Historical Calendar Project in Tuscumbia, Alabama


| 1/19/2012 10:09:18 PM


Tags: historical homes, photography, calendars, Mary Carton,

A photo of MaryThe weather in Tuscumbia has been topsy turvy.  One day it’s in the high sixties and the next in high thirties to low forties.  Last Wednesday we have a nice warm day and Thursday the temperatures were dropping all day.  Freezing rain, sleet, and snow started during the afternoon rush home traffic.  With the warm temperatures no one expected the predicted snow flurries to cause driving problems, but a 15 to 20 minute white out froze on the two bridges and Wilson dam crossing the Tennessee River backing up traffic for miles on both sides of the river. 

I was in Tuscumbia delivering a calendar to one of the home owners I had met a few weeks back while taking pictures for next year’s calendar when the snow started.  I excused myself telling Mrs. Askew that time's a wasting, I needed to grab my camera and ride the streets.  When I left she was outside taking cuttings from her camellia’s which were in full bloom.  She was using a cane, and I worried about her slipping on the snowy porch, so before leaving the immediate area, I swung back by and made sure she made it back into the house.  The snow was blowing so hard, it was hard to see the homes in the pictures I took. I did get some nice shots in Spring Park after the snow stopped.  Cold windy weather limited visitors to the park and the ducks and geese kept following me fussing they wanted something to eat. 

When you live in a town founded in 1815 by the Michael Dickson family who were the first white settlers at Coldwater now known as Tuscumbia, you have a lot of historical sites to choose from when making a calendar.  The 1820 the town was laid out with a town commons by planner General John Coffee.  A commons is an area set aside for the good of the people. Things like schools, parks, churches and cemeteries are found along a commons. Boston is the only other city in the USA that has a commons. 

The calendar, two years in the making was well received. Surprisingly in since ifs in January, I had to get a couple of runs printed.  I kept selling my personal copy and had requests from friends who missed out on the ones I printed before Christmas.   I couldn’t decide which picture to use for the cover, so I made a collage of pictures which didn’t make this calendar, but are in consideration for next years calendar. I wanted the pictures which I’d like to share with you, to be framable, so the history of each photo in the 13 month calendar is on the back cover . In doing this project, I learned a lot about the history of my home town that I didn’t care to learn as a child.  I also drove Ninon Parker at the Tourism Bureau  crazy sending her pictures asking her the name of this house and that house and supplying me with information on the homes.  A rare large foot deep snowstorm aided in the production.

   Tuscumbia cover 

Cover – Stained glass window at Our Lady of the Shoals Catholic Church from old church; Thompson House; Cooper-Rand House;  William Reese Julian House; Bell-Prout House, Dr. Robert Towns Abernathy House; William Cooper House; Lesley Temple CME Church; Scared Tears by Branko Medenica  in Spring Park. 

mary carton
1/25/2012 4:07:20 AM

Thanks Cindy. Just about got the photo's picked out for the next calendar unless we have a good snow. With temps in the 60's again this week, it's looking more like 2 yrs ago, when we had snow & a hard freeze in March after a warm Jan & Feb and lost our fruit including strawberries, & blueberries. Dave it's sad that a community doesn't value it's heritage. It's like cutting down a redwood. You never know whats there until you start looking. Thanks to you both for taking the time to comment.


cindy murphy
1/24/2012 5:22:01 PM

Beautiful, Mary!!! What an impressive bit of history accompanying each photo. It's no wonder you've had to reorder so many copies.


nebraska dave
1/24/2012 4:43:58 PM

Mary, your calendar is quite the history lesson of the town. Sadly my city is not too much into preserving the historical buildings of the past. There still is a small two block section of town that's called the "Old Market" which has novelty shops and over priced eateries. Some of the old warehouses have been remodeled into high end apartments in the down town area. I expect there would be some buildings scattered throughout the city if I had a mind to search for them. Maybe I should find out what my city heritage is. I watched a special on our public network about Omaha and the different transitions it has gone through. It was quite fascinating. Have a great historical day.





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