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Elmore County

Living M A G A Z I N E



Elmore County Living • Fall 2010


message Labor Day signals end to great summer of 2010


t seems like the Fourth of July was just here and somehow summer flew by. It ended faster than any of us would like. As we anticipate the start of high school and college football games, the kids have been back in school a couple of weeks already. It seems it starts earlier every year. Labor Day signifies to us, and probably many of you, the end of summer. The last concert at the Amphitheater acts as the official send-off for lake dwellers who return to the hustle and bustle of everyday life that is surely at a much quicker pace than the life of lake living. While we complained about that cold winter we endured, and were looking ahead to spring and summer, some of you are probably glad to see the end of this hot summer we have experienced in central Alabama. It will not be long, however, before you wish it were back with us. When those cold winds of autumn bring in the frigid nights of November, you will yearn for a return to summer. The summer of 2010 has been a memorable one in central Alabama. A successful Bassmasters Elite Series came to Wetumpka and focused attention nationally on the quality of freshwater fishing on Lake Jordan. It was so successful they will be coming back next year. Memorial Day and Fourth of July concerts at the Lake Martin Amphitheater were a huge blast and then there was Russell Lands’ AquaPalooza. It was not as big as the signature event Russell Lands and Sea Ray presented a year ago with Alan Jackson that attracted 30,000 people, but this year’s event attracted a surprising 15,000 bathing suit clad folks – young and old – to hear country music star John Anderson and other local bands entertain the throng of people. This annual event in Elmore County is becoming one of the best known summer events anywhere. It will certainly earn attention from the Alabama Department of Tourism as one of the signature events in our state every year. Our friends at the Elmore County Economic Development Authority are working hard on tourism, and business and industry recruitment, and events like Aquapalooza are one of the feathers in our cap when they go recruiting.

Elmore County is not that little rural stop outside Montgomery anymore. We will get more attention this year when the U.S. Census Bureau releases its new figures. Based on early estimates, those numbers will be quite impressive and show that more than 80,000 people now reside in the state’s fourth-fastest growing county. That is quite an impressive statistic when you consider that we are now talked about in the same breath as Shelby, St. Clair and Madison counties, when people are talking about growth. We even rival Baldwin County in the South as the fastestgrowing. U.S. 231 through much of the county has become one of the busiest thoroughfares in our state, rivaling even a stretch of the same highway that extends through north Shelby County. That traffic count is attracting attention from major retailers across the country. It means there will be fastpaced retail development as the economy continues to improve. One prospect after another is looking into locating in Elmore County along that busy corridor because it is the next retail business “hot spot.” Restaurants and retail stores are looking at this corridor knowing that there are plenty of people to support any endeavor they bring here. When you consider that your population has almost doubled in the last decade, you realize the buying potential that 80,000 residents can provide to retail establishments. It is a positive sign for this area and tells us that there is something to the quality of life and living in Elmore County. This edition of Elmore County Living is about the different lifestyles of residents who call Elmore County home. Our writers and editors have provided you a great variety of stories to enjoy. Send a copy to your friends in other areas and show them what this area has to offer. Because before you know it, fall will turn into winter and we’ll be looking forward to a return to spring and summer once again. Time really does fly when you enjoy life! We’ll see you in the next edition of Elmore County Living. Enjoy your fall. Kim N. Price is the president of Price Publications, Inc.



notee C

an you believe we have now been publishing Elmore County Living for two years? Our winter issue will mark the start of our third year of bringing readers interesting stories and photographs from around Elmore County, and we’re excited about how it’s grown in scope and popularity! A long, hot summer is winding down, but the temperature and humidity are still oppressive. So, this edition of ECL will give you a good excuse to stay inside where it’s cool and enjoy the items our staff has been working on for the past couple of months. There is a varied selection of articles contained in these pages. You can read about former Wetumpka resident Skip Bishop who is now a

Elmore County Living • Fall 2010

Elmore County Living growing in popularity music company executive in Nashville. In coming issues of ECL, we plan to spotlight other former county citizens, who have gone on to succeed at the “next level.” We are also introducing a new feature, “Resident Artist,” and in this edition you will meet Lissa Ledbetter of Tallassee who creates unique mosaics and collages. And you can read about Lake Martin’s Jim Scott, whose lakeside gardens attract boaters to marvel over the wonders visible from the water. With Halloween approaching, you’ll also be interested to learn more about the unique Haunted Hearse Tours planned by Shannon Fontaine. There is plenty more to read about, including Eclectic’s upcoming Cotton Festival, renovations to Mount Vernon Theatre in Tallassee, The Discovery

Center and Adventure Center of Russell Lands and tours of available waterside homes. To finish things up, you can check out the event calendar for September through November and mark the events you want to attend. There is a wide range of seasonal activities planned. While you’re immersed in this issue, we’re already talking about the next one. We have some stories mapped out, but we’re always interested in hearing your ideas. So, if you have anything to share, call me at 334-567-7811 or e-mail We’ll see you again soon! Peggy Blackburn is managing editor of Price Publications, Inc.


Elmore County Living • Fall 2010

Nashville Star


Inside 8

10 14

Split floor plan gives a lot of breathing room to fabulous Lake Martin home

Resident Artist

10 17

10 21

30 28

Haunted Hearse Tours

30 33

Lakeside Wonderland

30 42

Preserving History

Celebrating the spirit of Halloween, a Wetumpka native offers a haunting tour


Tallassee’s Lissa Ledbetter shows her artistic side through collages, mosaics and paints

Fun, Food and Festival

Communing with Nature

Russell Lands on Lake Martin gives visitors a closer look at area’s wildlife and habitat

Skip Bishop’s love of music has taken him from Wetumpka to Music City USA

Treat of a Retreat

30 24

28 33

Annual Cotton Festival plans in place to make it bigger and better

One man’s vision and hours of work become a Lake Martin attraction

Tallassee residents want to see historic theatre restored and reopened

Elmore County Living magazine is published by Price Publications, Inc. in conjunction with The Wetumpka Herald, The Eclectic Observer and The Tallassee Tribune. Copyright 2010 by Price Publications, Inc., all rights reserved. Any reproduction of this publication is strictly prohibited without the express written permission of the publisher. Kim N. Price - President/Publisher David Goodwin - News Editor Peggy Blackburn - Managing Editor Kevin Taylor - Copy Editor Jay Goodwin - Operations Manager Griffin Pritchard - Sports Editor Shannon Elliott - Ad Manager Ashley Vice - Multimedia Manager

Megan Wynn - Bookkeeper Christy Cooper - Ad Sales Stacy Brock - Ad Sales Jessica Hargett - Intern

P.O. Box 99 • 300 Green Street • Wetumpka, AL 36092 • 334-567-7811

Tallassee Jane Parker - Associate Publisher Willie Moseley - News Editor Lauren Newman - Staff Writer Wes Sinor - Sports Editor Natalie Wade - Staff Writer Stephanie Weldon - Ad Sales


Elmore County Living • Fall 2010

Out & About at...


