Monday, December 11, 2017

With only 37 pages of the book left to work on in my first "dissection" of DEVIL MAKE A THIRD, the progress toward the goal of producing an annotated edition of this important book is amazing. This morning I have identified my second candidate (my first was U.S. Representative H.D. Clayton from Clayton) for the identity of an individual who may have been a model for the character of Alabama Governor Thrasher in the book. This second man is Alabama Governor William D. Jelks of Eufaula

We are now up to almost 20,000 views of the blog and are averaging over 1000 views each month. Many of the speculations on this DEVIL MAKE A THIRD blog have come from members of the OLD DOTHAN MEMORIES Facebook group. THANK ALL OF YOU SO MUCH! Please check out our progress @

Friday, December 08, 2017

Matt Wake, a rock journalist out of Huntsville, wrote an article this week entitled

AN ALABAMA GUITAR HERO'S GUITAR HEROES: 15 ESSENTIAL TRACKS. It's a list of tunes put together by Damon Johnson who Wake calls "perhaps Alabama's greatest hard rock export." #2 on his list is : SKY HIGH by ARS & of course, BARRY BAILEY is one the guitar hero's guitar heroes. From the article: 'Sky High' Atlanta Rhythm Section

Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Here's a 1983 document which will help ANYONE begin to appreciate MIRACULOUS DOWNTOWN DOTHAN, a place that went from being little more than a country crossroads with a couple of stores and about 350 folks in 1898 to having almost 10,000 people in the area eleven years later. Many of Downtown's buildings date from Dothan's boomtown years at the turn-of-the-century.(If a more accurate or more recent document containing similar information has been written during the past 35 years about Downtown Dothan, please let me know about it.)
A DESCRIPTION OF PORT ST. JOE IN 1909 (For some reason the writer of this article, H.T. Graves of Compass Lake, had the idea that Port St. Joe had been built by the Spanish) from the July 2, 1909 DOTHAN EAGLE: The MANTEO arrived at her destination in due time carrying a launch to transfer the passengers on the shore of Old St. Jo. Twas a beautiful sight indeed. The crowd soon scattered in different directions looking for places of interest. We found the old Spanish town are ruins, indeed most of the brick carried away, and very little left of anything to tell the history of Old St. Jo. We succeeded in finding a guide to direct us to the old cemetery where we hoped to procure dates and other items of interest but sorry to say we failed to find the desired spot and were recalled by the whistle from the MANTEO telling us to hurry or be left over there with the bears. (clipping from the June 18, 1909 DOTHAN EAGLE)

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

In the early 1900s, the 190 foot steamship MANTEO was one of the first deep-water (9 foot draft) to service Northwest Florida ports. The ship began a weekly schedule out of Mobile or New Orleans to Pensacola, Panama City, Apalachicola, Carrabelle and Tampa. In 1908, the ship was purchased by the Bay Line Railroad and began to offer ocean voyage excursions originating at the train depot in Dothan. In 1906, the MANTEO was involved in the rescue of the crew and passengers of the steamship GUSSIE when it dragged anchor and was beached on Little Dauphin Island on September 27. (from the October 4, 1906 TAMPA WEEKLY TRIBUNE)

Monday, December 04, 2017

In 1908, the Bay Line bought a 190 foot steamship, drawing 9 feet of water, called the MANTEO. They extended the railway dock in Panama City 200 feet to accommodate it and began to ship naval stores out of St. Andrews Bay. After harbor improvements in 1908, the Manteo was the first deep draft steamship to enter Apalachicola Bay and for about four years the ship made a regular route from New Orleans and Mobile to Northwest Florida ports and Tampa. It was retired in 1912 but in the next year it was supposedly outfitted in Panama City by Venezuelan strong man Cipriano Castro for a Central American revolution. After that, the steamship was renamed the VAN and in 1925 it was taken into custody off Boston by Prohibition agents after attempting to bring 3000 cases of liquor into the country. This was one of the largest liquor busts in Prohibition history. In 1930, FDR had it sunk offshore from Boston Harbor in a government program to dispose of derelict ships in the Boston area. (from the August 28, 1909 DOTHAN EAGLE)

Saturday, December 02, 2017

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Two of the films that were shown at THE ELECTRIC THEATRE in Dothan on Friday night, June 25, 1909 are now on Youtube.

"It would be difficult for me to express enough gratitude or to show enough appreciation for all the help, love and happy memories I have of Alabama and my hometown, Dothan- and for the many fine people who have been so kind to me throughout the years. Friends and friendships crowd in upon my memory. I wish I could talk about all of them.

"When I was a boy growing up in Dothan, and through my schoolhood and university days, I had wonderful times. Alabama will always be my home and , in everything I've done, I have wanted the folks there to be proud of me."

"One of my biggest thrills was going home after the Rose Bowl game. As the train pulled into Dothan, there was a big crowd to meet it, and I looked out the window and saw my brother playing trap drums in the band. They gave me one of the finest receptions anyone could ever wish for. There was a luncheon at the hotel with my mother and daddy there, and speeches, speeches, speeches."
from JOHNNY MACK BROWN: Up Close And Personal by Bobby J. Copeland