Friday, February 21, 2020

STORM SPOTTERS TRAINING

Storms Spotters Training
Limestone County EMA is hosting a Storms Spotters Training on February 25, 2020 at 6:00pm at Elkmont Volunteer Fire Dept, 19667 Sandlin Rd. Elkmont, AL. Everyone is welcome to come. This is being put on by the National Weather Service and Limestone Co EMA. This is a free class.
If you have any questions, please contact the office at 256-232-2631 or by email.

Monday, February 17, 2020

JUST DOWN THE ROAD - HISTORY OF ELKMONT; PART 5


Traveling at night, there is not much to see, the moon and stars, the sounds of owls, slow chirping crickets, an occasional sound of varmints fighting . Levi realized that he had a good friend in "Old Bully". Bully could sense danger and this set Levi at ease. Levi's thoughts soon turned to the gold they had found. He decided that tomorrow he would go  kill a elk and salt the meat down for winter food. Then scratch in the branch for more gold.
He arrived at the cabin just before day break. There was a light blanket of frost on the ground and it was right at freezing. Before he could let everyone know he was home, Andrew was already up and met him at the door.  Andrew seemed to always have something to tell Pa when he got back from being away. This time Herman had stepped on a large thorn and it had completely went thru his foot. Andrew stated, "Me and Mama pulled it out and made Herman wash it out in the branch".
Levi had seen people die from this; his concerns were great. He had sulfur ointment that he had made up for wounds and sores. This mixture was a combination of sulfur and animal fat. Levi grew up knowing that this was a cure-all that his Ma always used on him and his brothers. He told Andrew to go wake up Herman and get him over to the candle light. Herman wasn’t to happy about being disturbed this early in the morning but he knew that Papa would be mad if he didn't do as he was told. Levi looked at the foot and felt Herman's head to see if he had a fever---he didn't feel hot. The foot was swollen and red. Levi knew that infection was about to set in.

"Son. this is going to hurt but I need to get this ointment into the wound so you won't get sick". Herman was the tough one and told Papa "do what you got to do"
Levi fashioned him a stick about the size of the thorn and coated it with the ointment. He thrust it into the wound and worked it around. Herman gritted his teeth trying not to show any pain. He finally gave in to big tears running down his face. Papa pulled the stick out with the wound being coated with the sulfur ointment inside and out....only time would tell if Herman's foot would heal.

Gary Compton

Sunday, February 16, 2020

JUST DOWN THE ROAD - HISTORY OF ELKMONT; PART 3


Summer turned to fall.  The Simms' sturdy but simple cabin had been finished. Hunting and trapping had been good.  Geese could be heard honking to each other as they flew south. The squirrels were starting to get fat, building nests in the trees and Levi knew winter would soon be upon them.  It was time to take the furs he and the boys had collected and travel to the tradin' post to lay in winter supplies. The trail he would take was used extensively for delivering supplies and mail to Fort Hampton. It was also used by thieves and no-goods that capitalized on the many travelers. Sometimes they would beg and other times they would rob. The latter was attempted on Levi. He was just east of Mooresville trail when from nowhere three crusty, looking fellows came from a heavily wooded area. They surrounded him and his mule. Using sharpened wooden spears, they demanded all of his furs and his ride or they would kill him. 
To Levi’s surprise, his mule, "Old Bully", flared his nostrils and begin to kick violently at anyone in range. Levi had to use all his strength and might to stay on "Old Bully’s" back. First, there was a strong thug who "Bully" kicked in the chest. One was down and two to go. The second wasn’t lucky either. He moved in with his wooden pole to gore the mule. Suddenly, "Old Bully" caught him in the head with his back hoof; down went number two. The third robber started running as fast as he could to escape, disappearing into the woods not to be seen again.

Levi had a mess on his hands as one robber was lying in the trail moaning and the other appeared to be dead. Levi dismounted "Old Bully" and examined both of them. The one groaning had some broken ribs and the other was in fact dead. His head was laid open by "Bully's" sharp hoof. Levi told the one still alive that he would need to take care of his comrade since he had started this mess. "I will be back thru here tomorrow and check on you”. The would be robber nodded; Levi rode away being shook up by the whole ordeal.

