Saturday, March 8, 2014

Death of an Old Lady

I came across the story last weekend of the fire on March 1, 2014 that destroyed the 130 year old Mentone Springs Hotel in Mentone, Alabama.
Mentone Springs Hotel -2006

We were there eight years ago on a Spring Break trip. It was a time to get out of town for a while, stay in a B&B and also do some genealogy research.

Mentone is close to Fort Payne, Alabama where the Cherokees were held in a prison camp before they were forced to walk the "Trail of Tears" to Oklahoma. My wife's Lawrence family had stories of Cherokee connections and being related to Cherokee Chief John Ross who lived in the area in the early 1800s. 

We didn't find anything new about her Lawrence family but did locate the graves of her 3rd Great Grandparents, Thomas and Judith Longacre from the Glenn side of her family. They died in Jackson County, Alabama about 20 miles north of Mentone in the mid 1800s and were buried on their farm.

Thomas and Judith Longacre
Their graves have since been surrounded by a community cemetery and we were probably the first family members to visit in over a hundred years.

Uncle Sam @ Mentone Springs Hotel
The Mentone Springs Hotel had a collection of antique quilts hanging on the walls, some attributed to the slaves who lived on plantations in the area.

My wife made a copy this "Uncle Sam" quilt just using the pictures we brought home and it is one of my favorites in her collection.

The hotel changed owners a couple times since we visited so hopefully the old quilts were not inside during the fire.

They are saying the fire was caused by old electrical wiring. We stayed there during a cold spring and I remember the only heat in the room was from the fireplace. It was a fun visit and we had planned to go back but I thought at the time a fireplace in guest rooms of an old wooden hotel wasn't a good idea.

No comments: