Thursday, January 31, 2008

Historic Blakeley State Park Pages now online!

Our new section on Alabama's Historic Blakeley State Park is now online.
Located off State Highway 225 just north of Spanish Fort, Alabama (across Mobile Bay from Mobile), this park preserves the site of the historic ghost town of Blakeley and the 1865 Battle of Blakeley, Alabama.
Once a thriving river town that rivaled nearby Mobile, the town of Blakeley was once the county seat of Baldwin County, Alabama. The beautiful Mobile-Tensaw Delta that gave the town its life, however, also brought about its end. Mosquito-carried diseases including yellow fever and malaria swept the town in epidemics, killing scores of residents and driving others from the lowlands.
By the time of the Civil War, the town was virtually abandoned. Due to its strategic location, however, the Confederates erected massive fortifications here to help protect Mobile from Union attack. These works were attacked and carried by Union troops on April 9, 1865, in one of the final battles of the war. The Battle of Blakeley was one of the largest Civil War battles fought in Alabama and helped assure the fall of the Confederate citadel of Mobile.
To learn more about this battle and the beautiful state park that preserves its site, please visit www.exploresouthernhistory and scroll down the page to the Index section. You will find the link under the "Alabama" heading.

Owl Creek Mounds - Natchez Trace Parkway

The Owl Creek Mounds, located off the Natchez Trace Parkway in Mississippi, are among the dozens of signficant historic sites to be found along the route of the unique national park.
The Parkway stretches from Natchez, Mississippi to the outskirts of Memphis, Tennessee and commemorates the original Natchez Trace, an important roadway used primarily during the late 1700s and early 1800s.
The Owl Creek Mounds, now maintained by the National Forest Service, are located just off the parkway south of Tupelo, Mississippi. Constructed during the Mississippian Era, they date back more than five hundred years.
To learn more, please visit our new Natchez Trace section at The section is not completed yet, but a number of sites - including Owl Creek - can now be explored online.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Florida's "Lost City" of St. Joseph

I mentioned a couple of days ago that our new Port St. Joe, Florida section is now at
This pages explore several fascinating historic sites in and around Port St. Joe, one of the most interesting of which is the site of the "Lost City" of St. Joseph.
Founded in 1835 on the beautiful shore of St. Joseph Bay, the city of St. Joseph quickly became the largest community in Florida. More than 12,000 people moved to the city within two years, making it larger than Tallahassee, Pensacola, St. Augustine and other communities of the time. In 1838-1839, the city was selected as the site of Florida's Constitutional Convention and it was here that the territory's first constitution was drafted.
In 1841, however, St. Joseph was ravaged by a yellow fever epidemic. In a matter of weeks, the population fell to only 400 people. A major hurricane in 1844 destroyed much of what was left and in time the site was reclaimed by the lush coastal forest.
To learn more about St. Joseph, visit our Port St. Joe section at You will see the heading on the home page when you arrive at the site.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Watch "Southern Heritage" and Chipola College TV online

Television programs on the history, culture and folklore of the South are rare these days. That is why an effort undertaken in 2007 by Chipola College TV in Marianna, Florida, is so noteworthy.

The college television station broadcasts a program on "Southern Heritage" every Tuesday night at 7 p.m. The show features a fascinating array of topics, including author interviews, video reports on historic sites in Northwest Florida, looks at folklore and historic ways of doing things and more.

CCTV broadcasts on local cable but is also available online. For your convenience, I've added a link on the home page at The program airs Tuesday nights at 7 p.m. and to see it on the live stream, you should plan to click in at that time.

The link will also take you to CCTV any time and you might some of their other programs on Chipola College academics, athletics, arts and entertainment and more to be of interest.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

New Port St. Joe, Florida pages are now online

Our new section on the historic sites of Port St. Joe and St. Joseph Bay, Florida, is now online. Although we will be expanding the section over coming days, pages now up include the story of St. Joseph, Florida's "lost city." Other pages detail Fort Creveceour, the Constitutional Convention State Museum and the historic Old St. Joseph Cemetery.
Port St. Joe now stands on the site once occupied by the historic city of St. Joseph. Home to 12,000 people during the late 1830s, St. Joseph was then Florida's largest city. The site of the 1838-1839 Constitutional Convention and home to Florida's first railroad, St. Joseph was virtually wiped out by a yellow fever epidemic and hurricane.
To learn more of this fascinating story and to explore the historic sites of Port St. Joe, please visit You will see the heading on the main page.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Landmark Park - Dothan, Alabama

We've added our new section on Dothan, Alabama's fascinating Landmark Park to Just click the link and you will see the headline on the home page.
Located on U.S. 431 North, Landmark Park is rapidly becoming one of the premier outdoor museums in the South. In addition to a nicely restored collection of historic structures that include stores, a church, a one-room school, etc., the park also includes a living history farm centered around the historic Waddell House, long a Dothan area landmark. Other highlights include an Activity Barn, a planetarium, boardwalks, nature trails and more. Landmark Park is home to Alabama's official Museum of Agriculture.