ECEDA Unity Social

Elmore County Living • Fall 2010



Bassmasters Elite

JAKES 2010

State Wild Game Cook-off

Elmore County Living • Fall 2010

Nashville Star

Elmore County Living • Fall 2010


Wetumpka native always knew music was in his future By Kevin Taylor


rowing up in Wetumpka, Skip Bishop was not like the rest of the kids. He stood out from the crowd. And that’s what made him popular. On a typical Sunday, Bishop would spend his afternoons outside, but not playing games. Bishop would change out of his church clothes and get into his everyday clothes, and he’d walk down the street to the nearby black church and sit outside with a couple of his buddies and just listen. “It was incredible,” Bishop said of the gospel music, which poured out of the

In the 1971 edition of the Wetumpka High yearbook Skip Bishop (peering from behind the screen door), dreamed up the ficticious Zazu Pitts National Conspiracy. Bishop said each person paid a dollar to be in the photo. “The group was for whoever had a dollar and a dream,” said Bishop, who came up with the name of the group. WETUMPKA HIGH SCHOOL


Some of the musicians Bishop rubbed elbows with included 1980s Grammy Award-winning pop sensation Rick Springfield. COURTESY OF SONY MUSIC ARCHIVES

Elmore County Living • Fall 2010 church and deep into his soul. “We would come over regularly on Sundays to listen to the choir, and they were amazing!” Bishop was hooked, and music was his life. It later became his livelihood. After many records and many miles trekking across the country, Bishop now works with some of the top country music artists, from Alan Jackson to Carrie Underwood, as vice president of promotion for Sony Music Nashville. “This isn’t a job because I’m having too much fun doing what I do,” Bishop said. “It’s extremely exciting, and I get a huge sense of pride working with people like Carrie (Underwood), who I’ve worked with since Day 1 when she stepped off that American Idol stage.” But no matter how many country music icons and up-and-coming stars Bishop has worked with over the years, he’s never forgotten his roots. Music became Bishop’s way of life at a young age. His influence was his mother and father, who were considered the coolest around town. “I guess you’d call my parents beatniks,” he said. “My mother and father

Elmore County Living • Fall 2010 would listen to edgier music than my friends were listening to. My parents would listen to folk music when everyone else was listening to Ray Conniff. They would listen to jazz when everyone else was listening to more middle of the road stuff. “I don’t think I ever wanted to be in anything other than the music business.” Bishop’s early introduction to the music industry started at the local radio station WETU-AM. Bishop said he and some of his buddies would practically live at the radio station. In his mid-teens, Bishop would hang around with Mark Wilder and Jerry Carpenter at the radio station where there was a piano and instruments. “The gospel groups would come in at 6 a.m. and play and we’d make sure the music was mixed just right,” Bishop recalled. Music and the First Baptist Church brought the trio together as friends, according to Wilder. “Jerry and I were employed at the radio station and Skip would come over to help out with the Sunday morning gospel show we had,” said Wilder, who


Bishop sports one of Grace Slick’s earrings in 1982. Slick was one of the band members of Jefferson Airplane which later became known as Jefferson Starship. COURTESY OF SONY MUSIC ARCHIVES


Elmore County Living • Fall 2010

Bishop spent a year in Los Angeles as senior vice president of MCA Records. There he worked with numerous artists within the MCA Records family, including music icon Elton John. Pictured with Bishop and Elton John is Tracy Austin with KISS-FM of Los Angeles. COURTESY OF SONY MUSIC ARCHIVES

is in charge of programming, operations and Internet for WSFA-TV in Montgomery. “All three of us had similar interests, and we hung out a lot. ... I was willing to give my sight up before my hearing because we loved music so much,” Wilder said. And music continues to be a part of Bishop’s life. “I listen to music constantly,” he said. “Really. Every second. Even without any audio equipment. I’ve been accused of being extremely ADD but in reality I’m reviewing music in my head all the time. “I can listen to “Allman Brothers live at the Filmore East” note for note while running a meeting or any other song or record that I’ve ever’s a gift

What’s on Skip’s iPod? • Miles Davis: “It’s the most sophisticated music I’ve ever heard. It changed how I listened to music.” • Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire”: “One of the greatest 2:45 ever recorded.” • Joni Mitchell ... She’s a tortured genius angel. Bob Dylan ... because he's Bob Dylan. Brad Paisley ... brilliant writer, guitar wizard...master showman! Wu Tang Clan, AC/DC, tons of gospel and Mozart and a curse!” In addition to spending most of his

time at the radio station, Bishop eventually got involved with a few garage bands when he was in high school. “There was always some form of band to get involved with,” he said. “I played bass and sang a bit.” One of the more memorable bands he played with was National Debt. “We played in such great towns like Holtville, Eclectic and even played in Montgomery a few times,” he said. “I think we even played the prom at Marbury High.” After graduating from Wetumpka High in 1971, Bishop enrolled at Auburn University, where he majored in English and mass communications. It was at Auburn where Bishop’s career was “crystallized.” While at Auburn, Bishop wore many


Elmore County Living • Fall 2010

Now as vice president of promotion for Sony Music Nashville, Bishop works with some of the country’s top artists including Carrie Underwood (left) and Miranda Lambert. Bishop began working with Underwood “since Day 1 when she stepped off that American Idol stage.” COURTESY OF SONY MUSIC ARCHIVES

hats, but they all were related to music. He was manager of Herbert Music in downtown Auburn. He also worked the morning shift at the student radio station WEGL and was later hired on to be the program director for WAUD. And in his spare time, Bishop was a deejay at a local club called The Casino. In addition to all of his jobs, Bishop was also helping book acts to perform at Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum. “I was booking acts over there ranging from Bruce Springsteen to Lynyrd Skynyrd,” he said. Taking a few quarters off here and there, Bishop finished at Auburn in 1976 and moved out of state. His first job out of college was morning program director for WPFM-FM in Panama City, Fla. Six years later, Bishop was named vice president in charge of programming for almost 20

radio stations within WPFM’s broadcasting family. After 10 years in Panama City, Bishop became entrenched in the record business. His first stop was in Houston at RCA Records, where he was eventually named senior vice president. A decade later, he was named senior vice president of promotion for MCA Records. But after a year on the West Coast, Bishop moved back east, where he developed one of the largest and most successful marketing and promotion companies in music -- Bishop Bait and Tackle. “It just took off and was very successful,” Bishop said of his handmade business. “It couldn’t have been more fun and successful.” After a number of years in New York City, his Southern roots came calling. In

2005, he was hired on as vice president of national promotion for Arista Nashville before earning his present day position with Sony Music. But what if Bishop had not developed a love for music. What would he have done? “If I hadn’t been in music I would cook for a living by teaming up with Miss Mary from the Chicken Shack and start a gourmet soul food restaurant in New York -- if she’d have me. “That, or write fiction ... I have a few ideas in the hopper!” To this day, though, music is firmly a part of this former long-haired hippy from Wetumpka’s life. “I can’t imagine what life for me would be without music,” he said. “I think it would be pure emptiness. That’s something I hope to never know ... kind of like a day without oxygen!”


Elmore County Living • Fall 2010

Treat of a retreat

Ken and Patsy Massey have enjoyed sitting out on their concrete patio overlooking Lake Martin for almost five years. PHOTOS BY ASHLEY VICE

Split floor plan offers plenty of breathing room By Ashley Vice


en and Patsy Massey said moving to their home on Lake Martin nearly five years ago was “like coming home.” The couple met in college in LaGrange, Ga., and lived for 27 years in Virginia. “One of the conditions of Pat moving here with me was that I get her a house on the lake,” Ken said. That house, now for sale as the Masseys prepare to move closer to family, has become a dream home

for the couple. Though Ken said the lake is their favorite thing about the house, Patsy has a list of favorites and musthaves for full-time lake living. “It’s one of very few flat lots on the lake,” she said. “So, we were able to have a lot of garden space.” Ken also pointed out that The Ridge Clubhouse is just across the street, placing valuable amenities like a swimming pool, fitness center and playground within walking distance. The bright and open 2,600 square foot home features a split floor plan with three bedrooms and two and a half bathrooms. Patsy said the split floor plan creates some breathing

room for guests. “When the kids and grandkids come everyone really has their own space,” she said. The floor plan also boasts a dining room, study, exercise room and a kitchen, which opens into the breakfast and family room. Beautiful kitchen cabinets are just a sampling of the home’s extensive storage and display space through sturdy, wood built-ins. More storage can be found in the spacious two-car garage. The open kitchen is also a favorite feature of Patsy’s. “You’re right here with everyone when you’re cooking or entertaining,” she said. “You’re not ever shut

Elmore County Living • Fall 2010 away.” When the Masseys moved into the home it was a weekend getaway, but Ken and Patsy turned it into a full-time retreat. “Ken and Patsy have been instrumental in getting the full-timers together,” said Realty South agent and full-time Ridge resident Becky Haynie. “They are truly going to be missed.” Likewise, the Masseys said they will miss the activities like seasonal parties, and their home, starting with the view, Patsy said. “I have a lake view anywhere I sit,” she said, adding that the bright openness of the home is a daily comfort. Though they may be leaving Lake Martin behind, Patsy said they may not be totally leaving their home. “If we can’t find a house we like when we move then I plan to just build this one,” she said. The house is located at 25 North Ridge in Alexander City. Becky Haynie, of Realty South said the home is a true value with a listing price of $825,000. Haynie can be contacted at 334-3120928 or through her website


The Lake Martin home has plenty of sitting space to entertain or just relax and listen to the soothing sounds of the water lapping against the dock or sea wall.


