2002, Issue 64
Article Abstracts and Supplements
By Robert Mellown and Robert Gamble
He designed some of nineteenth-century America's most famous buildings. His Italianate villa-style homes are worth millions today. But few people know that Richard Upjohn was perhaps best known in the American South for a much simpler set of blueprints that he practically gave away for free. An immigrant to the United States from England, Upjohn was commissioned to design New York's Trinity Church in 1833, a project which could have earned him a place in history by itself. But Upjohn was a devout Anglican with a sense of charity, and he wanted to design smaller, low-cost churches or struggling congregations who could not afford his professional services. The result was a slim volume published in 1852 entitled, Upjohn's Rural Architecture. In the Spring 2002 issue of Alabama Heritage, Robert Mellown and Robert Gamble examine the influence of Upjohn's "little book" on small Episcopal congregations in Alabama, who took Upjohn's plans for simple rural structures and created remarkably beautiful houses of worship. Some of these churches still stand today and have remained in use for a hundred and fifty years.
By Stuart W. McGregor
Have you ever wondered how the Muscle Shoals region of North Alabama got its name? Here's a hint: you can eat the answer on the half-shell. Alabama's waterways have long been known for their phenomenal abundance of slimy, bivalve brachiopods-otherwise nown as mussels. But the construction of dams and canals on the Tennessee River in the early twentieth century has changed the environment and gradually diminished the number of mussels left. Is the decline of Alabama's mussel population something you should be concerned about? The answer may surprise you. In the Spring 2002 issue of Alabama Heritage, Stuart W. McGregor pries open the story of the mussels of Muscle Shoals and explains their importance to the wealth and welfare of the state. From the earliest human settlers in the region who relied on mussels for food, to the modern-day industrialists who cultivate pearls, McGregor traces the slippery course of mollusk events in North Alabama-and he explains why Muscle Shoals should have been Mussel Shoals.
Mobile's Old Catholic Cemetery
By John S. Sledge
It was a place where the dead were laid to rest, and where the living drowned their sorrows in "spirituous liquors" on sale at the gravesite. Where else could you could find the poet who penned "The Sword of Robert E. Lee," the commanding admiral of the famed Confederate raider Alabama, the last slave runner in America, and the slaves he ran, all in the same place? Mobile has its share of historic graveyards, but none are quite as impressive as Old Catholic Cemetery. Not even New Orleans contains a funerary ground like this. In the Spring 2002 issue of Alabama Heritage, John S. Sledge leads a guided tour through one of the most mysterious cemeteries in the South. Beginning with Old Catholic's unusual circular design, Sledge walks us through the history of this sacred ground, stopping to admire the remarkable marble statuary along the way. Sledge also explains how Old Catholic Cemetery attests to the staying power of the Catholic Church in Mobile, despite dynamic changes in the city's culture throughout the nineteenth century. For anyone interested in the trials and rewards of historical preservation, the story of Old Catholic will come as a sobering reminder of what we stand to lose by letting the past stay buried.
By John B. Scott, Jr.
If you live in Alabama, you've probably seen his work, but chances are you don't know his name. He had the air of an Englishman, a certain charm with the ladies, and a voice so talented he drew the attention of the Metropolitan Opera. But Frank Lockwood is perhaps best remembered for designing some of the most impressive and important buildings in the state. The Montgomery ederal Building, a site of landmark civil rights court cases, is his legacy. So is the renovated State Capitol, as well as numerous other public and academic buildings throughout Alabama, not to mention dozens of churches and historic homes. In the Spring 2002 issue of Alabama Heritage, John B. Scott, Jr., traces the prolific career of one of Alabama's most notable architects. From Lockwood's sketchy educational background to his controversial work habits, Scott introduces the man whose life was no less remarkable than the buildings he left behind. For anyone interested in Alabama's rich architectural heritage, this is a must-read.
THE NATURE JOURNAL
by L. J. Davenport
If the Legends Fade
Alabama Heritage Staff
CONTRIBUTORS, SOURCES, AND SUGGESTED READING
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