Title: Images of America: Bibb County
Author: Danny Gamble
Publication: Alabama Writers' Forum
I’m a sucker for historical photographs. The faces, places, and spaces fascinate me. Images of America: Bibb County by Vicky Clemmons and David Daniel on behalf of the Centreville Historic Preservation Commission is one book I will spend hours and hours perusing.
The 126-page book is filled with black and white photographs of Bibb County, Alabama, from the late nineteenth through the early twenty-first centuries. The photos were collected from area residents and focus on the people, institutions, and commercial endeavors that once made Bibb County the industrial capital of Alabama. The cover sets the tone for this collection. In it, Mariana and O.P. Dailey stare at the camera from behind the dry goods cluttered counter of their mercantile store in Centreville, circa 1939. This pre-war photo illustrates that while the Great Depression ravaged the country, the Daileys and Centreville were open for business.
Images of America: Bibb County is divided into nine sections: Early Families and Homes, Churches and Congregations, Schools and Activities, Businesses and Occupations, County Seat and Court Square, Transportation and Bridges, Public Service and Military Service, Outdoor Bibb and Disasters, and Modern-Day Bibb. Artfully reproduced photographs often contain a paragraph-length, mini-essay of sorts. One photo of Richmond Pearson’s steer team from a 1947 lumber operation even names the individual cattleBuck and Tig, Pobe and Doc, and Let and Lemon. While the photos are often not credited, the contributors certainly are, and these contributors read like a who’s who of contemporary Bibb CountyMarty Everse, Gwendolyn Valentine, the Belcher family, and many more.
Businesses and Occupations is a fascinating chapter. In these photos, we see the industrial base of early Alabama in towns such as Blocton and Six Mile, Aden and Marvel. These communities are little more than ghost towns now, but they once supplied the nationand the Confederacywith the coal, iron, and lumber it needed to grow and prosper.
Of course, no pictorial essay on Bibb County would be complete without photographs of the ferocious tornado that thundered through Brent in May 1973. (Brent celebrated its rebuilding with Twister Day each spring for years.) The four photos here convey the unbridled power of that storm and the utter destruction of a small Alabama town.
Arcadia Publishing is currently printing photographic histories of communities from around the nation. If Images of America: Bibb County is an example of this series, the publishing house is doing a great service to historical photo suckers like me. Dec 2008
Publication: Tannehill Trader
Article Title: Images of America Series… Bibb County
Author: Shirley K. Cate
I recently discovered a new publication that tugs at the innermost nostalgic part of me. As I perused the pages of this historical book I couldn’t help but think that if it is true that a “picture paints a thousand words” then this book speaks volumes. I was touched by the rich stories of human struggle, survival, love, happiness and pain which are encapsulated in a 126 page book concerning one small regional setting --- Bibb County, Alabama. The journey of this historic area is told through picture and caption displaying the lives of many of the early families, churches, schools and businesses--the growth and sometimes the destruction. Within this book which is ready for release November 3rd you will find interesting details concerning:
• Tannehill and Brierfield Ironworks Historical State Parks
• Resident, landmarks, and events
• Oakmulgee Wildlife Management Area, and the Cahaba River National Wildlife Refuge
• Bibb County’s timber industry
Bibb County history is documented in more than 200 vintage images in the new book from Vicky Clemmons, David Daniel and the Centreville Historic Preservation Commission. Bibb County is the latest title in Arcadia Publishing’s Images of America series and chronicles those people and places which have contributed to the development of the state of Alabama, found right here at home in Bibb County.
Bibb County, $21.99, Arcadia Publishing is available at area bookstores, independent retailers, and online retailers, or through Arcadia Publishing at (888)-313-2665 or www.arcadiapublishing.com.
Profits from book sales will be donated to The Centreville Historic Preservation Commission for historic restoration of Bibb County.
About the Co-Author of Bibb County, David Daniel
David Daniel, 57, is a resident of Bibb County and lives in Centreville. His involvement in local history projects began in 1983 when serving on Bibb County’s Brierfield Ironworks Park Board. Brierfield is now a State Park and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Daniel began his interest in the area’s history through his years of digital photographic restoration work. During the course of this work, Daniel realized that a significant part of the area history is being lost due to the deterioration of photographs.
Serving on the Centreville Historic Preservation Commission and on its behalf, Daniel decided to publish a Pictorial History of Bibb County. He combined his collection of historical photos with others acquired from the public. More than 109 families and individuals contributed to this community effort and all derived funds go to the historic preservation efforts of this Commission.
Daniel enjoys spending time with his wife and grandchildren and he enjoys working with other local history enthusiasts as well.
About the Co-Author of Bibb County, Vicky Clemmons:
Vicky L. Clemmons has lived in Centreville, Alabama for the last ten years and has been so inspired by the small town atmosphere that she has adopted it as her home. She became interested in antiques and older homes when she and her husband Cliff, and daughter Catie, bought a Victorian Home built in 1875. This lead to time spent in the library and the Courthouse Annex in old records.
When asked to serve as a Commissioner for the Centreville Historic Preservation Commission, she readily accepted. She is also a volunteer of the Brent/Centreville Library, and at the Courthouse Annex, where she and a friend, Paula Fancher are archiving old, decaying records.
When not writing or doing research, she does stained glass, genealogy work, and volunteer tutoring. She works in the yard in her flower gardens, does metal detecting and attends auctions.
Source: Arcadia Publishing Company