Elmore County Living • Fall 2010

The Masseys took their time to make sure this lake home had all the amenities, including built-in cabinets (left), and plenty of viewing space to relax in front of picturesque Lake Martin.


Elmore County Living • Fall 2010

Resident Artist:

Lissa Ledbetter

Lissa Ledbetter is currently working on a gecko mosaic piece.


Ledbetter finds inspiration everywhere she goes By Peggy Blackburn


allassee resident Lissa Estes Ledbetter can’t remember a time when she wasn’t pursuing art in some fashion. Drawing, painting, doodling or even creating projects in her head are all as natural as breathing. “I’ve been doing some kind of art all my life,” she said. “I really had a chance to do a lot when I was going to Wetumpka High School and Bobby Carr was my art teacher.” Ledbetter said her artistic urges

were expressed solely through painting and drawing until a few years ago. “I got interested in doing mosaics and collages and began working on them,” she said. “I saw a mosaic somewhere and said to myself, ‘I can do that.’” Now she is always alert for items which can be incorporated into her work. “When I go different places I look for tiles and chipped china,” said Ledbetter. “My dad works in the antique business and when he finds chipped pieces of china he gives those to me.” To create her mosaics, Ledbetter

draws a design on a board or other object that will form its backing. She uses a hammer to break the tile into small pieces which she then assembles puzzle-style into the desired pattern. “I use my husband’s workshop when I’m breaking up the tile,” said Ledbetter. “It’s a messy process, so I have to be sure and clean up when I’m through so he’ll let me out there again. “I just use plain old tile adhesive to glue the pieces in place on my sketch,” she explained. “Then when I’m done, I use regular tile grout to finish up the mosaic.” Ledbetter is currently working on


Ledbetter’s artistic inspiration has no boundaries.

Elmore County Living • Fall 2010 a colorful gecko mounted on wood. Some of her other mosaics form patterns on trays and stepping stones. She takes a similar approach to her collages -- using whatever materials fit the project best. For example, one piece depicts an old-fashioned barber pole mounted on a brick wall with ivy climbing alongside. “I knew I wanted one of those little green lizards on it, too, and had been trying to figure out the best way to make one -- maybe shaping it out of tissue paper,” Ledbetter said. “Then I found a lizard that had been dead so long he was basically a mummy -- now he’s part of the collage.” Ledbetter said she finds inspiration for her work everywhere she goes. “Sometimes when I’m driving down the road I’ll see something that gives me an idea,” she said. “Or I might be looking at a magazine and something will come to me.” A painting and collage combination is one of Ledbetter’s current works in progress. The vision for that project came to her while she was in Georgia. “I am using photos I took at the Atlanta Airport and they will be layered,” she said. “Then I am painting parts of it.” Ledbetter said she typically has several projects under way at once. “I’m always working on something,” she said. “I tend to work on four or five at any one time.” In addition to painting, mosaic and collage, Ledbet-

Elmore County Living • Fall 2010 ter is talented with pen and ink. Her custom, hand-drawn maps delight friends, family and others. “I got started doing them when we had a party for Mother and Daddy’s 50th wedding anniversary,” she said. “We had it at Hotel Talisi and I drew a map to go with the invitations, including local landmarks. “Everyone loved it, and someone suggested I do custom maps for other people,” Ledbetter continued. The idea took hold, and Ledbetter now creates one-of-a-kind wedding maps. “I love doing the maps,” she said. “I’ve done them for various locations, including Charleston and New York City. “People find me on the Internet and then e-mail what sites they want included on their map,” said Ledbetter. “I complete a draft and send to them and they make any corrections or adjustments before I draw the final one.” Currently, Ledbetter doesn’t have her work on display in a public venue. About two years ago she was involved in an effort to establish the Talisi Street


Ledbetter’s recent creations have been mosaics and collages.

Artists Gallery, but the fire which decimated a block in downtown Tallassee forced the gallery to close its doors. “The street was closed, so that closed down our gallery,” she said. “I would like for the street to reopen, or for us to be able to find a new spot for it.” But for now, she markets her art on

Facebook and the website, a place where artists can sell their work. Ledbetter said she is always looking for new challenges and directions in her pursuit of art. “I would like to teach a class -- probably on mosaic and collage,” she said. “I think that would be a lot of fun.”


Elmore County Living • Fall 2010


An old U.S. mail buggy pulls into place during last year’s Cotton Festival in Eclectic.


Plan in place to make Cotton Festival bigger and better By David Goodwin


ith an increased focus on the crop that built the town, the 18th Annual Cotton Festival Oct. 9 in Eclectic aims to be the tiny town’s biggest ever. After enhancing the name last year, from Eclectic to Alabama Cotton Festival, organizers in Eclectic and promoters at the Elmore County Economic Development Authority have worked to grow the festival into a regional attraction. “We changed the name because no one else had used that name before, even though this state has a rich history in the

cotton industry,” ECEDA Director Barry Mask said. “We felt like it was a brand that was ripe for the taking.” Verdie Nummy, one of the event’s organizers, said she hopes to partner with the cotton industry this year. Much of Eclectic’s early economy depended on cotton, as local farmers traveled to the town to have their crop processed at Fuller’s Gin. That element wasn’t always emphasized at past events, but Nummy and others said they’re working to change that this year. This year’s festival has expanded even further, as committee chairman Tony Buenger explained. He and the 2010 committe aim to “ex-

pand the footprint,” beyond Eclectic’s historic downtown area. “We’re going with a modular approach organizing the festival this year,” Buenger said. His vision is to “let community leaders gather and help to produce the festival they’d most enjoy.” From classic events like the Miss Cotton pageants and pet parade to new ideas like a musical showcase and street dance, the Alabama Cotton Festival aims to have something for everyone. He hopes the added events will help to grow the festival’s profile. Last year, with a major Nashville act like Mustang Sally, it drew more than 1,000, Buenger said.

22 “Over the next few years, we hope to expand it to 3,000, then 10,000 and beyond.” Buenger’s also aiming to expand the entertainment offered. The biggest addition this year, he said, is the Stars of Alabama Artist Showcase. Using connections he’s made through his and his wife Jodie’s recording business, Guesthouse Studios, it has already attracted a bevy of talented musicians. They’ll be competing for prizes including a Nashville vacation package, a three-song recording session at Buenger’s studio, vocal and performance training with renowned singing coach Jilla Webb and other prizes. Judges include television hosts from Atlanta and Nashville, an up-and-coming country star as well as local singers. That will be followed up with a street dance featuring popular regional act the Wayne Mills Band, plus guitarists Drake White and Chad Wilson. “We want everyone just to get together and have a good time,” Jodi Buenger said. “A lot of people know these groups, and I think residents will come out and a lot of people will come

Elmore County Living • Fall 2010

Music lovers -- young and old -- dance in the streets while a band plays on stage in downtown Eclectic during last year’s Cotton Festival.

into town to see them.” Drake White will perform at the street dance as well as serving as a judge of the contest. “When I heard about the festival and the contest, it seemed like something a lot of fun to get involved in,” White, a Nashville-area singer/songwriter, said. “And the folks in Eclectic seem like

they’d be a really good crowd.” The festival also features the second annual Alabama Rook Championship. The game of Rook is played by many members of the Eclectic community and is a popular pasttime for retirees across the country. “We just love to play Rook,” said June Eason, half of the winning team at

In conjunction with the Cotton Festival, Eclectic also was host to the Alabama Rook Championship. It will host the event again this year.