We took another step in the launch of our new look at tonight. The new additions include the completion of the new home page and the addition of better indexing of the site.

Take a look and see what you think! The address is

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Battle of Horseshoe Bend, Alabama

Fought on March 27, 1814, in the rolling hills of Central Alabama, the Battle of Horseshoe Bend was one of the most important battles in American history and one of the most dramatic U.S. victories of the War of 1812.
For six months, the United States had been engaged in brutal combat with the "Red Stick" faction of the Creek Nation. The Red Sticks, so named because they displayed red warclubs or "sticks" in their towns, were a nativist group of Creeks who followed a religious movement developed by the Shawnee prophet, Tenskwatawa. The waged a civil war for control of the Creek Nation beginning in 1812, but began fighting the United States in 1813 after a party of Mississippi Territorial Militia attacked one of their supply trains at Burnt Corn Creek, Alabama.
The resulting conflict, remembered today as the Creek War of 1813-1814, was a part of the War of 1812. After two previous United States invasions of the Creek Nation turned back due to supply shortages and heavy fighting, Major General Andrew Jackson fought his way south into the heart of the nation with an army from Tennessee. On March 27, 1814, he attacked the Red Stick fortifications at Tohopeka ("Horse's Flat Foot" or "Horseshoe Bend") on the Tallapoosa River.
The resulting Battle of Horseshoe Bend forever broke the power of the Creek Nation. To learn more about the battle and see modern photographs of the battlefield, please visit our Horseshoe Bend Battlefield pages at:

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Battle of Van Buren, Arkansas

The picturesque city of Van Buren, Arkansas, located on the banks of the Arkansas River near Fort Smith, is one of the most historic communities in the Natural State.
Its antebellum courthouse, seen here, is still in use today and each spring the school children of the community reenact the Civil War encounter remembered today as the Battle of Van Buren. The battle involved a breakneck charge down the main street of the town. The fighting arrived so fast that citizens were still going about their daily business when soldiers suddenly came charging down the street.
If you would like to read more about the Battle of Van Buren and see more photographs of this beautiful town, simply go to and scroll down to the "Index" section. You'll find a link to the Battle of Van Buren under the "Arkansas" heading.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Birthplace of Elvis Presley - Tupelo, Mississippi

This little frame house in Tupelo, Mississippi, was the birthplace of American music legend and "King of Rock and Roll" Elvis Presley.
Located at 306 Elvis Presley Drive, the home and adjacent museum and memorial park is open daily and is one of the most popular historic attractions in northern Mississippi.
The home was built by Elvis' father, Vernon Presley, for a total cost of $180. Elvis was born here on January 8, 1935, and lived here for much of his early life. He learned to play guitar and performed for the first time here in Tupelo, a city that celebrates his life with numerous sites related to his boyhood and career.
In addition to his birthplace, the memorial park includes a museum with numerous exhibits on Elvis' life, a memorial chapel and a nicely designed monument of Elvis as a boy.
To learn more about the Elvis Presley Birthplace, please visit and scroll down to the Index section and look for the link under "Mississippi."

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Prairie Grove Battlefield - Prairie Grove, Arkansas

One of the most pristine Civil War battlefields in the South can be found at Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park in Prairie Grove, Arkansas. The scene of a massive battle involving tens of thousands of Union and Confederate soldiers, the battle stymied a Southern attempt to destroy the Union Army of the Frontier.
Fought on December 7, 1862, and involving some of the bloodiest fighting of the war west of the Mississippi, the Battle of Prairie Grove lives on at the battlefield park. An outstanding facility operated by the State of Arkansas, the battlefield includes an interpretive center at Hindman Hall (seen here), monuments, markers, cannon, historic buildings, preserved landscape, a one mile paved walking trail and a driving tour.
For more on Prairie Grove, please visit and scroll down the page to the links section. Sites are categorized by state.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Little River Falls - Little River Canyon, Alabama

Little River Canyon National Preserve is one of my favorite spots in the South. Located near Fort Payne, Alabama, the canyon is the centerpiece of a beautiful National Park area noted for its massive canyons, whitewater river, waterfalls and beautiful mountain scenery.

The photograph at right is of Little River Falls, one of the most beautiful year-round waterfalls in the South. In addition, it is one of the most accessible. Located less than 30 minutes from Interstate 59 at the point where State Highway 35 crosses Little River, the falls can be accessed from a parking area on the right. A paved pathway leads down to an overlook, from which visitors can walk out on the rocks to the actual falls. A word of warning, though, the rocks can be slippery so exercise caution and stay away from the edge!

For more on Little River Canyon, just follow this link: