Looking Back: 30 years ago, the city honored Amtrak

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 23, 2019

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We are getting back to the old newspaper books that are on file at The Atmore Advance.

Thirty years ago, in 1989, one of the items that caught my attention in the newspaper was that the Escambia County Middle School was shut down for about 30 minutes due to a bomb threat. Nothing was found in a search of the school.

Another story told of three different accidents that left two dead and four injured in the area.

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Teachers at Escambia County High School expressed their concern over the number of absentees. In fact it was a problem with all schools.

Atmore was planning a big celebration in honor of the Amtrak which was making its first stop in Atmore. The city had just finished building a new stop in time for the event.

B.C. Moore’s had a 66th anniversary sale. They had men’s suits for $88 and knit dresses for $29.88.

An area championship was in sight for the Atmore Blue Devils. They were to play the Monroeville Tigers for the 5A Area 2 championship.

The Ernest Ward Golden Eagles were to play Freeport for the upcoming homecoming.

The Auburn Extension Service was hosting a tour of Blowing Rock, N.C.

Winn-Dixie had rump roast for $1.17 a pound, bacon for 89 cents a pound and Deep South mayonnaise for 79 cents for 32 ounces.

Barnes Super Market had celery for 57 cents a stalk and pork chops for $1.59 a pound.

Lastly, the headline in The Atmore Advance read “Thousands Greet Amtrak on Inaugural Run” on Oct. 29, 30 years ago. According to the newspaper, 3,000 to 5,000 people showed up to welcome the Amtrak as it rolled in to Atmore, making its first stop since being added to the regular run between Mobile and Birminghan. Several dignitaries were riding the train.

This made me remember when the train finally made a stop in Brewton. The dignitaries rode the train that day too. I remember there were a lot of people there that day and I looked around at everybody there. I thought it looked pretty crazy, like we were some little town that had never seen a train before. I wondered what those riding the train must have thought to have all those people cheering as if we all were crazy. It was a momentous occasion, but it just was so funny.