Saturday, November 16, 2013

Wiggins Hollow

Recently, I have become increasingly interested in my family history.  Luckily, my family has kept great records, and I owe a lot to my Great-Aunt Clara Nell.  She made a "Howell Book" many years ago, long before internet records were available.  It is full of family facts, lore, marriage certificates, death certificates, an adoption record, photographs, and so much more.

Another thing I am very lucky to have access to is a physical piece of history here in Alabama.  The Howells settled in North Alabama around 1820, and the chimney from the homestead still stands today!  Miles Myhill Howell (1789-1853) and his brother, Isham Howell (1787-1846) moved to Alabama in the 1820s from South Carolina.  They purchased this land at that time, and it remained in Howell ownership until the 1970s when it was sold to the forest service. 

 Isham's headstone, located at Friendship Baptist cemetery in Danville, Alabama.
Miles's headstone also located at Friendship Cemetery. 

Miles is my 4th Great-Grandfather, and my daughter's 5th Great-Grandfather!  Miles's son, William George Washington Howell, also know as WGW, would marry Frances Ellen Wiggins.  I am assuming this is where the name "Wiggins Hollow" came from.  The lineage for my daughter goes:
Evelyn (3 years old) is the daughter of Rachel Howell-Morris, who is the daughter of Robert Howell, who is the son of Arthur Malcolm Howell, who is the son of Sim Howell Sr, who is the son of Arthur Percy "AP" Howell,  who is the son of WGW Howell,  who is the son of Miles Myhill Howell! 

Robert Howell (my father), Me, Evelyn (my daughter), Anna Henderson, John Howell, and Sally Corum.  My family tree is complicated . . . I am not going to try to explain how I am related to everyone.  :)

It is an easy hike to the Hollow; I would guess it is 20 minutes in from the main road.  The area is absolutely beautiful. Lovely ferns outline our path in the beginning, and we crossed a shallow stream.  There is also a warm spring that runs through a nearby cave. 

For size refrence, that is my six foot, six inch tall husband standing in the red shirt:

The chimney was repaired, probably in the early 1960s, but the stones and large mantle stone are original.  The house stood until the late 1970's.  The forest service was forced to burn it down; local teenagers were having parties in the woods.  My father remembers frequenting this place as a child.  He recalls spending the night here with his father, and the sounds of the bobcats in the woods has stayed with him to this day!

Luckily, whatever large furry creature was living in it a few years ago has moved out!

Below are a few more, unedited, pictures from our last trip there on November 2, 2013.