Chasing History’s Mysteries: The legend of the Creature of the Coosa River

For the past 50 years I’ve been fascinated by stories of the paranormal. Today many popular radio and television shows deal with strange sightings and discoveries of giants, monsters and UFOs, many of which have been reported in the Etowah County area.
    While many of these instances have had beginnings as a hoax in a prankster’s mind, many others have

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A search for the best “Boomer Burger” in Etowah County

During the past several weeks, we’ve taken a nostalgic journey to the more popular Etowah County movie palaces. While these venues were never looked at as the grand theaters like Birmingham’s Alabama Theatre or Atlanta’s Fox Theatre, they were all no doubt special to the Baby Boomers growing up in Etowah County.

We’ll continue our journey into the not-so-distant

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A tale of two downtown Gadsden movie theaters

 Into the early days of the 1960s, the local movie theaters were the place to go to get away from life for a while. These air-conditioned palaces with their snack bars and double features were the place to go on the hot dog days of summer and the cold nights of winter.  Things would soon
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A glance at area movie theaters in the golden years

 The date was August 14, 1945 and the news was beginning to spread throughout the entire Etowah County area that the Japanese had surrendered, bringing an end to World War II. 

For hundreds of Etowah County residents, the Japanese capitulation brought about an end to four years of fighting in Europe, North Africa and the South Pacific. 

Following the end

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Movie theaters were in area during WWII, Great DepressionMovie theaters were in area during WWII, Great Depression

The days of the Great Depression were hard for people living in the Gadsden and Etowah County area. Money was scarce, and there was little extra for entertaining.

Several great promoters in Etowah County, however, did find a way to keep the larger movie houses open and turn a small profit. 

The theaters that continued to grow during this

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Pictures were in motion for downtown Gadsden

Over the past few months, we have looked at the many collections that I have enjoyed over the past 50 years. Today we will begin looking at a collection that I have enjoyed for more than 24 years, a collection of information and photographs of the one area of history that I have been associated
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Pictures were in motion for downtown Gadsden

Over the past few months, we have looked at the many collections that I have enjoyed over the past 50 years. Today we will begin looking at a collection that I have enjoyed for more than 24 years, a collection of information and photographs of the one area of history that I have been associated with for as long

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Pin-back buttons have long history

During the past several months we have looked at the hobby of collecting. These collections are some of the ones that I have enjoyed since the age of six. I have accumulated other things over the years from casino tokens to Mardi Gras doubloons. While I have accumulated many of these items, I do not consider these objects a

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Collecting rare “Pattern” coins

Over the years collecting coins has been a favorite hobby of mine. The thought of finding a really rare coin in change was a challenge that I accepted each day. Although a really rare coin was never found in the small bit of change I was able to sift through each day, the hope of finding something worth more

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The “Price” of fame

  Over the years I have been fascinated by the coaching careers of several NCAA college football coaches. I have spent hours reading books about Knute Rockne, Amos Alonzo Stagg, Glenn “Pop” Warner and Fielding Yost. Beginning in the early 1960’s, I began following the careers of Paul “Bear” Bryant and Ralph “Shug” Jordan and I was a football fan

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Our first president holds fascination with collectors

July the 4th is rapidly approaching. This is a special day in the life of both the United States and the City of Gadsden. Most Americans will pause to celebrate the birth of our country while enjoying bar-b-que, patriotic music and fireworks all day and night. Many people living in Etowah County will also pause
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Many Civil War-era tokens are not as rare as you would think

On many occasions I receive phone calls from people who have found “rare” coins, and the excited person wants to know how to sell their find. People naturally have visions of finding a rare pattern coin or mint error that is going to net them thousands and thousands of dollars and an early retirement.

The truth of the matter

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Historical annuals fetch a high price

On a recent episode of the television show “Pawn Stars,” a prospective seller brought in a high school annual which had a photo of a young Ronald Reagan and actually signed by the future actor and president. This book was a rare find and was eagerly purchased by the proprietors of the shop. High school yearbooks or annuals that

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The WFL - gone, but not forgotten

In 1974 the sports world was buzzing about the latest attempt to compete with an established professional league.  The World Football League made its debut on July 10, 1974, to compete with the older, established National Football League.  The plan of WFL founder Gary Davidson was to bring professional football to towns with well-established television
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Oh, no...there goes Tokyo!