Elmore County Living • Fall 2010 last year’s innaugural Rook tourney. “We’ve been getting together to play almost every week for so long. Pretty much any time all us girls get together, that deck ends up coming out.” The tournament aims to do for Eclectic what dominos has done for the south Alabama town of Andalusia, Mask said. “You never hear much about Andalusia, but once a year, during that tournament, you’ll hear it come up all over the news,” he said. “That’s what we hope Eclectic’s Alabama Rook Championship will develop into.” One part of the Cotton Festival that has carried on since the beginning is the Miss Cotton pageant. With divisions for everyone from young ladies to little girls and boys, families flock to see the pageant. “Our goal for the pageant this year is to make everybody feel like they’re a

winner in the land of cotton,” Blevins said. There are five categories: Tiny Mr. and Miss Alabama Cotton for ages 3 to 5, Little Mr. and Miss Alabama Cotton for ages 6 to 8, Junior Miss Alabama Cotton for ages 9 to 13, Teen Miss Alabama Cotton for ages 14 to 18 and Queen Miss Alabama Cotton for ages 19 to 25. There will also be new photo contests for babies, as well as golden-age beauties, over 55 years old. For a cost of $10, photos my be submitted to the Cutest Cotton Babies and Cutest Cotton Tops photo contests. Pictures will be posted on Main Street during the festival and the public will cast votes for $1 a piece. The festival will again have a focus on Dr. M.L. Fielder, a turn-of-the-century doctor who was instrumental in naming and organizing the Last year’s Petite Miss Cotton Elizabeth Parker and Petite Mr. Cotton town of Eclectic. Creed Spivey wave to the crowd.


Elmore County Living • Fall 2010

Communing with nature


Elmore County Living • Fall 2010

Russell Lands offers chance to get a closer look at nature By David Goodwin


here is a plethora of wildlife, flowers and trees in the forests that surround Lake Martin. But you don’t need a lake house to enjoy the lake’s natural charms. North of the lake, along Alabama Highway 63, Russell Lands built an extensive system of hiking trails and preserved forests that can be enjoyed by nature lovers of all types. It features trails for hiking, biking and even horseback riding. The company built the Discovery Center and Adventure Center at Russell Crossroads to assist visitors and potential residents in finding the experience that’s right for them. The complex also features a Naturalist’s Cabin, where wildlife expert

Wildlife expert Marianne Hudson introduces a baby deer (above) and a baby opossum (left) to some visitors near the Naturalist’s Cabin at Russell Crossroads. PHOTOS COURTESY OF RUSSELL LANDS ON LAKE MARTIN


Hudson shows a young fox to those visiting the Naturalist’s Cabin at Russell Crossroads.

Elmore County Living • Fall 2010 Marianne Hudson introduces visitors to the many types of wildlife indiginous to the area. “I give visitors a chance to get close to many types of animals, a baby deer, owls, hawks and other animals,” Hudson said. “And in addition to getting to meet these animals up close, visitors learn about their activities and role in the wild. “Then on nature hikes, I get to show people the habitats where each animal lives.” Associated with a state celebrity of the avian sort – the eagles that fly at Auburn University home games, Hudson is a lifelong student of nature and an avid outdoorsman. She has more than 12 years of experience using forests as classrooms. The Adventure Center is located in a historic cabin across from Catherine’s Market. It offers bicycles, kayaks and canoes to help anyone explore the lake area. It’s also the gateway to more than 80 miles of wilderness trails

that make up the Russell Forest Trail System, which winds through and connects the neighborhoods of Russell Lands. The Discovery Center is a first point of contact where potential homebuyers can choose the community that best fits their needs. “It walks you through the Russell Lands communities and shows the entire lake on a map,” said Janet Price, director of marketing for Russell Lands on Lake Martin. “It also takes you into each individual community and neighborhood, right down to a lot or a house you might be interested in.” The majestic A-frame building contains a museum displaying the history of the lake area and Russell’s role in it. From arrowheads and toolpoints crafted by Creek Indians long before Lake Martin was even formed, to relics from Ben Russell’s original textile mill, the Discovery Center displays centuries of history with just a brief, air conditioned stroll.

Elmore County Living • Fall 2010

A visitor brushes one of the horses kept near the stables at Russell Crossroads.


Last ride ...


Wetumpka businessman Shannon Fontaine with the “ride” that will take passengers on Haunted Hearse Tours throughout October. PHOTOS BY MITFORD FONTAINE


Elmore County Living • Fall 2010

Tours to begin Oct. 1 in downtown Montgomery By Peggy Blackburn


or centuries people have been fascinated by the idea of ghosts and haunted places. Stories that send a shiver of fear through listeners seem to never lose their popularity. Such tales are passed from person to person at all times of year, but when October arrives they flourish. Wetumpka businessman Shannon Fontaine loves both the Halloween season and ghostly yarns. And he believes there are many others like him – people who enjoy hearing spooky stories, especially if they’re based on actual occurrences. When October arrives this year, he will have a chance to put that theory to the test. From Oct. 1-31, his busi-

ness – Fontaine Entertainment – will conduct “Haunted Hearse Tours” in the downtown Montgomery area. “I’ve been looking at doing something like this for about two years,” said Fontaine. “It’s been successful in other cities and I don’t see any reason it shouldn’t be popular here.” Fontaine said he grew up in Montgomery and also worked there for a number of years, so he is familiar with legends of ghosts and hauntings. “I’ve heard the stories ever since I was a kid,” he said. “I think we have a good lineup of those for the tour. “We’ll take groups around to several locations downtown and a narrator will talk about things like reported hauntings and the Dale’s Penthouse fire,” he said. “We also have permission to drive through Oakwood Cemetery Annex by Hank Williams’ grave. There are a few

other places we have permission to go by.” The tours will run every day in October, with pickup on the hour at the Alley in downtown Montgomery. The first tour each evening will depart at 7 p.m. and the last one at midnight. Each tour will last about 50 minutes. “I would suggest people make reservations,” said Fontaine. “We have some spots booked already.” He explained that the converted hearse seats six guests. Cost for the tour is $10 per person. “I think the Alley should be a good venue for the pickup,” Fontaine said. “People can eat in one of the restaurants there first, then go on the tour; or they can go on the tour, then come back and eat or whatever.” Organizing the project has taken time and patience, according to Fontaine. A variety of permissions


Elmore County Living • Fall 2010

From ghoulies and ghosties And long-leggedy beasties And things that go bump in the night, Good Lord, deliver us! – Old Scottish Prayer and permits had to be obtained and a hearse acquired. Family members were instrumental in turning an idea into a reality – spending many hours working on the effort. “I bought the hearse in Georgia in mid-July,” he said. “We’ve worked on it and we’ve had it repainted. “We removed the casket deck and installed two rows of seats,” said Fontaine. “One set faces forward and the other backward so everyone has a view.” He said one issue stymied the work team temporarily. “Something that had not occurred to me turned out to be a minor problem,” Fontaine said. “There are no door handles inside the back of a hearse for obvi-

ous reasons. But we figured it out and got handles installed.” Now the tour script is being perfected and the “last ride” kept waxed and ready for the debut of the Haunted Hearse Tours. Fontaine said he is as excited as a kid donning a costume to go trick-ortreating. “I thought a Halloween season tour would be something really fun and different,” he said. “I can’t wait until it’s time to roll. “I am hoping this will be a success and we’ll stay busy,” said Fontaine. “If it goes over big, maybe we can plan something in Wetumpka next year. To make reservations for the tour, call 334-514-4457.


Elmore County Living • Fall 2010



Elmore County Living • Fall 2010

Interesting statues peek out from the foliage along the trails of Jim Scott’s lakeside garden near Martin Dam.


