Tag Archives: fort

Time Transformed, Time Abandoned

Warning: Photo heavy post. This week’s theme for Photo Friday was ‘Time.’ Below is my take.

“Why is it I only realize how much I miss the foothills of my childhood when I return for a visit?” I posted this question on twitter and Facebook during a recent visit to my parents’. To which a dear friend replied: “that’s why they call it home.”

I travel ninety miles to visit my parents every couple of months. A few weeks ago when I went I took a new route for part of the journey. One that took me through an old military base that closed in 1999. As I drove through an area of Fort McClellan I had never seen I was struck by how time had changed the area surrounding my childhood home.
I visited the base as a child. My dad as a member of the National Guard had privileges on base, but my visual knowledge of the base was limited. Driving along an area in the eastern part I realized the government owned some of the most beautiful land in our county. Untouched by habitation or development.
When it was announced in 1997 that Fort McClellan would close everyone worried what impact it would have economically. I haven’t studied the economic impact now twelve years later, but it seems that the county is doing as well as any other area in the country considering all things. While a portion of the base belongs to the Alabama National Guard the majority of it has been given to the city. Many of the homes are being remodeled. Businesses are moving in.
I saw signs of growth. Base homes remodeled and sold. The senior officers area known as Buckner Circle showing signs of life. These more upscale homes of the base restored and now home to civilian families. Bicycles and swing sets dot the back yards.
Time has transformed these areas.
Yet other areas remain abandoned. As the detour wound me through the base I was struck by the dichotomy, the juxtaposition of it all. Vines overgrown, grass too high around buildings now empty with stories untold.
Time transformed. Time abandoned.
To view more of these photos visit the set on my Flickr here. I’ll also be sharing more photos I took from other areas of the county in the coming days.


Frontier Days at Fort Toulouse

If you've never been to Fort Toulouse/Fort Jackson for Frontier Days it is an experience worth the trip to Wetumpka. The renactors stay in character and make it such an educational experience. You can click here for more information on the Frontier Days this year happening November 3-7. We're going on a field trip there next week so I'm sure I'll be sharing more about it soon.

First the canon at Ft. Toulouse. They do fire it. It's interesting to observe, but loud.


Within Ft Toulouse they have barracks where the reenactors sleep during the frontier days. They also have ladies cooking and baking. The bread of course caught my eye.



DS being all boy, pretending he is in a battle. 


The French flag in Ft. Toulouse.


Of course DS was attracted to the firearms. 🙂


The reenactors come out to do a drill.




The Native Americans doing a stomp dance in their historical dress. Some have turtle shells they have made into leg wraps to make music as they dance.


One of my favorite instruments – the hammered dulcimer. It makes such beautiful music.


Ladies participating in the frontier days weave yarn and dye it with natural elements native to the area. I love the blue yarn.

A sleeping tent for one of the Native Americans.


Ft. Toulouse and Ft. Jackson are located on the Coosa River.


Of course there were people in an area selling wares. These are some of the turtle shells with beans or something in them like the Native Americans used in the Stomp Dance.


The colorfulness of the rock candy caught my eye.


Puppets tied to her knee. She made them move by moving her leg around. Very interesting. She said these were predecessors of the marionettes.


Tents over on the Ft. Jackson side.


This guy was quite entertaining. He was really into his character and I love how I caught the smoke when he shot the rifle. It was very loud, too.


I can't remember who this guy was portraying, but they were really into their characters.


Again, what is it with boys and canons?


Loved the red wagon.


Saw this in the beat up road between the two areas. I don't really like hearts, but I couldn't help to snap a photo of it.


Food over in the Native American camp. Last year I was there early enough to see them actually skinning a deer. Kind of gross, but very interesting when you understand that's what they had to do to live and how none of it went to waste. They would trade the skins for anything they needed.


There were a few Englishmen near the French encampment.


So there you have it. Our little field trip in photos. If you have a chance you should definitely take your kiddos. 

Tomorrow I'll be back and starting my Daily December photo. My plan is to do a photo a day in December.  We'll see if I can stick with it. 🙂