Gary Compton

Saturday, February 15, 2020

JUST UP THE ROAD - CHAPTER TWO


In days to come, Levi would bridle up his mule early each morning, scouting the surrounding areas while Gretchen and the boys stayed behind doing their daily chores. Levi soon discovered that the Elk River was only a mile or so from camp and soldiers were frequently patrolling the river banks looking for evidence of anyone crossing the river. After getting acquainted with the soldiers, he found out there was several settlements and there was a couple of trading posts about a day's ride from where they were camping.

Levi would occasionally kill a deer to supplement their food supply and was delighted to see so much wild game. There was Turkey, Deer, Elk, Black bear and a few Buffalo. Fur bearing animals were various and plentiful, including Mink, Fox, Beaver, Coon and Weasel. All would be major factors in making his decision to stay or move on.

Levi had a long day setting and running his snares and was on his way back to camp. Andrew ran up the trail to meet him all excited. "Papa, Papa, look what I found in the branch (creek)". Levi had seen it back east and at first he thought it to be fools gold but after biting into it, it was soft and malleable. He realized it was a gold nugget. "Son" he said, "Show me where you found this". They both ran to the branch. Levi scratched around in the rock crevices at the bottom of the pool using his bare hands and glimmering up at him was another nugget. This was all that Levi Simms needed to make his decision. "This is where we will stake our claim and make our home".

In days to come Levi had to resist the temptation of scratching around in the branch, he had to build a cabin for the family and shelter for his livestock before winter.  Over the next couple of months, the cabin and barn was erected. Now, they had a permanent house and livestock shelter for the winter ahead. In this period of time several families, drifters, some freed men and even Indians came thru Levi’s homestead but they were all encouraged to move on as he had claimed the rights to 640 acres and they would need to settle somewhere else. Levi and his family kept the secret about the gold, not daring to tell anyone.

After finishing his log home, Levi traveled to the river bottom one day and caught up with the soldiers on patrol, he asked them to mail a letter back East to his two younger brothers. The letter asked them to come west . "It’s a good place to live and you will do well. There is plenty of game and the soil is rich". (Mailing something in those days was not very reliable and very slow, sometimes taking two to three months to be delivered). But Levi had plenty of patience, being seasoned by the many months of wilderness travels and personal hardships.  Andrew and Herman began to take on more and more responsibilities and played a big role in the success of their new home. They cleared almost four acres of land at the lower end of the hollow, using a axe, mule and their hands.
 GARY COMPTON

Friday, February 14, 2020

LAUGHING WITH DONNA - VALENTINE EDITION

A couple is dressed and ready to go out for the evening to celebrate Valentine Day. They phoned for a cab, turn on a night light, cover their pet parakeet and put the cat out in the back yard.
The taxi arrives, and they open the front door to leave. 


Suddenly the cat scoots back into the house. They don't want the cat shut in there because she always tries to eat the bird. The wife goes out to the taxi while the husband goes back in. The cat runs upstairs, with the man in hot pursuit.


The wife doesn't want the driver to know the house will be empty. She explains to the taxi driver that her husband will be out soon. "He's just going upstairs to say goodbye to my mother."



A few minutes later the husband gets into the cab.
"Sorry I took so long," he says, as they drive away. "Stupid hag was hiding under the bed. Had to poke her with a coat hanger to get her to come out! Then I had to wrap her in a blanket to keep her from scratching me. But it worked. I hauled her fat butt downstairs and threw her out into the back yard! The cab driver hit a parked car.

JUST UP THE ROAD - HISTORY OF ELKMONT


Whenever we think about pioneer days, we often think how much simpler it was and wish we could have lived back then. Contrary to those thoughts, life was hard then. Each day was a challenge, not knowing where that next meal would come from. There was very little communication with others. Hostilities were everywhere; almost unbearable work. Your daily decisions would determine whether you would live or die.