Vision becomes a Lake Martin attraction By David Goodwin


ike falling through the looking glass, Jim Scott’s lakeside wonderland near Martin Dam is both hard to describe and overwhelming to behold. Numbered gates line the gravel road. The Gate of Indecision. The Gate of Virtue. The Gate of Delight. Behind the Gate of Felicity is “the white house,” where the Montgomery attorney, his son Jim Jr. and five of his grandchildren recently enjoyed a muggy August afternoon. Jim and his son relaxed on the deck. Just below, the children took turns

leaping off a lower deck into the dark emerald water. From there, footpaths wind into the thick foliage with vistas of beauty and curiosity at every turn. Faces peer from overflowing planters. A Roman bust glances at passersby through aviator sunglasses. Tikis and Buddahs adorn lushly lined streams. Up one path, an almost life-sized chessboard sits at the center of another deck. Scott did much of the work himself and can remember hoisting boulders from the beach during the winter and wheelbarrowing them into position. “I got a sign printed, in French, that said ‘le Jardin des Quatre

Hernies,’ or Garden of the Four Hernias,” Scott said. “But my wife said that was in poor taste, so I took it down.” It now leans forgotten against a wall next to the chessboard. Scott said the garden has evolved with each new brainstorm. “I would make up stuff, try it, if it doesn’t look right, I’d redo it,” he said. “I don’t have to do it the way the book says, because I never read the book. “Each area is different because I wanted to see what it looked like. I wanted to play.” As he’s grown older, he works more with designers from Hilltop Landscaping in Eclectic.


Elmore County Living • Fall 2010 Rather than sketching anything, Scott just tells them his vision. “It’s more verbal planning than visual,” he said. The Scotts originally shared one of the houses with two other families “28 or 29 years ago.” But he was tired of having to bring clean sheets, towels and everything to the house every third weekend. So he bought another lot on the point, where he planned to “just build a bedroom that we wouldn’t have to share.” But “one thing led to another, we decided we wanted a fireplace, then Jim needed a room, and we ended up with this big house.” A little after that, he said, a tornado wiped out many of the trees, cutting a path where the waterfalls and streams begin roaring and trickling down into Lake Martin. And when another owner on the point decided to sell some lots, he bit. Soon the whole hillside became his hobby. Scott said he built the garden primarily for his late wife, his children and grandchildren. His three children and their children are the ones with whom he most enjoys the wonderland.

Scott walks down a stone path along the grounds.


Elmore County Living • Fall 2010

A pontoon boat filled with people troll by the lakefront area of Scott’s property on Lake Martin.

“The best time here is when I sit and listen to the squeals of children,” he said. But he’s never lacking for visitors. A steady “flotilla” of boats comes into the slough to look, Jim Jr. said. Master Gardener groups from across the state visit to tour the grounds. Georgia’s Calloway Gardens sends each new class of interns, to show them immersive possibilities for a creative gardener. “They make it into an outing. I’ll show them around and have pretty girls tell me I’m smart; I like that,” he said. “I like to show them how they can ‘do

it another way.’ Each part I started because I was curious if it would come out the way I thought it would.” He holds a few parties each year, in which he invites eight guests from a variety of backgrounds, one for each of the hidden dining areas scattered through the grounds. They each invite their friends, and Scott and his 64 guests enjoy drinks and mingle through the maze of paths and hideaways. “I’ll invite a diverse group, all from different circles,” he said. “Other lawyers, a banker, one of my landscapers. And they’ll invite their friends, which is usually a diverse group. We’ll

all get to know each other and have our groups cross over and enjoy getting to know one another.” The process of expanding his wonderland continues, Scott said. New work on the deck of “the brown house,” the original place he shared almost three decades ago, is on hiatus. Scott said he wants to return to it, and will when the weather allows him to get out again. “It’s too hot to do much of anything right now,” he said, as he watches his grandchildren take flying leaps into the water below. “Well, anything more than this.”

Guests of the Scotts can enjoy Lake Martin from the deck or from within the house.


Elmore County Living • Fall 2010

A number of handmade pathways and brooks are found throughout the property opening into the gardens, meadows and even a playground.

Elmore County Living • Fall 2010


After riding the zip line into the water from a second-story deck, swimmers take a spiral staircase back up for another ride.


Elmore County Living • Fall 2010



Elmore County Living • Fall 2010

The Mount Vernon Theatre was one of the hot spots in Tallassee during the 1940s. It was used by the schools and the community as a center for the performing arts. The theatre also had its share of famous people perform there, including Hank Williams. PHOTO COURTESY OF BILL GOSS

Residents want to see theatre restored, reopened By Lauren Newman


riving down Barnett Boulevard toward downtown Tallassee, the sense of history is overwhelming. Businesses line the streets of downtown, and many structures are original, still standing from the early 1900s. Tallassee’s Mount Vernon Theatre is one of them. Though it hasn’t been in operation since 1968, a movement is happening in the community to get it back

to its heyday. The theater had a twin located in East Tallassee, but that building was torn down many years ago. Changes to come Now the Mt. Vernon Theatre is starting to see new signs of life. Most recently, the theatre was opened up for Tallassee’s Homecoming Weekend, when live entertainment echoed throughout the building, just like it had decades before. “We wanted to clean it up to give a simple presentation of what the theater could look

like,” said Tripp Storm, a Tallassee resident who has theatre experience, including set design. Several concerned Tallassee residents have banded together to form the Tallassee Mount Vernon Theatre, Inc. This volunteer-based group has been working to save the existing structure and one day reopen the theatre. “This is going to be a pretty major renovation,” said Jan Autery, a Tallassee Mount Vernon Theatre, Inc. board member. “We have to meet the city and state codes. We want the public to know this is going to be big for the

community. Turning back time From its opening in 1937 through its closing, the Mount Vernon Theatre hosted a number of popular exhibits, including the infamous car used by Bonnie and Clyde, and entertainment acts. In an article written several years ago by Bill Goss, a Tallassee native, he explained the theatre was “used by the schools and community as centers for the performing arts.” “It was used for plays, operettas, concerts, dance reviews, exhibitions, vaudeville


Elmore County Living • Fall 2010

acts and beauty pageants,” Goss wrote. Celebrities also appeared at the Mount Vernon Theatre, most notably Hank Williams, who signature can be found backstage. Hank Williams was an apparent frequenter of Tallassee. Inching toward the finish line Goss wrote the theater’s renovation began in 2001 “and it will be an ongoing project, until it’s completed.” Nearly a decade later, the project still remains unfinished. Autery said more volunteer work is still needed and would be much appreciated. Those interested in helping get this historic fixture back on its feet should contact Gene Lawrence, president of A renovation effort began at the Mount Vernon Theatre in 2001, but it remains unfinished. Tallassee residents the Tallassee Mount Vernon have formed a board which wants to see the work completed and have the theatre reopened. Theatre, Inc. board at 334PHOTO BY LAUREN NEWMAN 283-4666.

Elmore County Living • Fall 2010

River view living



Elmore County Living • Fall 2010

Rushing rapids soothe senses at Whitewater Ridge By Ashley Vice esidents at Whitewater Ridge are surrounded by the sound, sight and feel of Wetumpka’s Coosa River rapids. “The rapids are the focal point of our river,” said Mellanie Bailey, associate broker for Alfa Realty. “Whitewater Ridge residents have access to the rapids and some of our area’s most beautiful waterfront property.” The two, three and four bedroom condominiums offered at Whitewater Ridge feature a river view from covered balconies as well as a beautiful viewing platform adjacent to the community clubhouse. Whitewater Ridge condos have a myriad of amenities and features including hardwood flooring, ceramic tile backsplashes and solid surface countertops, elevators and spacious garages. Both the living room and master bedroom feature


Whitewater Ridge faces the rushing water of the Coosa River. This development has spacious two, three and four bedroom condominiums available. PHOTOS BY ASHLEY VICE


Elmore County Living • Fall 2010 wood burning fireplaces. With three floor plans to choose from Whitewater, offers options for any size family. The plans that include elevators also offer unique handicap access to all levels of the spacious homes. It also boasts maintenance-free living in one of Wetumpka’s most peaceful and secluded waterfront areas. In addition to ample living and entertaining space the condos offer plenty of storage on both the ground and upper levels. Residents also have access to a community clubhouse which houses a fitness center, swimming pool and an outdoor fireplace and pavilion area perfectly structured for entertainment and fellowship. Whitewater Ridge is a gated community with cameras at its entrance and card reader access. The community even features its own post office.

