The Vagabond: Unusual and peculiar names around Gadsden

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By Danny Crownover

Did you know there is a Possum Trot and Turkey Trot in our area?

Back in 1948, an article in a local newspaper noted that many places in Alabama had odd and unusual names and that the Gadsden area had its share. The local had correspondents at Bugscuffle, Hogjaw and Lickskillet. On Lookout Mountain, there was a little village with three stores called Scrougeout.

Other colorful names in the area included Dirtseller Mountain, Shinbone Mountain, Horseblock Mountain, Round Mountain, Racoon Mountain, Straight Mountain and Pigeon Mountain.

Line Creek, Yellow Creek, Terrapin Creek, Turkey Trot, Hurricane Creek and Town Creek are well known streams.

Rock Run is a small area in Cherokee County that boasted a charcoal iron furnace, one that turned out a fine quality of foundry iron under the management of J.M. Garvin.

Drunkard’s Springs was in the city limits of Gadsden, as was Rum Branch. Flat Rock was the home of a Methodist educational institution. Ball Flat is also in the area.

The Ball Play area in Eto-wah County was named by the Indians and the scene of many tribal games. In the 1830s, the Cherokee and the Creek Indians staged a ball game to determine the ownership of a large territory. The Cherokees won.

Greasy Cove was an old settlement that ran from Gallant in Etowah County to Slashham in St. Clair County.

Boozer was once a post office located near Hokes Bluff. Probate Judge Elbert Boozer of Calhoun County once was a candidate for governor. Wisdom is the name of a crossroads community near Hokes Bluff.

Pulltight was the name of the most notorious and lawless section of Gadsden. Buzzard Roost and Scratch Ankle were once the names of black sections of Gadsden, the names being borrowed from Birmingham.

Big and Little Wills Creek pass through Attalla and preserve the name of the Cherokee Indian chief Red Head Will.

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