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Friday, October 28, 2011

Larkinsville

Larkinsville, a tired old Southern town nestled in the foothills of Northeast Alabama, lost its glory after the war between the states.  She curled up and slept through the next hundred years.  Scottsboro, a neighboring town with the Tennessee River making up its glory, took advantage of the tired old farmers and the sleepy cotton pickers who had fought so valiantly on one side of the war or the other,  Larkinsville was eliminated from becoming the county seat of Jackson County due to a requirement that the county council decided upon:  The town must be near the center of the county.  Yep, those devils wrestled the seat away from Larkinsville. The county seat had previously been Sauta Cave. 

So, dear old Larkinsville withered away and died.  The only hotel that once stood with its stately white columns and wrap around porch sold.  The bank crumbled almost to the ground and the jail, well, I guess the jail became an outhouse or just withered like everything else.  We were left with a Depot, a post-office and a small grocery store.  The rolling store ran once a week.

The beautiful old hotel became a home and most of the rooms were closed off.  It is said that the new owner's wife died and as her body lay in state in the main parlor, the old player piano thta still stood the in the "saloon" part of the  house, began to play "Cotton-Eyed Joe" for all of the mourners.  Maybe it was imagination, maybe not, but some folks claim that there was a swirl of smoke in the air that looked like rebels dancing a jig.

Yes, Larkinsville sent its sons to war again and again but remained a tiny dot on the map.  Cotton crops dwindled and soy beans took over.  Then, the country elected a Catholic president, the Reverend Marin Luther King began stirring folks up all over the South and Larkinsville sprang to life again. Well, not for all of the right reasons?  You decide.  The KKK sneaked into Larkinsville one night and stuck crosses in several yards, set them a blaze and rode off into the stillness of the night.  And, if that wasn't enough to wake the dead, Ruby moved into the shack across the railroad tracks.

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