It was in the early summer of 1817 when Levi Simms and his family arrived at a small stream west of what is now known as Elkmont. This area of Alabama had been prime hunting ground of the Cherokee and Chickasaw Indians. The area was heavily wooded and was considered wilderness. The United States was in the process of purchasing the northwestern part of Alabama from these two Indian Nations. Elk River was the western boundary that now separated the young America from Indian territory.  Ft. Hampton was located down the Elk about 25 miles southwest. The Fort's Mission was to prevent settlers from crossing the river into Indian territory and to prevent Indians from crossing back to Western America, It had been decided that their culture differences were much too great for Indians and Settlers to live together peacefully.

As Levi and his sons led their horses and other livestock to water, they were all observant of their surroundings. There were deep rutted trails where elk and deer traveled back and forth between their feeding and bedding areas. There was a large spring coming from beneath an outcropping of rocks and the water was very cold and refreshing. Levi noticed how pleasant it was being beneath the tall canopy of Popular, Chestnut and Oak trees. The long Valley that ran from Northeast to Southwest creating a natural shield from the hot summer sun and potentially the cold North winds in the winter months.

The boys were already ripping up and down the stream splashing each other, venturing further and further out while being curious of every thing that they saw, felt and smelled. Andrew, the youngest son, soon found that the stream was abundant with fish and crawfish. He begin to remove stones and gathering crawfish, placing them in his ruck sack for a great evening meal. Herman, the older, begin gathering watercress, Chestnuts and wild berries of all sorts. These were typical daily activities as they all had to pitch in to survive.

Mrs. Simms, " Ma Gretchen", they called her, was busy setting the irons and building a fire for the evening meal. The Iron Dutch oven was her favorite and only cooking vessel and she always had it wrapped with a leather blanket when not in use. No one was allowed to use it for any reason other than cooking and it was constantly hanging over a fire when they were not traveling. The variety of things that had been in that pot would make some people cringe but nourishment was anything that had meat and none would ever complain. Wild grains were plentiful along their travels and were gathered almost daily. Ma Gretchen would sometimes find a convenient flat stone and a small round river rock. She used this to grind the grains into flour. Bread was a favorite among the family and it was part of their daily staple.


Mr. Simms was busy making a temporary corral for their livestock . His only tool was a pole ax that he brought with him from South Carolina. He chopped down several small saplings and tied them up with vines fashioning a fence that would do for a few days while he decided if this place would be their homestead or if they needed to move on. Levi was always looking ahead planning his next move. He was much more happy being away from all the hustle bustle of the east and took great joy watching his boys grow up away from the influences of civilization. Gretchen was his rock and he was always trying to comfort her as she missed her family back East so much.
GARY COMPTON

Monday, February 10, 2020

HIGH SCHOOL DELAY SCHEDULE

Elkmont High 2 Hour Delay Schedule for 2/11/20
Gyms open at 9:30
Release Bell from Gym 9:48
1st period: 9:55-11:22
5th Period (HS Lunch) 11:27--12:40
6th Period (HS) 12:45--1:33
5th Period (MS) 11:27--12:15
6th Period (MS Lunch) 12:20--1:33

2nd Period: 1:38- 2:08
3rd Period: 2:13- 3:05
CHANGES FOR TODAY ONLY
No Zero period classes
All Tech Students can check in at 11:20 or report to HS gym.
Late arrival students report to Library at 9:55.
Co-Op students must bring back a letter from Employer stating they worked this afternoon and may Check-out at normal time. IF you are not going to work, report to AM classes as scheduled.
No RTI

Friday, February 7, 2020

FFA CONTEST WINNERS


We are beyond excited to announce that Ella Keller has continued the tradition and WON the county FFA Discussion Meet Contest!! Natalie Lovell placed 4th overall with Addyson Holt and Dilyn Barron making the final round. Thank you to Limestone Young Farmers for putting the contest on for us.