hair and hunched back was a traveling Methodist Minister of the fire and brimstone persuasion. As further evidence of his strangeness, it can be noted that Dow had buried his first wife, Peggy, not in a coffin, but standing straight up in the grave wrapped in layers of woolen cloth. He felt this would help her get to heaven faster. (Her epitaph reads, “Peggy Dow: Shared Vissitudes of Lorenzo”.) Lorenzo Dow was known for preaching against the evils of slavery and drunkenness. Jacksonboro had it’s share of both.

Upon his entrace to the wild town of Jacksonboro (in 1820 or 1821, depending on the source), Dow passed out handbills announcing his preaching that night at the local Methodist church. The handbills were passed around in the bars and saloons, whose barkeeps and patrons were not impressed. They began making plans…

While Dow made ready for his evening preaching at the home of fellow Methodist and Mason Seaborn Goodall, the town ruffians made ready for Dow. The ringing of the church bell called the good citizens  of Jacksonboro (few that there were) to the meeting. It also signalled to the hooligans that the time was right.

As Dow preached his sermon, a rowdy crowd gathered outside and began yelling, throwing rocks and bricks through the chuch windows, and shooting pistols into the air. After his sermon, an angry Dow followed the crowd into a local saloon where he grabbed an iron tool and split open a barrel of whisky. The crowd stared at the amber liquid quickly covering the floor, then immediately began to beat the daylights out of Dow. Luckily, Seaborn Goodall entered the saloon, seized Dow, and took him quickly to the safety of his home.

The next morning, Lorenzo Dow left the town of Jacksonboro crying.”Repent, Brethren, Repent!” at the top of his lungs. An incensed crowd threw tomatoes and rotten eggs at the preacher, who according to some sources, broke open another barrel of whisky. When he reached the bridge at Beaver Dam Creek, Dow removed his shoes and shook the dust of Jacksonboro off his feet. He then placed a curse upon the town, claiming that God would surely bring his vengeance upon the place the same as He had done for Sodom and Gommorah. The crowd laughed in his face.

A short time later, however, the good citizens of Jacksonboro realized that Lorenzo Dow’s curse was no joke. Windstorms came up suddenly, blowing roofs off many local buildings. Others were destroyed by mysterious fires. Beaver Dam Creek, always docile, suddenly became prone to flash floods that sept away entire houses. Slowly, the town of Jacksonboro began to disappear, with the exception of one home: that of Seaborn Goodall. Even when General Sherman passed thorough the town on his famous March to the Sea, Seaborn Goodall’s house was spared. It is said that Sherman camped in the home’s front yard.

On October 28, 1949, the last citizen of Jacksonboro, Georgia passed away. “Uncle Richard” Bryant , age 105, had been born into slavery in 1844. He remembers the last white citizens of Jacksonboro giving up and leaving for Sylvania (the new county seat) when he was around three years old. He spent his life in Jacksonboro, and his death brought an end to the curse of Lorenzo Dow. Jacksonboro was gone.

Seaborn Goodall’s home, now known as the Dell-Goodall house, still stands to this very day. It is located off Highway 301 at the intersection of SR24. Even when left in disrepair for years, the house stood intact. It was later restored by the Brier Creek DAR. The house is open for tours on the first Saturday of every month April- November.

Was there really a curse of Lorenzo Dow? He made no mention of the town in his writings. However, historians feel certain that he did visit the town. After 1821, quite a few children born in the area were named Lorenzo. Although some scoff at the story as merely folklore, others point out that many business have tried to establish themselves in the town since the curse, but none have survived. The lone standing structure remains the home of Seaborn Goodall.

Matthew 10 13:15 

13“If the house is worthy, give it your blessing of peace. But if it is not worthy, take back your blessing of peace.14“Whoever does not receive you, nor heed your words, as you go out of that house or that city, shake the dust off your feet. 15“Truly I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city.

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Old and (almost) Forgotten Cemeteries

I love the following article.  The location is actually very close to my home. I never knew this cemetery existed.

http://www.cnn.com/2011/US/02/26/forgotten.graves/

It makes me wonder- how many African-American cemeteries lie neglected and forgotten? I know of two near my home (besides the one listed in this article). Honestly, one is so remote, I have tried to find it again twice and could not.

