Boom Days Heritage Celebration Is Saturday In Fort Payne

Friday, September 18, 2015
Pictured is Jessica Harper-Brown of the Depot Museum Annex, in period clothing of the 1890s
Pictured is Jessica Harper-Brown of the Depot Museum Annex, in period clothing of the 1890s

One of the biggest annual events in Fort Payne, in Northeast Alabama, takes place this Saturday.

Boom Days Heritage Celebration brings together a wide array of music talents, artists and craftsmen from our local region, great food and so much more! Acts taking to the Rotary Pavilion Stage will include Delbert McClinton, the Legendary Muscle Shoals Swampers featuring Jackson Nance and Grammy winner Norman Blake. City Park will be filled with craft vendors and Main Street throughout downtown Fort Payne will be alive with activity.

A heritage celebration would not be complete without showcasing the rich heritage of the city. Two of the places to see history come alive are the Fort Payne Depot Museum and its Annex in the beautifully restored 1880’s Coal and Iron building. Both these structures are built with pink sandstone quarried nearby and demonstrate the richness of Fort Payne’s Boom era of the late 1800’s with the discovery of coal and iron ore in the valley wedged between Lookout and Sand Mountains.

The Fort Payne Depot and its Annex building will be open during Boom Days from 10 a.m.–3 p.m. The Depot houses many artifacts representing our Native American history and Indian Chief Sequoyah who lived among his people in Wills Valley, now Fort Payne, prior to the forced removal of Indians during the tragic era of the 1830’s on the Trail of Tears. Information on Sequoyah and the Cherokee Syllabary he created in Wills Valley that taught an Indian Nation how to read and write will be on display in one section of the Depot Museum. Books such as Walking the Trail, by author and Fort Payne native Jerry Ellis, will be available for purchase among other items. 

The Annex to the Depot in the Coal and Iron Building will be featuring a display on Battelle, once a bustling community founded by Col. John Gordon Battelle and a group of miners from Ohio. Battelle is north of Fort Payne at the foot of Lookout Mountain and now sits in ruins. Battelle formed the Lookout Mountain Iron Company there after finding iron ore, coal and limestone. When the Coal and Iron Ore Boom went bust, settlers moved on and the town of Battelle was abandoned. Remnants remain where a school, hotel, post office and homes once proudly stood. Be sure to stop by the annex to learn more about this and the diverse history of Fort Payne and the Boom that eventually gave way to the Hosiery Industry. Employee Jessica Harper-Brown will be in 1890’s period clothing and ready to welcome you to Fort Payne and share her wealth of knowledge with you about Fort Payne, Battelle and the Big Boom of the 1890’s that shaped Fort Payne into the rich community it is today.

Boom Days Heritage Celebration is listed as a Top 20 Event by the Southeast Tourism Society and named recently by the Alabama Tourism Department as the Alabama Event of the Year for 2015.

Places to Stay:

The Holiday Inn Express

Located off I-59 Exit 218 in south Fort Payne


Roosters Rest Cabin Rentals

Located on Lookout Mountain within 12 minutes of downtown Fort Payne


Places to Eat in Downtown Fort Payne:

The Strand, offering the best hamburger in the city along with their homemade onion rings.

The Spot Coffee and Sandwich Shop

All Aboard...The Chattanooga Choo Choo Rides Again

Passengers once boarded trains daily from Terminal Station at the Chattanooga Choo Choo .  Like the airport travel of our time, traveling from Chattanooga to other cities around the country by rail was the standard.  Not so today. In 1970, Terminal Station closed its 14 tracks and seven boarding platforms. Other than the occasional special event, trains haven’t ... (click for more)

Baseball Legend Cal Ripken, Jr., Music, Larger-Than-Life-Sized Balloons Highlight Pigeon Forge’s New Music In The Mountains Spring Parade On May 4

With Cal Ripken, Jr. leading the way, Pigeon Forge’s (Tennessee) new Music in the Mountains spring parade is set for May 4 at 6 p.m. (Eastern) on the city’s Parkway with entries from Tennessee, Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky, Virginia and Georgia plus several new elements to extend the celebration into the weekend.   Mr. Ripken, a member of the National Baseball Hall ... (click for more)

McCallie Coach From 90s Who Is Now Deceased Is Accused Of Abusing Students

A McCallie School coach from the 1990s who is now deceased is being accused of abusing students at the private prep school. Two former students said Steven Lee "Steve" Carpenter sexually abused them. Carpenter was the basketball coach at McCallie for 11 seasons - through 1999. He was boys basketball coach at Ridgeland High School beginning in 2000. Carpenter was ... (click for more)

County Commission Committee Recommends 2-Year Terms For Magistrates; To Advertise For 2 Openings After Pay Raise

A committee of the County Commission has recommended that county magistrates have two-year terms, instead of one year, and for the commission to take applications on two open seats. The commission will proceed with advertising for the two posts and make an official announcement next Wednesday. Applications will then be taken until May 8. The commission will interview candidates ... (click for more)

Pluses And Minuses Of Tennessee's New Opioid Law

It was clear when Governor Haslam announced his TN Together plan in January that lawmakers were going to do something to try to address the state’s opioid abuse epidemic. With the passage of SB 2257/HB 1831, Tennessee now has one of the most comprehensive and restrictive laws of any state.   The Tennessee Medical Association was actively engaged in the process and appreciates ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: ‘We’ll Lose The Senate!’

A guy who I admire and respect wrote me yesterday. He had just read my story defending Bob Corker for honoring “The Code” due to his true friendship with Phil Bredesen. He is also no stranger to my vivid dislike of the Republican choice to replace Corker in the Senate. Marsha Blackburn is no match against Bredesen on any tier and it is clearly the Republican Party itself that has ... (click for more)