Macon County high school juniors and seniors, many of whom are fulfilling requirements for Bridge Builders Alabama, meet every other Tuesday night at Pleasant Grove Missionary Baptist Church on Highway 81 between Notasulga and Tuskegee. Auburn University undergraduates work alongside them, as they develop skills related to life, work, and college. The program is funded in part by the Appalachian Regional Commission.
Tonight our meeting began with rain, lots of rain, so much rain that most of our students were unable to attend. Thankfully there were no tornado warnings, but every creek in Macon County was full and probably overflowing. Mobile Studio artists Jocelyn Zanzot and Daniel Neil returned with maps of Macon County for a conversation on where the “little free libraries” that students will build will be placed. Little Free Libraries have become an international phenomenon, and one of our students, Xavier, knows of one near his grandfather’s home in New Orleans. By the end of spring, Macon County will have these unique structures dotting the landscape, accompanied by mosaic tile benches and some young trees.
We enjoyed a very special program with new friends Shari Williams and Glenn Drummond of The Ridge Interpretive Center in Macon County. The Ridge project helps the public discover the fascinating history and archaeological remains in the descendant communities of Warrior Stand, Creek Stand, and Boromville. Creek Indians, white settlers of the early nineteenth century, as well as their slaves, inhabited the land that become a well-traveled stretch of the Old Federal Road in Macon County.
Glenn shared the history of the area, as well as the work of the Interpretive Center, which includes visits to their museum and archaeological opportunities for student groups. Shari shared her interest in this community, and she led students to become genealogical and historical detectives through a review of historic maps and census records for the writer George Wylie Henderson and Ridge ancestor Steve Pace. We were also pleased to have Edie Powell of the neighboring Shiloh Community Restoration Foundation join us as well. We look forward to planning a trip out to The Ridge to discover firsthand this unique and important aspect of Macon County.