I shared the article with a friend who is pretty well versed on local history. He had never heard of this cemetery either. I’d love to see it. It definitely needs to be preserved.

I found out a few years ago that the cemetery for my local community here on the  mountain was not the original. The original lies in ruins and weeds across the road in the woods. Nothing has ever been done to preserve it. Considering it lies on private property, I have my doubts that it ever will. Think of the generations of people, long forgotten… their memory erased forever.

I love old cemeteries. I love to explore them , read the stones… learn the stories of those long gone. Here are a few photos of cemeteries I love to visit.

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Gate at New Bethel Presbyterian

 

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Price Bridge Cemetery, Chatoogaville, Georgia

I think the Price Bridge Cemetery is one of my all-time favorites. It has suffered a lot of damage through the years, but is none the less beautiful.

 

 

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Little Sand Mountain cemetery
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Headstone from the original (abandoned) cemetery on Little Sand Mountain

 

The original cemetery on Little Sand Mountain lies abandoned and forgotten in the woods across the road from the church. I truly wish it could be preserved.

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Another headstone from the abandoned cemetery on Little Sand Mountain
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My Great great grandparents’ headstones, Little Sand Mountain
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I’m Still Here…

Ok, SO I know what you’re thinking…she starts a new blog and already she’s negelcting it…
But that’s not how it is…

I’ve spent an ungodly amount of time this weekend researching the haunting at the Old Floyd County Prison. Seems everyone knows about Big Red- supposedly he was so terrible his fellow inmates murdered him. However…no records that I can find tell WHAT he did that was so terrible, when and HOW he was murdered….  so that doesn’t exactly make for a good story, now does it? (And I would WELCOME any comments from anyone who knows more of this story…)

Another thing keeping me busy/ crazy is that I now have my own webpage, independednt of blogger, but setting it up is taxing my hamsters, you know? Learning a whole new language/ layout… hope to have it running soon. I will post a link here and I actually plan to transfer this page over to the new one. Don’t ask me how… I mean I read how last night but… Mandarin Chinese makes more sense at this point.

I have also been researching the Cowee Tunel haunting for my next book-stay tuned….

I would like to say THANKS to eveyrone faithfully visiting this page. I promise it will get better as I move it over to its new home.

 

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The Ghost of Attaway Plantation- Researching the Past

A couple years ago I found an article in the Waynesboro Citzen (Burke, County Georgia) from the 1800’s. The article claims that Colonel S. H. Attaway was having problems with a ghost on his plantation. According to the article, a house on the plantation was haunted by a rather noisy ghost. (I am curious as to whether the house was the main house of the plantation or another house located there.) It seems that no one could remain overnight in the house without being tormented by the ghost. It not only made scary, gutteral sounds, but also opened doors and slammed them shut. Footsteps could be heard walking up and down the stairway. Col. Attaway, himself, admitted to the haunting. He had searched for the source of the haunting, but never found anything.

Sam McClelland claims to have stayed several nights in the house. During this time, doors would open and then slam violently. Doors he distinctly remembered shutting would be found open. He, too, witnessed the mysterious footsteps, moanings and groanings of the Attaway Plantation ghost. Anyone else attempting to stay there overnight told the same story.

I was intrigued by this story. After all, the house had gained enough noteriety to be featured in a local newspaper.

In doing a little research, I found that, while there was a plantation owned by Attaways in Burke, County, Georgia, I could not link a Col. S. H. Attaway to the plantation. The plantation was named Mount Pleasant and was burned by General Sherman on his march of destruction. If any pictures or records of this plantation exist, they have escaped me.

As for Sam McClellend, he did exist. I found evidence of a Sam McClelland living in Burke County during this time period. In fact, both the McClelland and Attaway surnames are quite prevalent when researhing Burke County, Georiga.

Perhaps there was a haunting on the Attaway Plantation… I’d love to know more. Wouldn’t you?

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