Atmore celebrates 100 years

Published 1:28 am Wednesday, May 23, 2007

By By Adrienne McKenzie
Atmore residents and guests gathered Saturday in Heritage Park to celebrate a special day for the city.
Atmore turns 100 years old today and the birthday bash was held this weekend.
Atmore Area Chamber of Commerce president Nancy Helton said that overall the day went well.
"I thought it was great," Helton said. "We appreciate everyone coming out."
Helton said the musical entertainment was a real crowd-pleaser and the hayride was fun even though there were a few technical difficulties.
"The USO show," Helton said when asked what event held the best crowd. "The hayride went pretty well. They had equipment problems at first, but after that it went well. The corporate games were a lot of fun for those who participated."
The Atmore Area YMCA hosted the Centennial Corporate Cup Challenge and executive director of the YMCA, Tammy Graham, said the competition was fun.
"It was great," Graham said. "Everybody had fun and it went well."
There were four teams competing for the corporate cup which included Holman Prison, Atmore Utilities Board, United Bank and First National Bank &Trust. Teams of at least seven members competed in wiffle ball, horseshoes and tug-of-war . Each challenge was double elimination. Four points were awarded for first place, three points for second place, two points for third place and one point for fourth place.
The wiffle ball games were played throughout the day and Holman Prison won that competition with United Bank coming in second place. The tug-of-war champion was also Holman Prison with the Atmore Utilities Board coming in second place. Atmore Utilities Board won the horseshoes with Holman Prison coming in second place.
Holman Prison won the Atmore Centennial Corporate Cup Challenge with a total of 11 points, Atmore Utilities Board came in second place with eight points, United Bank came in third place with seven points and First National Bank came in fourth place with four points.
A part of the Centennial event included a "Reflections" booklet that incorporated interviews with some area residents that were alive in the early 1900s.
Here are some comments from the "Reflections" booklet. Helen Lumpkin, a 95-year-old Atmore resident, came to the city in 1919. She lived on a farm and she had a "pony cart with a rumble seat" that she would ride to school in. She would "park" the ponies on a side street behind Alfa Insurance and walk the block to the school at the Methodist Church.
Ruthie Mae Rackard, 87, has spent her entire life in the Atmore area. She went to a school that had no lunchroom at Bell Creek Church. This school had only two rooms divided by a curtain and was only in session seven months a year.
Clint Turner, 92, said Atmore was called "Williams Station" when his father first came to town. He said that Main Street was nothing but mud holes and there were no sidewalks.
There are far too many interesting facts about the City of Atmore to list in one article, but it is certain that a lot has changed in the past 100 years.
Helton would like to remind the residents of Atmore that the U.S. Postal Service will offer a special cancellation stamp beginning May 23 that will feature the Centennial logo in honor of Atmore's 100th birthday. She also was very appreciative of the city for allowing the Chamber to host this huge birthday party.
"We want to thank the mayor and the city council for their support and allowing us to work on this project," she said. "We want to thank all the vendors and everybody for coming out. It was a good day overall."

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