Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Grandma's House in Riverview

I'm going way, way back with this photo! One hundred years ago, my Yankee born and bred grandmother lived in this house (photo from her album) in the Riverview District of Selma. (Don't you just love the white picket fence?)

Anyway, Grandma was a recent graduate of Berea College in Kentucky, and her entire family had moved here from New Burlington, Ohio (the town that was drowned in the 1970s when a reservoir was built). Her father and two brothers worked at the Schuer-Miller Lumber Company. Another brother was an engraver at a jewelry store, and she was a teacher.

Selma was something of a boomtown in those days... its population increasing more than 50 percent during the first decade of the 20th Century. Banks and hospitals were under construction. Streets were paved, and electricity introduced. Then, streetcars arrived.

All was well in Selma until influenza struck in the Spring of 1912. My great-grandfather was among the afflicted that April, and the virus progressed to pneumonia. About the time the "worst" was over and the same week the RMS Titanic sunk in the North Atlantic, his illness relapsed and he died. Well, his second wife (my grandmother lost her own mama when she was little) had never cared for Heart of Dixie humidity, so she and most of the children returned to the North...except for Grandma. She was in love with a foreman at the sawmill. He couldn't let her go, so they got married one day in May and lived happily ever after. He got a new job at another sawmill and they left Selma, but decades later, one of her granddaughters (that would be me) moved back specifically to research this story!

This little bit of family history was made possible by Grandma's memories, her photo albums, newspapers on microfilm and the 1909 Selma City Directory that is so wonderfully preserved at the Selma-Dallas County Public Library.

12 comments:

Lois said...
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Rambling Round said...

Well, we never referred to my grandmother that way, and we had wonderful aunts and uncles and cousins from Up North to came to visit us...and my grandmother learned to talk with a southern accent.

Halcyon said...

Wow! What a neat story. And a cute little house. I do love the picket fence.

Your EG Tour Guide said...

You know so much about your Grandmother's past and that's wonderful! How great that you have a photo of the house she lived in.

Jacob said...

Wow, how neat is that? Fantastic!

Jim said...

I love you have all of that family history. My Grandparents also came from Ohio, but they never talked about growing up.

Kathleen said...

Yes I have been called "Yankee Wife" by a few of my husbands family members..(inlaws) LOL

I love the house and best of all the picket fence.I wish my hubby would agree on one!
Do you have in inside photos?
I can remember my grandmothers house and even the color of her scratchy couch.I think it was made of wool! :)

Rambling Round said...

Kathleen, Sorry, there were no interior photos that I could find, but she did have photos of the flooding Alabama River, the Kenan's Mill dam and cotton fields. I imagine that cotton was a novelty to them!
I was able to learn so much, because my family and grandmother lived in the same house (not this one) in another town when I was growing up. Precious memories!

Lucy B said...

What a wonderful family story. Where did they move to?

bfarr said...

Nice bit of family history. Cute house. Yankee's aren't all bad : )

Rambling Round said...

Hi Lucy, They moved to Marengo County, then Hale County.

D said...

It's cool that you have so much detail in your family's history. Great post.