I took a class on researching American Indian ancestors at the Huntsville Madison County Public Library. It was an introductory course, but I learned a great deal about the topic.
The instructor showed us how to use Ancestory.com to research federal and state census records. We also researched the Indian census rolls conducted by the Department of Indian Affairs. This department was founded in the late 1800’s, and was responsible for tracking the Indian population.
The teacher explained the significance of the Dawes Commission Records and showed us how to access that information. The Oklahoma Historical Society website has the completed records and provides an easy search engine for research purposes.
The class ended with a discussion about other records that might help people find information about their American Indian ancestors, such as:
- Indian Removal Records
- Indian School Records
- Will and Probate Records
- Church Records
- Bureau of Indian Affairs Records
- Military Records
- Employment Records
Reed Books is a bookstore owned by Jim Reed and is located in downtown Birmingham, Alabama. It is more than just an antique book store, it is also a museum of cultural artifacts.
When I first walked in the door, my jaw dropped and my eyes started to bulge out of my head. I was speechless.
I could spend an entire day at this bookstore. However, this is not a place I should be allowed to go unsupervised with a credit card. The results could be disastrous.
Vulcan Park is located at the top of a mountain in Birmingham, Alabama. It is home to the largest iron statue in the world, which locals like to call The Original Iron Man.
Visitors can take an elevator up to a walkway near the top of the statue. The view of Birmingham from there is breathtaking.
Vulcan Park also includes a museum that explains the role of iron production during the industrial revaluation and how Sloss Furnace (a facility that produced iron and steel) was responsible for the massive growth of the city of Birmingham.
Sloss Furnace began operation shortly after the Civil War and continued until 1970. It was a huge producer of iron and steel, which was used in buildings all over the United States. Sloss Furnace also provided the necessary material for weaponry during times of war and even produced common household products.
Sloss Furnace is also considered the most haunted place in Alabama. An untold number of men lost their lives at Sloss Furnace, due to the dangerous working conditions.
In the 1990’s, a foreman named James “Slag” Wormwood was in charge of the night operations at the furnace. In spite of limited visibility and extremely dangerous working conditions, Slag wanted his shift to produce at the highest level.
Slag refused to allow the men to have any breaks. He would push them to work beyond their limits and completely disregarded the safety of his crew. As a result, substantially more men were killed in workplace accidents whenever Slag was in charge.
Slag died one night when he “fell” into the largest furnace at the facility. The workers claimed Slag slipped off the walkway; however, Slag would have no reason to be on that walkway and the story was viewed with great suspension.
In spite of the lack of evidence, everyone believed the night crew murdered Slag by throwing him into the furnace.
Various people have claimed to see Slag haunting the area. He appeared to them as a badly burned man or as a man on fire. They said Slag would push them and yell for them to “Get back to work!” A few people that claimed to have seen Slag, also suffered severe burns when touched by him.
The hauntings at Sloss Furnace have been investigated by numerous paranormal investigative teams, including Ghost Adventurous, Ghost Hunters, and psychic investigators from AIRLINE.
The Civil Rights Institute in Birmingham, Alabama, is an amazing museum and educational center. As you view the exhibits, you can hear the personal stories of numerous people involved in the civil rights movement.
I was walking through the museum, and I was struck by the courage and solidarity of those fighting for equality. I was also struck by the ignorance and hatred of those fighting against equality.
If we are wrong, the Supreme Court is wrong.
If we are wrong, the Constitution of the United States is wrong.
If we are wrong, God Almighty is wrong.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
I found this little guy hanging on a window the other night. I thought he was kind of cute, so I took a closeup picture of him.
I was at the library and stumbled upon this book. It looked intriguing, so I decided to give it a try. According to the book, I am easy going, adaptable, free-spirited, introverted, and impulsive.
I can’t say I’m surprised by these results, but at least the book was fun.