ORAL HISTORY OF RED BAY COMPLETED
By Brenda Owen
When the people of Red Bay say their town is going down in history, they know what they're talking about.
After more than a decade of hard work, research, and personal interviews, an Alabama author, working with hundreds of other interested citizens, has completed "One Hundred Years of Memories, an Oral History of Red Bay, Alabama (1888-1988)."
Former U. S. Congressman Carl Atwood Elliott, Sr., the author of several other local history books, was commissioned by the Red Bay Civitan Club to write a history of the town.
Red Bay resident Scotty Kennedy said the idea for the history book came after a new industry moved into town and inquired about the history of the area.
"It was discovered that there was not a written account of the settling and growth of Red Bay," Kennedy said.
In completing the project, Elliott has captured history by interviewing residents of the area to record their memories. More than 40 people were interviewed for the book.
"Sadly, almost half of those have passed away since their statements were given," Kennedy said. "Without these, much of the history of Red Bay would have been lost forever."
Kennedy noted that people who have read these interviews often remark, "It is just like you are sitting there with that person and listening to them talk, almost eerie."
The 576-page book illustrated with pen and ink drawings features more than 200 photographs which have never been published. One section includes sponsorships purchased by area businesses that contain a history of their business along with a photograph of the business and the employees. Also included are histories and photographs of churches and civic organizations.
About the author
Carl Atwood Elliott was born on December 20, 1913, approximately four miles northwest of Vina, Ala. The eldest of nine children, he graduated from Vina High School in 1930 and enrolled in the University of Alabama working his way through college.
Following his graduation from the University of Alabama Law School in 1936, Elliott opened his first law practice in Russelville, Ala. After six months, he moved to Jasper Ala., where he lives today. Shortly after setting up his practice there, he met Jane Hamilton whom he married in 1940.
Although his career in law was interrupted when he joined the U. S. Army as private on June 3, 1942, Elliott renewed his law practice after World War II. Elliott took an active role in his community and state and in 1948, he was elected to the U. S. House of Representatives.
Among all his accomplishments, Elliott is probably best known for the books he has written, and the histories which he has compiled. From 1958 through 1990, he published six volumes of "The Annals of Northwest Alabama."