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

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