Golf cart pathways, bike and walking trails and a river walkway with water access provide multiple travel options around the property’s beautifully maintained grounds. Residents not only have access to the river for water sports and fishing, but also have access to a pond for fishing and a pool for swimming. Whitewater Ridge is conveniently located adjacent to Quail Walk Country Club, which offers a golf course, tennis courts and a clubhouse. Bailey said the units are available for rent as well as purchase. Rent for a two bedroom unit is $1,790 per month, which includes telephone, Internet, cable television, pest control, waste management, and use of all amenities including the fitness center and pool. Bailey can be contacted at 334-294-6005 or through

Whitewater Ridge is a gated community which has a community clubhouse, fitness center, swimming pool and pavilion. PHOTO BY ASHLEY VICE


Elmore County Living • Fall 2010

Mark Your Calendar

Wetumpka Farmers Market When: Sept. 2, 3 to 6 p.m. Where: Elmore County Farmer Co-op, Wetumpka Details: Fresh vegetables and fruits offered by local growers. The market will continue each Thursday through September.

Wetumpka High Class of ‘75 Reunion When: Sept. 3 and 4 Details: On Sept. 3, wear gold class shirts and attend the WHS football game (7 p.m.). On Sept. 4 there will be a class dinner. For info, call 334-567-3762 or 334-567-0557. Labor Day Weekend Bash When: Sept. 3 and Sept. 4 Where: Sandtown School Campus, Millbrook Details: Sept. 3, 8 p.m. - Rhythm and Blues Night. Sept. 4, 9 a.m. - Fun Day for all, including water slide, booth rentals, concessions, softball, domino tournament and more. Sponsored by the Community Improvement Association. For info, call B. Jones at 334-285-9148 or 334-312-3178. Wetumpka Lions Labor Day Weekend Barbecue When: Sept. 4, 8 to 11 a.m. Where: Gold Star Park Details: This year the Lions Club is selling whole barbecue Boston butts. Tickets may be purchased from any Lions Club member for $25 each. Proceeds benefit Lions Sight projects. Raffle Drawing When: Sept. 4 Where: Smith-Leonard VFW Post 4572, Wetumpka Details: The VFW and its Ladies Auxiliary are currently selling chances on a Bushmaster AR-15 rifle. That drawing and a drawing for a Jim Beam decanter train set will be held Sept. 4. Tickets for the rifle are $10. For info, call the Post at 334-567-9293. Emerald Mountain Volunteer Fire Department Fall Barbecue When: Sept. 4, pickup 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Where: Emerald Mountain VFD Details: Boston butts are $25 and plates are $6. Plates include barbecue pork or chicken, baked beans, potato salad and a slice of bread. Cakes will be available whole or by the slice. Reserve orders early by calling 334-567-6077, 334-567-0568 or 334567-0405.

Corey Smith will headline the 10th Annual Labor Day Weekend Concert at the Lake Martin Amphitheater Sept. 5. PHOTO COURTESY OF RUSSELL LANDS ON LAKE MARTIN 27th Annual Rumbling Waters Bass Tournament When: Sept. 4, 6 a.m. Where: Crommelin Landing, Gold Star Park Details: Hosted by the Wetumpka Exchange Club. Weigh-in at 3 p.m. in Gold Star Park. Entry fee is $100 per boat; optional Big Bass contest $10. Cash prizes awarded to top finishers. For info, call Haywood Robbins at 334-567-5456. Lightwood Volunteer Fire Department Annual Barbecue When: Sept. 4, 12 to 2 p.m. Where: Lightwood VFD, 6250 Lightwood Road, Deatsville Details: Chicken or pork plates are $8 and Boston butts are $25. Plates include meat, coleslaw, baked beans, bread and a piece of

cake. All proceeds benefit the fire department. For info, call Daphne Smith at 334569-2264. Tallassee Farmers Market When: Sept. 4, 7 to 11 a.m. Where: City Hall Lawn, 3 Freeman Avenue, Tallassee Details: Offering fresh, locally grown produce, baked goods, local honey and more. The kickoff of college football season will be celebrated with a special “Auburn and Alabama Fan Challenge.” With live music, art for all, garden and wildlife education and activities for children. No admission charge. Open to the public. The market will continue each Saturday through Oct. 30. 10th Annual Labor Day


Elmore County Living • Fall 2010

wedding gone wrong. The nuptial ceremony and reception of Miss Sunny Miller and Mr. Langoustine Light III is the setting for a hilarious show, complete with camouflage bridesmaids’ dresses, a wedding cake of Twinkies, an Elvis impersonator and a “bridezilla” cast of characters. This original show is directed by Kristy Meanor, Depot Players executive director. Tickets are $15. For info, call 334-868-1440 or visit

Weekend Concert When: Sept. 5, gates open 4 p.m., concert starts 6 p.m. Where: The Amp (Lake Martin Amphitheater) Details: Featuring Corey Smith, Shooter Jennings and the Benjy Davis Project on one stage. Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 day of show. Children six and younger free. Tickets available through Ticketmaster and the Adventure Center at Russell Crossroads and at the gate day of show, unless performance is sold out. For info, visit or call 256-212-1479. Men’s Club Labor Day Barbecue and Camp Stew Sale When: Sept. 6, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Where: Eclectic United Methodist Church Details: Pre-ordering by Aug. 23 is recommended for the Men’s Club of Eclectic UMC annual sale, as only limited additional quantities will be available. Boston butts $30, camp stew - $8 per quart, barbecue meat - $9 per pound. Tickets available from any EUMC Men’s Club member or by calling 334-541-3681. Millbrook Men’s Club Labor Day Barbecue and Camp Stew Sale When: Sept. 6, beginning at 6 a.m. Where: Barbecue hut adjacent to softball complex and civic center

A future firefighter puts on a firefighter’s hat during last year’s Eclectic Fireman’s Bash. PHOTO BY DAVID GOODWIN

Details: All proceeds benefit the Millbrook community. Pork and chicken plates, sandwiches and camp stew will be available. Depot Players: “The Wedding from Hell” When: Sept. 10-11, 7:30 p.m.; Sept. 12, 2 p.m. Where: Wetumpka Depot Theatre Details: The audience will be the guests at a

5th Annual Health Fair When: Sept. 11, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Where: Wetumpka Civic Center Details: Sponsored by Wetumpka’s Friends of the Community. Providers of a variety of health services will be on site. Various screenings will be available as well as information about many different programs. No charge. Lessons from the Garden: Fall and Winter Maintenance and Planting When: Sept. 11, 10 am. to 12 p.m. Where: Elmore County Extension office, 340 Queen Ann Road, Wetumpka Details: One of five scheduled training sessions by the Central Alabama Master Gardener Association in conjunction with the Elmore County Extension Service. Free. No registration required. For info, call 334-5676301.


Elmore County Living • Fall 2010 lunch, 18-hole round, $1 million shootout and post tournament party. Registration fee is $80 per person, which includes green fees, cart, lunch, snacks, door prizes, etc. Sponsorships available. Deadline to register is Sept. 21. For info, call Burton Ward at 334-264-6223 or visit

Eclectic Fireman’s Bash When: Sept. 11, 4 p.m. Where: The Eclectic Warehouse, Main Street downtown Details: The annual Fireman’s Bash will begin at 4 p.m. with a fireman’s challenge, car extrication, dunking booth and tilt-awhirl ride. The Wetumpka City Pops band will begin playing at 5 p.m. There will be an admission of $5 for Leah Pritchard and the Drive, who will play at 7 p.m. Concessions will be available during the event. Preorders for a Boston butts will be taken through Sept. 2. For info, call 334-541-4425. Elmore County Historical Society Meeting When: Sept. 12, 2:30 p.m. Where: Elmore County Museum, Wetumpka Details: Martha Dykes will present the program about Edwina Donnally Mitchell, Tutwiler Prison warden. Refreshments and fellowship following meeting. Visitors welcome. Night of Bands When: Sept. 16, gates open at 5 p.m., first show at 6 p.m. Where: Hohenberg Field, Wetumpka Details: The marching bands from the county’s public high schools will perform their 2010 halftime shows as a joint fundraiser. Admission charged for ages six and older. Donations for parking. Concessions will be available. Millbrook Players: “Play On!” When: Sept. 16-18 and 23-25, 7:30 p.m.; Sept. 19 and 25, 2 p.m. Where: Millbrook Theatre (former Robinson Springs School) Details: This is the hilarious story of a theater group trying desperately to put on a play in spite of maddening interference from a haughty authoress who keeps revising the script. Act I is a rehearsal of the dreadful show, Act II is the near disastrous dress rehearsal and the final act is the actual performance in which anything that can go wrong does. Directed by Dr. Chris Perry. Tickets are $8 in advance, $9 online and $10 at the door. For info, visit or e-mail POW/MIA Remembrance When: Sept. 18, 11 a.m. Where: Grounds of Old Elmore County Courthouse, Wetumpka Details: Annual ceremony honoring POWs and MIAs. Wheelin’ Sportsmen Fishing Round-Up When: Sept. 18, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Eagles Open Golf Tournament When: Sept. 24 Where: Emerald Mountain Golf Club, Wetumpka Details: Hosted by the Friends of Redland Elementary (FORE). Proceeds will help fund a playground for Redland Elementary. Corporate and tee sponsorships available. Individual registration fee $60, foursome team fee $240. Hamburger lunch provided to all registered golfers and cash bar available. Deadline to register Sept. 14. For info or to register, e-mail or contact Jenny Dean at 334-514-7501 or The annual POW/MIA remembrance will be held Sept. 18 on the grounds of the old Elmore County Courthouse in Wetumpka. PHOTO BY PEGGY BLACKBURN

Where: Pete Peterson Lodge, Lagoon Park, Montgomery Details: Presented by Alabama Power Service Organization and Elmore County Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation. Registration starts at 7 a.m. Lunch provided by Jim ‘n’ Nicks from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Register online at by Sept. 5. Wheelin’ Sportsmen NWTF is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to providing opportunities for people with disabilities to enjoy the great outdoors. For info, call Jenifer Glover at 334-850-2808 or e-mail ANC Fishing Weekend When: Sept. 18-19, Saturday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m. Where: Alabama Nature Center, Millbrook Details: Bring a pole and bait and fish for catfish, bream and bass in one of the ANC ponds. A limited number of rods and reels will be available for a small fee. Catch and release. Visitors can also enjoy five miles of scenic ANC trails while learning about the natural history of central Alabama. Admission charged. For info, call 334-285-4550 or visit 14th annual ECCF golf tournament When: Sept. 23, 11 a.m. lunch, 12:30 p.m. shotgun start Where: Emerald Mountain Golf Club, Wetumpka Details: Tourney benefits the Elmore County Community Foundation. Includes

10th Annual Titus Bluegrass Festival When: Sept. 25, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Where: Titus Community Center Details: Enjoy bluegrass music, arts and crafts and concessions at the annual event. Bring chairs. No pets or alcohol allowed. Bands: Southern Gentlemen, East Wind and the Coosa River Ramblers. Admission $5 for adults, 12 and younger free. Proceeds benefit continued restoration and improvements to the Titus Community Center. Bark in the Park When: Sept. 26, 1 to 5 p.m. Where: Fort Toulouse/Jackson, Wetumpka Details: Features doggie games and competitions, vendors, concessions, T-shirts, bake sale and more. Bring lawn chairs and furry friends on a leash. Admission charged. Rain date Oct. 3. For info, call 334-567-3377 or visit Deadline to Register for Christmas on the Coosa Pageants When: Sept. 27 Where: Wetumpka administrative building Details: Open to young ladies in K-12 who live in the Wetumpka, Holtville and Redland school districts. Forms available at the Wetumpka Public Library and the city administrative building. Pageants will be Oct. 29 and 30 at the Wetumpka Civic Center. Contestants will be divided into four age groups. Rehearsals are planned for Oct. 24 and 25. Cost is $50. For info, call Gwen Turner at 334-567-1384. Wetumpka Chamber Quarterly Luncheon When: Sept. 29, 11:30 a.m. Where: Wetumpka Civic Center Details: Featured speaker will be Joe


Elmore County Living • Fall 2010 McInnes, director of the Alabama Department of Transportation. Reservations are $15 if paid in advance and $18 if paid at the door. For info and reservations, call the chamber at 334-567-4811. Political Forum When: Sept. 30, 6 p.m. Where: Old Elmore County Courthouse, Wetumpka Details: Hosted by the Wetumpka Area Chamber of Commerce. This will be a public forum of state and district candidates. Area resident encouraged to attend. Questions will be addressed to each candidate and each will also be allowed to present their platform. Depot Players: “The Dixie Swim Club” When: Sept. 30-Oct. 2, Oct. 7-9 and 14-16, 7:30 p.m.; Oct. 10, 2 p.m. Where: Wetumpka Depot Theatre Details: Five Southern women whose friendship began many years ago on their college swim team meet at the same beach cottage each year to catch up, laugh and meddle in each other’s lives. The Dixie Swim Club focuses on four of those weekends and spans a period of 33 years. Directed by Hazel Jones. Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door. For info, call 334-868-1440 or visit Paint the Town Pink When: Oct.1-31 Where: All Elmore County communities Details: The Price Publications Inc. family of news-

The annual Bark in the Park is scheduled for Sept. 26 at Fort Toulouse/ Jackson in Wetumpka. Should it be rained out that day, the make-up date is scheduled for Oct. 3. PHOTO BY PEGGY BLACKBURN


Elmore County Living • Fall 2010

papers encourages all businesses and individuals to show support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month through the display of pink ribbons, etc. throughout the month and to set aside days to wear pink. 8th Annual Coosa River Challenge Adventure Race When: Oct. 2 Where: From Swayback Bridge Trail to Gold Star Park Details: Pre-race check-in will be Oct. 1, 4 to 8 p.m. at Coosa River Adventures in Wetumpka. Race day check in will be at 7 a.m. at Gold Star Park in Wetumpka. The race will begin between 8:30 and 9 a.m. at Swayback Bridge Trail and end at Gold Star Park. The race is 3-6 hours of mountain biking, trail running, river paddling and special tests. For complete details, e-mail or visit Paint the Town Pink Walk When: Oct. 6, 12 to 1 p.m. Where: Wetumpka Riverwalk Details: Wear pink and walk in honor of a loved one or friend and for Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The walk will start on the riverwalk behind the Wetumpka Administrative Building. Sponsored by The Wetumpka Herald and the City of Wetumpka. For info, call 334-567-7811. LPGA Navistar Classic When: Oct. 6-10 Where: Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, Prattville 9th Annual Maze of Terror When: Oct. 8-9, 15-16, 22-23, 29-30, 7 p.m. to 12 a.m. Where: Grays Ferry Road, Titus Details: Haunted house, enchanted forest and concessions. Presented by the Titus Volunteer Fire Department. Admission $10. Groups of 12 or more receive a $2 per person discount. Proceeds benefit the fire department. For info, call 334-850-4987 or 334-399-0623. Alabama Cotton Festival and Rook Tournament When: Oct. 9, 7:30 a.m. until Where: Downtown Eclectic Details: Music, arts and crafts and community performances will take center stage during Eclectic’s Alabama Cotton Festival. A steady stream of music will play throughout the day, beginning at 8 a.m., from performers vying for the top prize in the Stars of Alabama music showcase. A street dance headlined by the Wayne Mills Band will bring the festival to the close on Main Street from 8:30 to 11:45 p.m. There will also be

