Lookout Mountain, DeKalb Co., Alabama
a lot of details about the Sigsbee Community on Lookout
Mountain, near Dog Town, have been covered up by the
sands of time, William “Bill” Henderson recalls a
time when this small community was bustling with
activity. At one time Sigsbee had a blacksmith shop and
gristmill ran by various people (i.e. - Tom Watts, Frank
Hughes, etc.). Saturdays were “horse shoeing” day at
the blacksmith shop when residents of the area could
bring their horses and mules to get a new pair of shoes.
Bill recalls a trip to the gristmill with his father,
John Taylor Henderson, when he was just a small boy,
possibly in the 1930s. He remembers hearing the sound of
the engine that ran the mill and the unusual noise that
it made when running. He recalls that he told his father
on that occasion that the mill’s engine did not seem to
running right. He said his father then laughed and said
the “unusual” sound was because the mill was ran by a
There was yet another gristmill in the Sigsbee Community owned and operated by Elias Jennings. A cotton gin was also located there, as well as a general store owned and operated by George Jennings, brother to Elias. One of the stores would later be owned and operated by Bill’s sister, Nezzie McClung. It was during the time that Nezzie, and her husband Meredith, owned and operated the store that they lived in a house next door and two of Bill and Nezzie’s sisters, Ruth and Margie, came down with what they called the "little measles,” or Rubella. They had to stay with Nezzie and Meredith during that period of time in order that their mother, Myrtie Ann (Sims) henderson, would not catch the measles since they would have been much worse on her at her age.
Located within the Watts Family home was the local telephone switchboard ran by Tom Watts, husband to Emily Missouri Henderson Watts, being the great aunt of Bill Henderson. Several of Tom's children took turns tending to the switchboard which could ring at any hour of the night. Among Tom's other trades was that of making caskets for those in the community who had passed away from this earthly life.
The writer remembers playing in the old store building and house when he was a child. As a lot of children raised in the country might do, I would sometimes ride my bicycle a little bit farther than I had permission to, and, then to make matters worse, I would carefully cross over the busy paved road (another rule broken) and then enter a rundown, vacant building (yet anther broken rule)! Even though the buildings were not in good condition then, it still seemed like just their presence made it the Sigsbee Community. I am older now and have children of my own,who have also been caught wandering off deeper into the woods around our home than they ought to. All of the old Sigsbee buildings have now been torn down. I am happy to say that I was able to salvage enough of the fine old, weathered, pine lumber from the side of the store building to decorate the fireplace wall in my home near Johnnie's Creek, and I have one window frame from the same which serves as a cherished picture frame for a family picture of my own three children!
Edward R. Henderson, Jr.
I welcome anyone to email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) interesting facts or photos about the Sigsbee Community that are in good taste. I will post those things appropriate on my More Sigsbee Photos page as time allows.
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