Williams Station Day celebrates Atmore's history

Published 11:45 pm Monday, October 25, 2004

By By Arthur McLean
Despite Hurricane Ivan's best shot, Atmore came back and celebrated not only its heritage as a rail town, but its survival of one of the most devastating storms to hit this area with the annual Williams Station Day.
"Today is a really special day in many ways," said Mayor Howard Shell Saturday. "You can see where this town has really pulled together. I cannot say thank you enough to those who have participated in this."
Shell read a proclamation making the town Williams Station Day for the day.
Emilie Mims, the director of the Atmore Chamber of Commerce, the organizers of the event, said it was important to continue with the annual celebration of Williams Station Day.
"I think it's important to give the people an opportunity to relax and do something different for a day and get away from all this hard work of trying to recover from the storm," Mims said.
"We didn't scale it back and we have almost as many vendors and artists as previous years," Mims said. "Of course, some of our past artists couldn't be here because they were hit by Ivan too."
One of those artists who was hit hard by Ivan was potter Marty North. North operates a studio in Pace, Fla. and is a fourth generation potter from the area, working with clay from the Jay area.
He lost nearly everything in the storm. His studio, kilns and wheels were all damaged. His classes have disbanded at least temporarily, and two of the biggest shows North relies on for sales, like the Shrimp Festival in Gulf Shores, were cancelled this year.
The only pottery that survived the storm was work North had packed up from a previous show. "They were the only pots not destroyed in the hurricane," North said. "The rest of it had to be swept up and thrown away."
"I'm really thankful to Emilie Mims for letting me come at the last minute," North said. "I hope something good will come of this. I'm thankful to be here."
Early in the day, crowds were already forming down Pensacola Avenue in anticipation of a day of music and art.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox