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Scottsboro Launches Photo Trail

Mar 23rd, 2021

Contributors: Richi Reynolds, Main Street Scottsboro Board President and Katie Kirkland, Main Street Scottsboro Executive Director

In 2018, one of Main Street Scottsboro’s first state-wide quarterly training meetings as a Main Street Alabama Community was a workshop headed by Katie Meyer, who was then the executive director for Renaissance Covington in Kentucky. As part of her seminar on Curb’d Placemaking, Meyer gave attendees some real, hands-on advice and ideas we could bring back home to implement in our communities. Her suggestions involved different ways to grow a vibrant and engaging downtown district that encouraged active participation. One of those ideas piqued our interest as soon as we saw it; recently that idea has become a reality.

Meyer and her team had created some temporary photo plaques with images of downtown Covington in its early days. The Covington plaques were not meant to be permanent, but we liked the idea so much we decided to bring it back to Scottsboro as a permanent historic photo trail around our courthouse square.

Our Design Committee worked with a local printer, Sign-1-1, to come up with some decorative weather-proof metal plaques that would be hung on the light poles around the square. Each plaque is two-sided with an old photo and caption on each side. The photos were hung closest to the location on the square where they were originally taken. For instance, the photo hanging in front of Payne’s Soda Fountain, the oldest business on the square, is a picture of Payne’s in 1892, about a year after the building was built.

On the reverse side, is a 1908 photo looking east from Payne’s down Laurel Street. The picture shows a wide dirt road filled with cotton wagons and lined with wooden buildings that are no longer in existence.

Funding for the project came from event vendor fees and the sales of t-shirts, postcards, and other Downtown Scottsboro items. With the completion of the Laurel Street side of the square, work on the Market Street side will begin and continue until all four sides of the square have historic plaques on the light poles. We really hope this photo trail will give our citizens a better understanding of Scottsboro’s early days, how far the community has come, and also encourage folks to learn more about our past as they enjoy walking around our historic square.





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