The Oak Grove Church and School sit at the end of a dirt road in Prairieville, Alabama. The school was built in 1925 for the local Black community. Built as a two-teacher school at the cost of $3000, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1998.
Outside of Carlton, Alabama, Mt. Nebo Baptist Church’s cemetery contains death masks created by Isaac Nettles. Nettles created these masks by making molds of the subjects’ faces while they were still alive, which is different than the traditional death mask which are made after someone passes. The three person marker represents Isaac and Cora’s three daughters, and it rests atop Cora’s grave. There are two other markers made by Nettles. These are deteriorating quickly. In 2020, Hurricane Sally caused significant damage to the masks. These are incredible pieces of folk art. At one point, there were four death masks. One was made for Isaac’s mother Selena/Celina. It was damaged by Hurricane Frederick in 1979. The markers were added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2000.
Located on a dirt road new Livingston, Alabama is the Coatopa Church. When I first saw a photo of the church, I knew I needed to document it one day. If you visit, just do it post mosquito season.
This active church sits outside of Heflin, Alabama in Cleburne County. Chulafinnee is the Native American word for “Pine Log Crossing.” Chulafinnee is considered a ghost town.
Built in 1916, the New Hope School was built in Chambers County, Alabama. It’s a one-teacher type school and was built with $1200. The school was recently restored. It was in use until 1958, four years after Brown v. Board of Education was decided.
If you were a fan of S-Town, you likely wondered about the final resting place for John B. McElmore. I visited a few years ago and was impressed with the handmade headstone. I believe this was made by Tyler Goodson. He rests in the cemetery behind Green Pond Presbyterian Church in Bibb County.