Looking Back: Atmore Rotary Club celebrates 50th

Published 12:02 am Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Well, here we are in another new year.

It seems as if 2018 just flew by and here we are in 2o19 already. I can remember my mother saying that the older you get, the faster time goes by, and I believe she was right. Maybe it won’t take until June to remember to date my checks for 2019.

Anyway, 20 years ago, in 1999, a man, Bruce Smith, of Canoe began his new year in a very bad way. His home in Canoe burned down. It took him four years to get the money to build the house and six months to build it, but it only took a few minutes for the fire to destroy everything he had.

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I can remember when I was a little girl living in the country, we did not have local volunteer fire departments close by. We were probably 12 miles away from the city department, but in those days, that is who responded.

When I was little, we had a community house next to the church, which was used for Sunday school and any type of gathering. It was originally a schoolhouse back when it was built. The Masons in our area used the upstairs. The building caught fire (I don’t remember how) and we could see the glow of the flames from our house. Everyone in the small community turned out to watch the flames take down a building that we all used every week. It is a sight I never forgot.

The Atmore Police Department discovered 15 newspaper racks and two Pepsi machines in area creeks, where they had been discarded after being stolen. These paper racks are very hard to break through and collections are made often enough that there is never much in them anyway, but there are still those who will try. I can remember hearing of a cemetery out near McGowin Bridge that became the dumping place for a number of machines.

The old Sardine Bridge on Robinsonville Road was about to be replaced at a cost of $883,000. The county’s portion of the money was to be $190,000 to replace the bridge built in 1947.

PCI was still dealing with the plan to oust Tribal Council Chairman, Eddie Tullis.

The Atmore Rotary Club was celebrating its 50th anniversary and is going through an aggressive membership drive.

An argument led to an accidental shooting of a woman on Patterson Street who was a bystander. Alcohol was suspected to have played a part in the argument.

The area was hit by high winds doing some amount of damage. At the same time residents were dealing with tornado warnings.

Last, but certainly not least, I read the story in an issue of The Atmore Advance about Ernest Bartley who had discovered some information about his great-grandfather in the Civil War.

Apparently his great-grandfather, Nathan Bartley, was in the same unit as his son, Miledge Bartley. Ernest had been told the story of his grandfather Miledge’s service, and how he survived the battle. But, no one knew what happened to Nathan. The story told of how the family found out that Nathan died at the Battle of Gettysburg in July 1864, and was buried there at the Gettysburg Cemetery. Since that time, the family has gone to see the resting place of their family member and are happy to finally find out what happened to him.