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Saturday, February 27, 2010

This is Where I Live and Run

In this blog I wanted to do is to show and tell you where I live and run. It is probably not unlike the towns that many of you live and run in. 
I live in Prattville Alabama. This is not my hometown but it's the town I now call home. I live here with my beautiful wife and darling daughter. My wife's family moved here when she was around 3 or 4. We have our own story but I will cover that at another time.

  • Prattville is centrally located in Alabama.. just Northwest of Montgomery, AL.
  • Founded in 1836 by it namesake Daniel Pratt
  • Population of around 30,000 citizens.
  • It's the Seat for the county of Autauga (named after the Atagi Indian Tribe).Strange fact.. the county is actually older than the state of Alabama.
  • Flags of seven nations have flown over the county... France, Britain, Spain, the Confederacy and the United States. 
The Preferred Community

Here, I want to show you some pictures and maybe a little dialogue of the sites that I get to see everyday.

I start most of my runs tracing the same steps for the first mile or so. I pass this abandoned swimming pool by a residential roadside. It was the family pool for a large estate owned by a local doctor. The Doctor's house was torn down a few years ago and the pool was left as is..


Next is Maple Street. This is where I run my 1/4 mile intervals. The historical marker tells of the story of Plank Road. The road built by Daniel Pratt for his employees to use for coming to and leaving work... This allowed them to avoid downtown's "saloons".. ;-)

Right past this street I come up to Bridge Road where I have a daily view of the Autauga Creek and dam.

Right around the corner I get the view of our New England styled downtown Main Street.

Prattville has many artisan wells thought the downtown area. These are like GOLD on those hot summer runs. The drinking fountain is the parking lot of the First Baptist Church. The church in the back ground is Prattville First Presbyterian Church. This is the Church that my wife attended for year and where we were married.

We now attend the First Baptist Church..

Stanley Jenson Stadium... Home of the Prattville High School Football team...Alabama 6A State champions for 2006 - 2008.


Other sites on my runs are the building that my wife and I own. Our building was built sometime right after the depression and from what we can tell, was first a feed and seed business. A few years back I had the pleasure of grabbing a big hammer and crowbar and doing a total gut of the building. We then built it back to as a real nice business location.

My wife's family owned the town's newspaper for years. Her great aunt both owned and worked at the paper, The Prattville Progress (still in print) with her husband. They have both been inducted into The Alabama Newpapers Editors Hall of Fame presented by Auburn University. "Sister", as she was called by family members, sold the paper business but continued to work there until she was in her 90's.. Yes, you heard right.. she was even driving at 92 years old!! ;-)

This was where the paper was printed. It is still called the "Progress Building" by us... My brother in law owns this building now. He has restored it inside and out and it is a real showplace for the photography business that rents it.

At one time Prattville was home to the Mims Hotel. Unlike today's hotels this hotel was made of up little cottages. My wife's Aunt also owned this hotel at one time. Many of the cottages are now in what is called "Pratt-Village" and they serve as places of business. Before it was sold by Sister my wife was able to acquire some of the lobby furniture. A rocker on two chairs are part of our household furniture. One  side note about the Mims Hotel... Prattville was one home to the Prattville Males and Female Academy and was able to attract the southern poet Sidney Lanier as headmaster in 1867.

Pictured is one of the cottages


 It has been said that Lanier was inspired to write several of his poems while walking along Gin Shop Hill Road. This is the road that I call "Home Run Hill" because I run it everyday to get back home. I'm not sure if you can tell the grade from the photo... but this is a 3/4 mile long hill that actually starts behind where I took this picture.. good stuff!

Sister's Husband was instrumental in bringing an Army National Guard company to Prattville. The Armory that they met was later named in his honor when it became a community center.

The Daniel Pratt family plot..


 That overlooks downtown...

Our family plot.. that overlooks ... grass.. My wife is a planner! ;-)

Probably need something to smile about after that...  This is near our duck pond..


And then there is our home... where I stop my watch and get ready for another day.

I hope that you have enjoyed this peak into my town.. Like I said.. probably much like the one that you run in too...


  1. I enjoyed that tour of Prattville. Through the years because of my involvement in the foundry industry I have had dealings with Continental Gin and later Continental Eagle. I owned a foundry in Augusta, GA and we made iron castings for them so I have been to Gin Shop Mill Rd before.

    Prattville is a nice town. Thanks for sharing that.

  2. Nice post, James. Kym and I had a laugh about the duck sign just last weekend. Interesting about the Mims Hotel. Are the cottages anywhere near Hunts Alley? Some of those old houses on that street for the mill workers are pretty neat.

  3. That's great! I'm going to take a picture one day of all the dogs I come across on our runs!



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Prattville, Alabama, United States