Isaiah 6:8

8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The History of a Ghost Town Called Louina, AL

For day two I went outside of Wadley to a Ghost Town called Louina (pronounced Lou Ana).  On Hwy 22 there is a Historic Marker that tells the story of Louina, Alabama.  I have always planned to stop there and read it. But there really is no where to pull off the road that is I just passed by.  I found out in my research that that marker was placed at the entrance to the town telling the history of the ghost town by the Randolph County Historical Society.  The town of Louina was "one mile North, on the East bank of  Tallapoosa River.  It was settled in 1834. It became a chief business center in Randolph County with the county's first newspaper, schools for boys and girls, Baptist and Methodist Churches, Masonic Lodge, grist mill, wool factory, and cotton gin.
During the Civil War a company of Confederate soldiers organized there on August 1, 1861. The last store closed in 1902 and the post office moved eastward to Concord and named Viola.”  The little town of Louina, on the banks of the Tallapoosa River came into being in 1834 when Isham Weathers opened a store and trading post. Louina was named for a wealthy Indian Woman. When she was forced to leave on the Trail of Tears, it was said she put all her silver in sacks but they were so heavy, the ponies could not carry the load. Legend has it that Louina buried some silver but, despite years of digging, none has been found. Before the Civil War, the town paid more than one third of all the taxes in the County, paid mostly by slave owners. The Concord Baptist church was organized in 1850 by J. Day Barron, editor of the Louina Eagle, the towns newspaper. Louina was on the stage coach line from Wedowee to Dadeville.  In 1856 the newspaper was moved to Wedowee and the name was changed to the Southern Mercury, later it was changed to the Randolph County Democrat. The paper closed just before the Civil War. All the stores and other buildings are long gone, perhaps bearing truth to the legend that Louina was so angry that she was forced to leave she put a curse on the town and said it would vanish from sight.  Curse or no curse, vanished is what it did.  Gone without a trace. Where Liberty Church once stood near Highway 22 is the old cemetery, grown up with weeds and scrub oak.  Some small headstones still stand, but are not visible from the road.  You have to know where you are going to find it.  It is said, by many locals, that the town that once had 2,500 residents and was the largest town in Randolph County has only 17 wells filled, which means many old wells may still be open, making the area potentially dangerous.  People are warned not to go hunting, or digging for the silver alone.


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