Brickville area as remembered by Wayne Austin.
This is a graphic rendition of the old antebellum home as I remember it though the portico might not have been as wide. It was located south of (little) Hatton.
School in East Colbert County Alabama. At Hatton School travel one mile south and on the right about 100 yards off the road you will see the remaining Pecan grove. The house was a stately old mansion of about 5,000 square feet with 20 foot ceilings. They always said it was built in the 1840s. The cemetery on the backside of the is called the Stanley Cemetery. I do not recall the surnames on the stones today in the family graveyard back on a hill 500 yards to the south west, but no doubt they had connections to this home. The home had a large star high up on the Gable as pictured above. The story was that during the Civil War the Union soldiers came thru looking for homes to burn. They spared this one because of the large star being on the upper front gable of the house. The soldiers converted it into a Civil War hospital instead.
The old house was sparsely occupied in the 1950s and it was deathly quiet around it. We passed by the place on the way to school or to the Streit’s Store at Hatton. Some great old ghost tales came out of that old home for the six children of Paul & Ruby Lee Austin. The older ones often teased the younger ones with often mentioned tall tales. One such tale was that if one were to climb up the creaky stairwell, at the top in one of the upper rooms would be found a bloody hand lying around. It was said to be from an amputation done during the Civil War. At night there were no street lights, no sound of cars running up and down the road, just the eerie & lonely sounds of the night punctuated with the call of the whippoorwill, Screech Owl and maybe the yapping sound of a distant fox. Adding to this was the children’s imaginations, especially if the old place was approached at night.
At one point in its history the old home was converted into a large dairy operation and was affiliated with the Streit Milk Company of Sheffield Alabama. I believe some of the old barns are still standing today. The old house eventually suffered at the hands of neglect & time. What remains today 2007 is a flattened pile of decaying timbers lying on the ground. I visited the old graveyard several years ago known as the Stanley Cemetery. To my dismay I found no gravestones, but recently figured out I had perhaps visited the wrong grove of trees. I think I went to what is believed to be a Slave Graveyard which has no marked graves today. Either they all fell and sunk below the ground or they were destroyed. That Slave Graveyard is about a 100 yards southeast of the Stanley Cemetery.
it does a body good.
I remember Mama, my grandmother Drue Peebles, leaving the empty milk bottles by the front door. The number of bottles left at the door indicated the number of filled bottles that the milk man was to leave by the front door. Even now, I can recall the clink of the bottles against the metal wire carrier that the milk man used to transport the milk bottles from the milk truck to the front porch. the cream skimmed off the top was a decadent delight.
There have been several dairies in the Shoals area but I know of none that exist today. I recall a field trip when I attended Southwest Elementary in Sheffield to the dairy farm. The dairy farm property is located across the highway from Hardee’s on Highway 72 in Muscle Shoals. The buildings are still there, or at least were when I was last by there. But the dairy yielded to progress years ago. There we saw them milking the cows. There was a big picture window where we stood to watch the milking process from outside the building. There were several metal rails that resembled cattle chutes. They herded the cows in and lined them up to the milking machines. Iirc, the name of this dairy farm was Glendale.
I recall feeling sorry for the cows. Now bulls won’t understand my sympathy, but cows should. I considered at this young age, how that it is only the female that has to undergo such, er treatment….and if I recall correctly, it was twice a day. Of course, I was too young to understand what engorged breasts might feel like in comparison then. But, again raise your hand if you will, I can now empathize with hands being used to pull and push and prod breasts into machines that further pull and push and prod.
The most important company for dairy to Sheffield was Streit Milk Company. It was located beyond the railroad tracks going toward Tuscumbia. I recall Paul Saywell Motors, Southern Sash, The American Legion Post and the Dairy Queen that became Dairy Kingas being nearby. Ideal Bread Company was on the other side of the street and could be accessed by going down Shop Pike. I remember Mama and Gran, Robert and Drue Peebles, going there and buying the freshly cooked bread before it was sliced. The smell of the bread baking would make your mouth water. I also remember the ice man who would bring the giant cubes of crystal coldness to Mama’s house. With the big metal tongs he seemed to pick up and easily carry the heavy crystal clear dripping ice to her door. Sometimes I would be there when he would put the block of ice into Mama’s ice chest. She was the only person I ever knew who had an actual ice chest. But, I digress.
There was also the Dixie Dairy. It was located in Florence, Alabama. It started operation in 1938. But in 1947 Cloverdale Dairy bought them out.
There was also Rosedale Dairy located in Tuscumbia. It was a family dairy farm as well. After the owner died the farm was sold. Mary, who grew up on Rosedale family dairy grew up milking cows, hauling hay, slopping hogs, and feeding calves and chickens. She managed to buy three and a half acres and has aptly named it Rosedale Garden. Read more about her here. She is a remarkable lady – a real GRITS.
Below are photos of Streit Milk Company glass bottles. Please feel free to add your memories and photos.
Evidently Streit operated in the county before it opened up as Streit Milk Company in downtown Sheffield, Alabama. The antebellum home located on Little Hatton school road was operated as a dairy farm, according to Wayne Austin who had a series of conversations with one of the Streit relatives some years ago. There was also a Streit Store operated in the Little Hatton area around the same time.
How well I remember the Milkman!
My dad worked at Streit Milk Company back when I was a girl. He would get up at 2:30 every morning and begin his work day at 3:00. He would load his truck and run his “retail” route, delivering milk to homes. I don’t remember much about his route but I do remember that he delivered milk on Park Blvd.
When he finished his route, he would come home for breakfast. We would be up, getting ready for school, and we would have breakfast together, the whole family. Daddy would have his truck loaded for his “wholesale” route when he delivered milk to cafes, grocery stores and schools. I remember seeing him bring milk to Atlanta Avenue Junior High School right after school began each day. Some of the places I remember hearing him talk about delivering milk to – Liberty and Bingo Super Markets, Blankinship and T. T. Stanley Markets, Victory and Brewer’s Café.
He would be finished with his day and be home by dinner time (we did not have “lunch” in those days – it would have been pretentious). Mother would cook a big meal, they would eat, and the rest was for supper.
I remember those small bottles of chocolate milk and I remember when they began selling the orange drink in those same bottles.
Remember when cream for coffee in restaurants came in those little bitty glass bottles? I have a couple of those.
I remember that our milk at school came in ½ pint glass bottles with the cardboard pull tab for a cap.
[snip] Daddy left the milk company and worked construction when the Ford plant was being built. From there he went to the Sheffield Post Office where he worked until he retired. He carried mail to many of the house to which he had delivered milk. Precious memories! [snip]