Monday, August 8, 2011

Livingston, AL to Thomasville, AL - 61 miles

The heat is still with us and riders left at the crack of dawn to grab a bite to eat at Hardee's or the Donut Shop before hitting the road. Our travels today had us leaving Livingston, AL and wandering through some towns including Coatopa, Jefferson and Linden, before arriving in Thomasville, AL.

 Thomasville is a city in Clarke County, AL. It is notable as the childhood hometown of author and storyteller Kathryn Tucker Windham, who refers to it often in her storytelling.

Nickname: The City of Roses

Kathryn Tucker Windham

Kathryn Tucker Windham wrote a series of books of "true" ghost stories, based on local folklore. Some of the titles are "13 Alabama Ghosts and Jeffrey" (1969);  "Jeffrey Introduces 13 more Southern Ghosts (1971), and "13 Georgia Ghosts and Jeffrey" (1973).  She wrote more and became known for her storytelling. The Thomasville campus of Alabama Southern Community College is home to the Kathryn Tucker Windham Museum.
Thomasville was founded in 1888 and has its roots in the nearby community of Choctaw Corner which was a settlement west of what eventually became Thomasville. When the merchants learned that a railroad was going to bypass their town to the east, they decided to move their stores to be near the railroad. The tracks between Mobile and Selma were completed the same year that Thomasville began. The town was named after a railroad financier and former Union Civil War general, Samuel Thomas. In 1899, what is now downtown was destroyed by a fire that burned several blocks of the wood frame buildings. Thomasville quickly rebuilt, this time in brick, and once again flourished by the start of World War 1.
Over the next century, Thomasville continued to grow and expand. The railroad discontinued its use of the town's depot by the 1950s, but that time also saw the opening of Thomasville's FPS-35 radar base, part of the Air Defense Command's Semi-Automatic Ground Environment (SAGE) system, bringing in servicemen and their families.
SAGE Sector Control Room. The screen depicts the North American eastern coast from the extreme west end of Nova Scotia (upper right) to Philadelphia (lower left). Cape Cod is approximately centered with Long Island to its left, and two "targets" are being tracked offshore. their families.
The prototype for the FPS-35 radar was developed at the Thomasville Aircraft Control and Warning Station. The 1950s also saw the planting of roses along Highway 43, the main highway through Thomasville, earning it the nickname of The City of Roses. The 1960s and 1970s saw the opening of numerous paper mills in the area, an industry that continues to be important to the economy of Thomasville today. 
The Champion House on West Front Street, Thomasville, AL
The Thomasville Historic District was designated in 1999.  The historic district features examples of early commercial, Queen Anne, Colonial Revival, Craftsman and regional vernacular architecture.

We are staying at the Thomasville Inn which is also a Comfort Inn.

Tomorrow we are off to Atmore, AL.

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