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Our Visit to Alabama 4/15/2021

by Chris Guenzler

Elizabeth and I slept in and then checked the internet as we do every morning before we checked out of the Doubletree Hotel in Decatur. We drove over to the Decatur train station just as a Norfolk Southern stack train was passing through.

The Decatur historical sign about the station.

The Decatur Southern Railway station built in 1898.

The station sign for the museum. Part of it houses the Decatur Police Department.

The plaque on the building. As we drove away, we discovered that Decatur once had streetcars.

On two streets we found tracks embedded in the pavement.

Our crossing of the Tennessee River in daylight. We then drove to Athens and had breakfast at the International House of Pancakes.

The Louisville and Nashville station in Athens, built in 1928, which is now the Limestone County Archives. Our next stop was in Belle Mina.

The relocated Southern station in Belle Mina, built in 1855. From here we drove to Hartselle.

The Louisville and Nashville station in Hartselle, built 1910 and now the Chamber of Commerce.

While we were, CSX GP38 2042 came through town and I was fortunate to get a picture.

The Louisville and Nashville freight house, now a restaurant. We then turned our attention to our other love of covered bridges and headed to the first one of the trip.

The Clarkson Covered Bridge which spansCrooked Creek west of Cullman built in 1904.

The Alabama State historical sign.

The National Register of Historic Places plaque on the bridge itself.

Walking through the covered bridge.

The north side of the bridge.

Alambama's Physical Diversity information sign.

Two more views of the Clarkson Covered Bridge.

The Alabama official covered bridge sign with plenty of useful information. From here we drove to Cullman and found a very nice surprise.

The 1913 Louisville and Nashville station in Cullman. This is one of the most impressive small Louisville and Nashville stations I have seen, with their emblem so predominantly displayed.

Although lettered for Louisville and Nashville, this is really Atlantic Coast Line caboose 0627.

The Alabama historical sign for the Cullman depot. On the way to Cleveland, we stopped for petrol before going to our next covered bridge.

The Swann Covered Bridge this spans the Locust Fork of the Black Warrior River built in 1933. It is the longest covered bridge in Alabama.

The map showing covered bridges in Blount County.

The inside of the bridge.

The Swann Covered Bridge.

We walked back through the bridge to return to the car then drove to the third bridge of our trip.

The Easley Covered Bridge its spans the Dub Branch of the Calvert Pong of the Little Warrior River built in 1927.

The map showing covered bridges in Blount County. These maps are far superior than in any other state that we have seen.

The inside of the Easley Covered Bridge.

Elizabeth walking out of the bridge.

One final view of Easley Covered Bridge. We then drove to the Horton Mill Covered Bridge.

The Horton Mill Covered Bridge information board.

The Horton Mill Covered Bridge which spans the Calvert Pong of the Little Warrior River and was built in 1934. It is the highest Covered Bridge above any United States at 70 feet.From here we drove to Leeds.

The historical sign for the Leeds depot.

The plaque on the Leeds station.

The Southern Railway station in Leeds, built in 1884.

A replica of the Leeds Town Well; the original was built circa 1911.

The historical board for John Henry.

Southern Railway caboose X245 on display at the Leeds station. We next drove to Birmingham.

St. Louis-San Francisco 2-8-2 4018, built 1919, on display at the Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark.

Sloss-Sheffield Steel and Iron DS 44-660 30 built in 1948.

View of the Sloss Furnaces.

Railcars used in the steel-making process. We then drove over to the Amtrak station which was nothing like Elizabeth expected.

The Amtrak and Greyhound Birmingham modern station. We then searched for the other station in the city.

The Louisville and Nashville station which looked like a yard office. We continued on our journey to Bessemer.

The Alabama Great Southern station in Bessemer built in 1916 and is now the Bessemer Hall of History Museum.

The plaque on the station wall.

This boxcar commemorates the 1,000,000th freight car and the great history of Pullman Standard in Bessemer 1929-1980.

A freight house is also here.

The old Southern Railway freight house a few blocks north of the station.

The former Railroad Mens' Hotel which is now a funeral home. We drove to Alabaster and had an excellent dinner at the Longhorn Steakhouse. After dinner, we found the station here.

The Louisville and Nashville station in Alabaster.

Seaboard Coast Line caboose 0776 beside the station. We drove the final miles to Calera and checked into the Quality Inn. After checking the Internet, we worked on yesterday's story then relaxed and called it a night.