By Mike Goodson

One of my earliest hobbies was building plastic model kits. The first one that I ever saw was at H&H News Stand on Wall Street in Alabama City. I was only six years old at the time, and although the kit was suggested for hobbyists a little older, I soon talked everyone into letting me try

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Remember when milk was delivered?

Etowah County has both many collectors and many great collections. There are even local clubs that meet regularly to talk about the members’ hobbies and great finds. These items include knives, model trains and coins. I have enjoyed being a collector, and over the years I’ve put together several collections that I am proud of. 

When asked about collecting,…

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Collecting autographs not as easy as it seems

  I have put together an interesting collection of celebrity autographs over the years. This collection would at times grow by sheer luck of being in the right place at the right time. With the advancements in technology, a photo can be made, printed and signed in a matter of minutes, thus making a collectable a little more special. Such…

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Searching high and low for vintage ticket stubs

One of my favorite collections dates back to December of 1976, when I went to my first college bowl game. It was that year that I had my first opportunity to follow the University of Alabama to the Liberty Bowl and begin a hobby that has spanned a period of 36 years.

Although bowl trips can get rather expensive…

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In search of…the Megalodon

Call it a fascination or an obsession from the days of early childhood, but the thought of giant creatures roaming the face of the earth has always been more than a passing thought in this individual’s mind.  This fascination has been fueled over the years both by several passages found in the Holy Bible and
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Collecting Civil War memorabilia

Whether it was “The Civil War” or “The War Between the States,” the conflict touched the lives of most everyone living in the United States 150 years ago.  Although the war did not touch the state of Alabama that much as compared to others, there was activity in this area on several occasions. I have always been interested in…

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Alabama City has rich history

One Sunday, March 25, Gadsden’s newest museum will hold a gala open house from 2-4 p.m. with the public invited. The museum is located in the remodeled Alabama City Fire Station No. 4, which has been the home of the Alabama City Historical Association for several years. The museum will house historical artifacts from the Dwight Manufacturing Company, Republic…

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There’s gold in that cardboard!

I’ve always been fascinated by football and baseball cards since I was very young. During the late 1950s and early 1960s, Topps sold the packs of picture cards along with a stick of gum for a nickel and later a dime a pack. These packs included the likes of Willie Mays, Mickey Mantle and Hank
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Collecting Olympic memorabilia

The games of the Olympics have held a fascination for many people for years. The thought of a world-wide gathering of the top athletes from throughout the globe always has seemed to have held captive audiences since the days of the late 19th century. With the development of first the radio, and later television, the Olympics have come close…

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Twelve Cent Treasure

One of my earliest collections (and also one of my most enjoyable ones to assemble) was the hobby of collecting comic books.Comic books were popular in the early 1960s during the days when Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman were fighting crime and injustice and the American way of life. These early superheroes were available at the local newsstands, drug…

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Certificates in Time

Have you ever dreamed of owning an exclusive piece of history? 

Do you dream of owning an exotic automobile such as a Tucker or even a Studebaker? What about the prestige of owning a piece of a major league sports franchise or a railroad? 

While many of us can only dream of having such wealth, shares of stock in…

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Every four years...

By Mike Goodson Many years ago I discovered the hobby of collecting presidential memorabilia. I am not sure what first peaked my interest in presidential campaign items, but this interest came at an early age. These items would range from campaign buttons and medallions to autographed photos. Presidential autographs are somewhat hard to obtain, and
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A unique area collection

By Mike Goodson There are many “unique” collections in the Etowah County area. These collections consist of pieces of historical memorabilia unique to a specific area, place or business. These collections tell the story of a city or county and belong in a museum. These collections might include fossils from prehistoric days, arrowheads, Spanish beads
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