The Ninth Annual Maze of Terror will begin Oct. 8 on Grays Ferry Road in Titus. Admission is $10, and groups of 12 or more receive a discount. PHOTO BY PEGGY BLACKBURN the annual Cotton Run 5K race around Eclectic. Other events include the Alabama Cotton Queen pageant, the dedication of the new town hall, a pet parade and performances by local dancers, actors and musicians. Registration for the Alabama Rook Championship is at 8:30 a.m. Players must be seated by 9 a.m. To review the house rules. Play begins at 9:30 and continues through the day. The final table begins at 5 p.m. For more information, call town hall at 334-541-3581. Alabama Cotton Queen Pageant When: Oct. 9 Where: Eclectic Cotton Festival stage Details: Five age groups, open to boys 3-8 and girls 3-25. This is an open pageant. $25

entry fee. $10 fee for photo contest. For info, call 334-857-1346 or e-mail Chamber Member Appreciation Dinner When: Oct. 12, 5:30 p.m. Where: Wetumpka Civic Center Details: Hosted by the Wetumpka Area Chamber of Commerce for its members. 26th Annual Tallassee Trade Day When: Oct. 16, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Where: Historic King Street, Tallassee Details: Sponsored by the Tallassee Chamber of Commerce. Arts and crafts vendors will exhibit handcrafted items and there will be food vendors. There will also be a Kidz Zone with carnival games, prizes, inflatables, ponies and other activities for children to enjoy. Admission is $3. Raffle tickets will


Elmore County Living • Fall 2010 be sold on a child’s bike, a dinner cruise, Auburn football tickets and more. For info, to volunteer or to apply for a vendor booth, call the chamber at 334-283-5151 or e-mail at

Alabama Nature Center General Public Weekend When: Oct. 16-17, Saturday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m. Where: Alabama Nature Center, Millbrook Details: Enjoy five miles of scenic ANC trails while learning about the natural history of central Alabama. Admission charged. For info, call 334-285-4550 or visit

Haunted Library Tour When: Oct. 16, 7 p.m. Where: Tallassee Community Library, 99 Freeman Avenue, Tallassee Details: The N.I.G.H.T. Hawks Paranormal team will use different equipment, including cameras, to gauge the paranormal activity within the library throughout the night. Attendees should plan to stay until 2 a.m. Must be 16 or older to attend the event. Tickets will be $25. For info, call 334-283-2732 or e-mail 13th Annual Angel Fest When: Oct. 16, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Where: St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church, 5941 Main Street, Millbrook Details: An opportunity to shop, eat and keep the children entertained. Included will be unique arts and crafts, a silent auction, entertainment and a kid’s carnival. There will be homemade baked goods, concessions and Boston butts available. Proceeds benefit the community. For info, call 334285-3905. 4th Annual Hackneyville Community

The annual LPGA Navistar Classic returns to Capitol Hill in Prattville Oct. 6-10. PHOTO BY DAILY CALLER

Car Show When: Oct. 16, 8 a.m. Where: Hackneyville Community Club Details: Goody bags for first 100 to register. Preregistration $15; day of the show $20. Registration 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.; spectators 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Awards 1:30 p.m. For vendor or other info, call Lynn Causey at 256-2349960 or e-mail

8th Annual Business Expo and Taste of Millbrook When: Oct. 19, 4 to 7 p.m. Where: Grandview YMCA, Millbrook Details: Hosted by the Millbrook Area Chamber of Commerce. Free admission. Booth rental is $50 for chamber members and $100 for nonmembers. Food vendor booths are free since these businesses will give away their product. For info on reserving a space, call 334-285-0085. Annual Halloween carnival When: Oct. 23, 5 to 8 p.m. Where: Camp Chandler, Wetumpka Details: Children can enjoy a haunted house, carnival games, little pumpkin playhouse, hay rides, marshmallow roast, cake walk, face painting, raffle, trick-or-treating, inflatables, pony rides, costume contest and more. Admission is $5 per child. For info, call 334-229-0035 or visit www.campchan-


Elmore County Living • Fall 2010 Children’s Costume Candy Extravaganza When: Oct. 26, 4 to 5:30 p.m. Where: Wetumpka Civic Center Details: Sponsored by the City of Wetumpka and Wetumpka Area Chamber of Commerce. Children from toddlers through fourth grade are invited to show off their favorite costume and receive special treats. There is no admission fee, but participants are asked to donate a canned food item for the Elmore County Food Pantry. Businesses are encouraged to participate by decorating a table and handing out treats. A table and two chairs will be provided to each participating organization. For info on reserving a spot, call 334-567-5147. Christmas on the Coosa Pageants When: Oct. 29 and 30 Where: Wetumpka Civic Center Details: Junior Miss - Oct. 29, 7 p.m.; Petite Miss - Oct. 30, 12 p.m.; Little Miss - Oct. 30, 3 p.m.; Miss Christmas on the Coosa Oct. 30, 7 p.m. 13th Annual Battles for the Armory When: Oct. 29-31 Where: Gibson’s View Plantation, Tallassee Details: The yearly Civil War Reenactment will begin Oct. 29 with unique hands-on (for

The 13th Annual Battles for the Armory will be Oct. 29-31 at Gibson’s View Plantation in Tallassee. PHOTO BY WILLIE MOSELEY children) school day activities. Battles Oct. 30 and 31 at 2 p.m. Period ball Oct. 30. Sponsored by the Tallassee Armory Guards SCV Camp 1921 and hosted by the 53rd Alabama Cavalry. Proceeds benefit historic preservation project with an emphasis on the Confederate Armory project in Tallassee. For info, call 334-283-4628. Twilight Cemetery Tour When: Oct. 30, 6 p.m. Where: Wetumpka City Cemetery Details: Reenactors will portray 15 historic

figures who are “residents” of the cemetery and share highlights of each person’s history. No advance tickets will be sold. Cost is $5 per person at the main gate of the cemetery. Alabama Frontier Days When: Nov. 3-7, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Where: Fort Toulouse/Jackson, Wetumpka Details: Native American, Colonial and Early American reenactments, period entertainment and vendors. Admission charged. For info, call 334-567-3002 or visit www.ft-


Elmore County Living • Fall 2010

Alabama Nature Center General Public Weekend When: Nov. 20-21, Saturday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m. Where: Alabama Nature Center, Millbrook Details: Enjoy five miles of scenic ANC trails while learning about the natural history of central Alabama. Admission charged. For info, call 334-285-4550 or visit

Wetumpka Veterans Day Observance When: Nov. 11, 11 a.m. Where: Pine View Memorial Gardens, Wetumpka Details: Hosted by members of SmithLeonard VFW Post 4572, its Ladies Auxiliary and Korean War Veterans Charter 263. Musical Tribute to Veterans When: Nov. 11, 7 p.m. Where: Trinity Episcopal Church, Wetumpka Details: The public is welcome. Featuring Montgomery organist Kelley Garrett and the Auburn University Choir. All active military and veterans will be honored at a reception to follow. 12th Annual Charis Crafters Craft Show and Tasting Fair When: Nov. 12-13 Where: Wetumpka Civic Center Details: The yearly “Home for the Holidays” event will offer an array of unique gifts and baked goods, along with sample foods. Door prizes awarded. Hours: Nov. 12, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Nov. 13, 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Admission charged. For info, call 334-5412505.

Christmas on the Coosa Ball When: Nov. 27, 7 to 11 p.m. Where: Wetumpka Civic Center Details: Semi-formal. Ticket are $25 each or $175 for a table of eight. BYOB. Setups and heavy h’ors doeuvres provided. Tickets available at the Wetumpka administrative building. For info, call 334-567-5147.

The Children’s Costume and Candy Extravaganza will be held Oct. 26 in the Wetumpka Civic Center. PHOTO BY PEGGY BLACKBURN Wetumpka Relay for Life Kickoff When: Nov. 18, 5:30 p.m. Where: Wetumpka Civic Center Details: Food and fellowship, 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.; program, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Clubs, businesses, churches, friends - all those interested in forming a team - are encouraged to attend.

Wetumpka Tree Lighting When: Nov. 29, 5 p.m. Where: Gold Star Park Details: Activities will begin at 5 p.m. with photos with Santa. The Wetumpka Elementary Chorus and First Baptist Child Development Center Choir will perform, followed by introduction of Christmas on the Coosa pageant winners and announcement of the parade grand marshal. Christmas on the Coosa shirts will be on sale and refreshments will be offered. The official tree lighting will conclude the event.


Elmore County Living • Fall 2010

Valor is stability, not of legs and arms, but of courage and the soul. -- Michel de Montaigne

Elmore County Living  
Elmore County Living  

Fall 2010 edition