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A County Older Than the State-Blount County


Created Feb. 7, 1818 by Alabama Territorial Legislature from lands ceded by the Creek Indian Nation. Named for the Tennessee Governor W. G. Blount, who sent militia under Andrew Jackson to punish the Creeks for Fort Mims massacre. Jackson fought and won the Creek War. Creeks gave up half of their lands in Treaty of Ft. Jackson, 1814. Some of Jackson's men were first settlers of Blount. County seat moved here in 1889. [2006: 220 2nd Avenue East, Oneonta. 2006 marker has replaced previous marker. ​33.94637 N 86.47561 W]


Bailey School 1893 - 1951


William M Bailey (born 1859 in Cherokee Co.; died 1909 in Blount Co.) settled 40 acres on what became Co. Rd 36 to the west and New Home Church Rd to the east in 1893. He brought three small sons from Cherokee Co. after the death of his first wife and their mother, Julie Law Bailey. Remarrying in 1887, Bailey had ten more children with Ollie McMillan Bailey. He deeded one acre on SW corner for a school and an adjoining acre on E for a church. The first school on the site, Bailey himself built of logs; the second - with two rooms, high ceilings and belfry-capped roof - was built by the state. The third, built in 1934, had three rooms in the shape of a T and served a bustling community. The institution strived to guide children and youth toward literacy and character building to enrich their lives and those of others. [2003: Near 3615 County Road 36 at New Hope Church Road northeast of Oneonta 34.04665 N 86.40674 W]


Battle Royal


May 1, 1863-Nathan Bedford Forrest attacked Colonel Streight's column as it crossed Locust's swift waters, causing the Federal troops to make tremendous exertions to complete the movement, contributing thereby to Streight's eventual surrender of his entire command to Forrest some forty hours later and seventy-five miles from Battle Royal. [1963: Near 16751 County Road 26, Blountsville, in the Royal Community, intersection of County Road 26, Dunn Lane and Susan Moore Road 34.06753 N 86.49297 W]


Blount Springs


Famous Health Resort from 1843-1914. Here fashionable ladies and gentlemen of the South vacationed with their families. [1953: U.S. Hwy 31 at County Road 7 near Blount Springs (Repainted) 33.93232 N 86.79603 W]




1820-1889-Seat of Blount County, a county older than the State. Named for Tennessee Governor W. G. Blount who sent Andrew Jackson to aid Alabama settlers in the Creek Indian War, 1812-1814. Indian Chief Bear Meat lived here at the crossing of old Indian trading paths. 1816-Tennesseans began trading post here and called the village Bear Meat Cabin. 1820-Name changed to Blountsville and made county seat. 1819-County seat moved to Oneonta. [1956: Main Street at Lee Street, Blountsville 34.01863 N 86.59114 W]


Champion Mines


John Hanby came in 1817 and found a rich seam of brown iron ore. Named Champion in 1882 when Henry DeBardeleben & James Sloss bought land and brought L & N Railroad causing county seat to be moved from Blountsville to Oneonta in 1889. Most ore was mined by Shook and Fletcher 1925-1967 from Champion & Taits Gap mines under E. N. Vandergrift, superintendent. Ore was shipped to Woodward, T.C.I. & Sloss furnaces in Birmingham and Republic in Gadsden. [1989: 611 6th Street South (US 231) at Champion Road 33.93896 N 86.45883 W]


Ebenezer Hearn 1794-1862


Methodist Missionary. First minister assigned to Alabama Territory by Tennessee Conference. Hearn preached his first sermon two blocks west at Bear Meat Cabin (present Bountsville), April 18, 1818. He later organized churches in Shelby, Saint Clair, Jefferson, Tuscaloosa, and Cotaco (present Morgan) counties; this is the beginning of Methodism in central Alabama. [1973: College Street at Church Street, Blountsville 34.08054 N 86.58941 W]


Exploit of Murphree Sisters


Incident of May 1, 1863 during Streight (Union flag)-Forrest (Confederate flag) Campaign. Three prowling Union soldiers invaded the home of sisters-in-law Celia and Winnie Mae Murphree taking food and drink and killing two colts. When soldiers fell asleep, these two young girls took rifles and marched the soldiers to the headquarters of General Forrest, bivouacked at Royal Crossing on Warrior River. [1964: Near 16751 County Road 26, Blountsville, in the Royal Community, intersection of County Road 26, Dunn Lane and Susan Moore Road 34.06753 N 86.49297 W]


Federal Raid


May 1, 1863, 1 mile south of marker. General N. B. Forrest captured a wagon train and supplies of Colonel Streight's raiders. Forrest continued his relentless pursuit eastward toward final capture of Streight. ​[1952: 70633 Main Street North, Blountsville 34.09936 N 86.57577W]

The Gamble School

     Near this site once stood a school built for African American children. Erected in 1925 at a cost of $2,800, funding for the two-classroom, wooden structure came from area residents, along with public funds and $700 from the philanthropic foundation of Sears, Roebuck and Company president and Tuskegee Institute board member Julius Rosenwald. Between 1917 and 1932, the Rosenwald Foundation helped construct nearly 5000 schools throughout the United States. 

     The school was named in honor of A. G. Gamble, a leader in the African American community credited with spearheading the fundraising campaign. Over time, the school was also known by other names, including the Blount County Training School and Sand Valley Training School. Water for the school was obtained from a nearby stream. The building was heated using pot-bellied stoves. Teachers offered instruction in basic coursework through the tenth grade. Used textbooks and other supplies came from the surrounding white schools.  

     In 1958, the Oneonta City Board of Education closed the school upon completion of Southside, a new school for African American pupils located on the opposite side of town.     [Along Sand Valley Road, near Mt. Olive Baptist Church, Oneonta] 

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