Sales of "All Aboooarrrd" save history
By by Bonnie Latino
The Atmore Historical Society has recently produced a booklet of postcards, which celebrates the heart, heritage and people of this area, from the turn-of the century to around the mid-1950s. "A Trip Back in Time: All Aboooarrrd!" was published through local sponsors Alabama Power Company, Poarch Band of Creek Indians, United Bank and Z Tel Communications, Inc.
Each of the 15 vintage post cards has an abbreviated caption on its reverse side. Viewed as a whole, the collection is a mini-history of the heritage of the local area and our original pioneers in the fields of commerce, farming, education, medicine and religion. However, the cards can easily be removed for mailings to Atmore residents who have moved.
Emilie Mims, executive director of the Atmore Chamber of Commerce, provided several photos from the archives of the Chamber as well as the personal collection of her family. Joyce Bolden opened the society's archived photographs to the committee. Several local families had previously donated photos to AHS archives and some of those were utilized.
The postcard collection was the brain child of AHS charter members, Dot and Taylor Faircloth, who discovered a similar book published by the "Tuscaloosa News" for Tuscaloosa. The Faircloths have worked tirelessly for years to document Atmore's past through the Society.
The AHS has a pressing need for this fund raising project to be successful. Several years ago the First National Bank gave the AHS a turn-of-the-century building, formerly a combination doctor's office/waiting room/drugstore. Known as the Peavy-Webb building for two doctors who were among Atmore's pioneer medical professionals, the small white house has been moved to Heritage Park, at the corner of Craig and Main streets. Through a sizeable grant, and the generous donations of several Atmore citizens and former residents, the exterior of the building has been renovated as closely as possible to its original condition. Last year, the AHS received a promise of governmental funding for the interior renovation. However, a change of administration in Montgomery after the 2002 elections placed all non-essential government funding in limbo for the immediate future.
The AHS is the only organization funding the Peavy-Webb building and its renovation. Since the historical society is a non-profit organization, the only source of income comes via donations and nominal membership dues, necessary funding had to be secured to complete the interior renovations. Thanks to several local business people much of the labor has been completed on a voluntary basis. Still, much is needed in the way of maintenance and insurance for the building. If the public embraces the postcard collection those financial worries will be greatly alleviated. It will also enable the AHS to publish additional volumes of cards of local interest.
The Peavy-Webb building will eventually serve as a museum, not only for educational initiatives for our children, but also for passing tourists who seek an opportunity to learn about the history of Atmore and southeastern Escambia County.
If you have photos of general interest that you would like to have considered for future publications, please contact Bonnie Bartel Latino at 368-3760, or via e-mail at: BonLatino@aol.com. If you, or your business, wish to become a member of the society, and/or would like to make a tax-free donation, please contact John Garrard, AHS Treasurer, at 368-3370.
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