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Down and out in AL
January 18, 2008
Pete's Pics > Down and out in AL
January 19th, 2008
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With a Civic Center like this, is it any wonder this place is in trouble?


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A local bar - one of few surviving enterprises - props up a burned out derelict building


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With the only cinema in town now shuttered, the haute couture Personality store also threw in the towel


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However, if you're still In need of some snappy threads, try Suit City


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Better yet, just down the street is this pinnacle of sartorial elegance


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This is the closest thing to a Youth Center in town. Also, one of the smartest storefronts in town


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Believe it or not, this modified parking stall is outside of the DUI Remedial School. Got there just in time it seems


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But culture is alive and well. The 1915 Opera House made it to Register of Historic Buildings and is currently used for cultural events


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Having experimented with a couple of dubious names, Cawthons Cowpen followed by Poplar Head, the community elected to incorporate in 1885 and had to choose a name unique in Alabama. The name Dothan was taken from a bible verse


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At now we come to the latter day raison d'etre of enchanted city - murals. This one, in the central park, is probably the poorest one in town


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A depiction of Cherry Street and the African Methodist Episcopal Church adorns the side of this building


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On the east end of the Liddon Furniture store is Hernando DeSoto who passed through the region in 1540 on his mistaken way to the gold mines of Georgia


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At left is Johnny Mack Brown, local hero who triumphed over many early gun slinging movie villains and became world famous. At right is Chief Eufaula during his farewell address to the Alabama Assembly at the time of the Creek Indian "removal" to Oklahoma


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Camp Rucker, which later became Fort Rucker, was a heavy weapons and light aircraft training ground


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Fort Scott was instrumental in the settling of the area, providing protection from the Creek and the Red Stick Indians who were understandably peeved at the intruders


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The "Peanut Festival" was the subject of the first mural in town. Painted on the west end of Liddon Furniture it features Dr George Washington Carver the inventor of numerous uses for the peanut


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Another view of the "Peanut Festival". Having found more than 300 uses for the peanut - mind-boggling, isn't it - there is now an annual peanut festival also shown in the mural


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In 1889 the city imposed a tax on every dray that traveled the city streets from which ensued the "Dothan Riot". Following just a couple of deaths and a bunch of injuries, the feckless citizens caved in an paid the tax. It's been downhill ever since


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With few roads in the area, steamboats plied the Chattahoochee and Choctawatchee rivers bringing supplies in and transporting produce out


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One enterprising fella, J W Callahan, ran luxurious vacation ships along the same routes and did great business


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Another local resident, Sherman Rose, was one of the first 10 black students on the Tuskeegee Institute Civilian Pilot Program in 1939. After WWII, Sherman became the only black flight instructor at Fort Rucker until his retirement in 1974


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Toward the end of the nineteenth century, mules largely replaced horses and oxen for heavy hauling on farms and the lumber industry


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There were also women in Dothan who, by the look of things, had it made in the shade


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A long montage of various yesteryear activities around town


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A visiting gnat from Bainbridge who shared lunch with us
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