Nestled in the beautiful foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, among broad plateaus and rolling valleys, Walker County was carved from Tuscaloosa and Marion Counties by the State Legislature in 1824. The county was named after John W. Walker, one of Alabamas first United States senators. Well-to-do farmers settled comfortably throughout the county to raise families and crops. In 1886, the railroad came to the county seat of Jasper, as well as Carbon Hill, Kansas, Cordova aka Dent, Dora aka Sharon, Nauvoo aka Ingle Mills, and Parrish aka Hewitt and the countys flavor changed. The Daily Mountain Eagle, still being published today, stated in its special 1891 edition that there were 400 coke ovens in operation, six coal mines, one foundry and machine shop, two saw mills, one brick work, two sand stone quarries, four hotels and two banks. Mining and industry became synonymous with the name of Walker County. This tradition has been steadfast for 100 years. However, as times change, so do histories and Walker County is writing a new history for itself.
Standing in the Walker County Courthouse Square is a statue dedicated to Sergeant William Jasper, a Revolutionary War soldier. A wonderful revolution is occurring in Walker County. People are discovering that beauty lives here, too. In the northern part of the county, 21,000 acre Smith Lake shares its shores and gentle waters. Record breaking bass fishing, skiing, boating and swimming are there for the young and old. To the east and south, Warrior River provides more fishing and boating. The best tasting crappie can be caught in this meandering river. Bass tournaments are plentiful, in both bodies of water, for the serious fisherman. In late winter and early spring, the eagles come home to Walker County Shoals on the Warrior River to spend their days fishing and their nights resting.
Walker County boasts its own public, very well stocked lake, for fishing and picnicking. Many a young child can be seen casting a line under the watchful eye of"grandpa" at the Walker County Lake. In addition, a 2 acre pond has been added for children, seniors and people with disabilities.
Hunters have found game plentiful in Walker County, including deer, turkey, quail, dove and squirrel. Mulberry Fork Wildlife Management Area, in south Walker County, was established two years ago and is stocked and maintained by the Alabama Department of Conservation. Safety and the enjoyment of a good hunt can be found here and throughout the county.
In the Bankhead National Forest campers and outdoorsmen of all types can visit Clear Creek Recreational Area. This area contains camping, fishing, boating, trails and group picnic facilities. Also, 102 camp sites with water and electrical hook ups, bathhouses with showers, two group tent sites and a 2.5 mile hiking trail are available.
Walker County has much to offer retirees. Community Health Systems built a 37,000 square foot facility to serve the community and especially its seniors. Activities are held year round for senior citizens, including, card games, dominoes, day trips, cruises, fun and educational courses on topics ranging from computers to health and nutrition, and the annual Senior Celebration (an evening of dinner and dancing). Prominent in the Jasper area is the Walker Baptist Medical Center. This facility is a state of the art hospital with outstanding doctors and caregivers. Excellent care with the vision to make a difference in the lives of those they serve is their mission. Attractive assisted living apartments are continually being built to meet the needs of retirees. Seniors are a priority in Walker County.
First Methodist Church of Jasper - Constructed in 1921, visitors are invited to see the beautiful stain glass dome of the church that President Franklin Roosevelt visited at William B. Bankheads funeral. Photographs of the event can be seen in the churchs historical displays.
Bevill State Community College - Walker College Campus Memorabilia from Ms. Tallulah Bankheads acting career is on exhibition at the campus. Included are gowns, photographs, playbills and wardrobe accessories.
Smith Lake Dam - One of the largest earth and rock dams in the eastern United States was completed in 1962. It is a breathtaking view from the dams high vantage point. Tours can be made of the turbo plant.
Lewis Smith Lake - Visit Lewis Smith Lakes 21,200 acres of crystal clear water, scenic landscapes and record-breaking bass fishing. Its 500 miles of shoreline offers a variety of scenic beauty that is unparalleled, featuring beaches, campgrounds, vast forests and rugged rock bluffs. It is perfect for fishing, skiing, scuba diving and pleasure boating. Beautiful homes enhance portions of the lake, but most of its pristine terrain is simply Mother Nature at her best.
Clear Creek Recreational Resort - Approximately 13 miles north of Jasper. Encompasses 425 acres adjacent to Lewis Smith Lake. Picturesque setting with waterfalls, high bluffs and a sandy white beach. Boating, canoeing, fishing boat launch, swimming, camping, nature trails, hiking trails, and paved bicycle trails.
Old York USA- Housed in Oakman, a visitor can step back in time to the wild west of the 1800s. Twelve authentic town buildings have been constructed, complete with a saloon, country store, blacksmith shop, log church, and cabin. Special events include festivals, concerts with artist such as Willie Nelson and Merl Haggard, and July 4" fireworks display. Come early and stay late.
Harbin Hotel - Located in Nauvoo, the hotel was built by W.O. Harbin in 1923. The two story brick building was added to the Alabama Landmark register in 1990. The 70x98 foot structure contains 190,000 bricks. In the 20s it featured 16 furnished rooms and 76 electric lights. Pine walls are original and guest rooms have their original room numbers.
Alabama Mining Museum - Designed by the State Legislature in 1984 as the official state coal mining museum of Alabama, the main focus is on the total concept of mining from 1890 to 1940. The museum shows the technological, social, and human stories involved in Alabamas development into one of the most important mining regions in the United States.
Carbon Hill Fish Hatchey - More than 2,000,000 fish are raised each year to stock rivers, lakes and streams in Alabama. Established in 1939, the aquarium is open seven days a week and tours can be scheduled by appointment.
Poseys Store - The atmosphere of an old time hardware store can be found among the walls of this delightful building. Shelves are stocked with unusual items such as horse collars, wash tubs, oil lamps, cast iron cookware and stove pipes, as well as baskets, clay pots, and souvenirs of all sizes and shapes.
Foothills Festival - The Foothills Festival held each year in October is named for its location in the narrow valleys and broad plateaus of the Appalachian Foothills of Northwest Alabama has become a premier tourism attraction of Walker County. This three day outdoor music and arts festival event attracts approximately 15,000 visitors to lovely downtown Jasper, Alabama. Musical entertainment is augmented by a juried arts and crafts area, childrens art activity area, a sanctioned festival run, and a wonderful spoken word and heritage venue.
July 4th Fireworks Show - Bands and fireworks bring thousands out to the old Walker County Airport. A display that is dazzling thrills all the onlookers. Many can be seen viewing the fireworks through 3-D glasses, making each explosion even more spectacular.
Veterans Day Parade - This parade, held in downtown Jasper, is the second largest in Alabama and features bands, military parade units, state-of-the-art combat machines and flyovers by fighter planes. It is held on a Saturday close to Veterans Day.
Annual Christmas Parade - Sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce of Walker County, the annual parade is a delight for all who attend this event. The parade entries include floats, bands, antique cars, and of course, the guest of honor, Santa Claus.
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