Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

A Day in Flomaton, Alabama

All we knew when we started the day was that we wanted to explore a little bit north of Pensacola, maybe even up into the part of Alabama that is across the state line to the north (as opposed to the part of Alabama that is across the state border to the west). We thought we were having a very boring day until we wandered into Flomaton, and AdventureMan discovered a railroad museum.

Flomaton is at the very top of the map:

The railroad museum was also an older house, now the museum, and an older 2 room cabin out back, moved from its original location. Here is a recreation of the old front parlor:

The Railroad Collection room:

The log cabin was out back of the house, and had two women spinning wool into yarn on the porch, who very graciously allowed me to take their photo:

Inside the log cabin – we were told the couple who lived in this cabin had 12 children; they slept on the floor on pallets at night:

At the museum, there was a flyer about “Back to your hometown weekend” in Alabama, which just happened to be that very weekend. The town was full of returning people, there had been a parade and fireworks the night before (three former homecoming queens told me about this) and there was a street fair to celebrate Home Town Flomaton. 🙂

It was nearly lunchtime. We could smell Barbecue. The street fair was just a block away and there was parking right there, right by the fair. It was so much fun:

People were so kind and so helpful. This young woman was grinding corn, and we speculated that it must have been a great modern invention, and a real time saver, when it was invented. A woman passing by said she remembers her own mother using the same machine; all the corn was then taken to be ground, and stored in large airtight bottles in a dark ‘keeping room’ with preserves and food to get them through the winter.

This band was playing blues, gospel and country music, and they were pretty good!

As we stood and watched the choir, another woman welcomed us, and told us we really needed to see the new library (it was gorgeous!) and if we hurried, we could catch the Raptor Show at Otter Point. A Raptor Show!

Inside, there was a butterfly house, and several displays of local natural life:

There was also a wonderful hiking trail out over the wetlands, well maintained and beautiful:

The Raptor presentation was very well done, informative and funny, on many levels. They had a large audience of children, who learned a lot, and also adults like us, who also learned a lot. The bald eagle’s beak is deformed by PCB’s, which, although banned back in the 1970’s, are still present in the environment in quantities high enough to cause birth deformities. The only reason they were able to adopt the bald eagle, a protected species, was that while he can hunt, he cannot tear his food apart with his malformed beak.

It was a day full of gracious hospitality. People were so kind to us, and went out of their way to make us feel welcome and to explain what we were looking at. For a day that started with no clear goal, we felt like we had been abundantly blessed by happening across this beautiful October day in Flomaton, Alabama.

October 24, 2010 - Posted by | Arts & Handicrafts, Beauty, Civility, Community, Cooking, Cultural, Entertainment, Events, ExPat Life, Living Conditions, Local Lore, Pensacola


  1. Intlxpatr :

    How is your southern drawl coming on ??

    Comment by daggero | October 24, 2010 | Reply

  2. My friend, most of the time I can pass, although sometimes I get it wrong. It’s funny, but the same things work here as work in Kuwait – good manners, modest clothing, good jewelry, good hair, good grooming . . . and yes, I can drawl when I need to. 😉

    Comment by intlxpatr | October 24, 2010 | Reply

  3. Southern festivals are the best! The raptor shows are becoming quite popular all over. I have seen them here at the county fair and in Utah. They are usually put on by bird rehabilitation refuges. Washington has a beautiful bald eagle that they are allowed to keep/show and take around to schools for education purposes. It had a badly broken wing. They were able to fix it to a point but not good enough for the bird to hunt in the wild. The lady at that show told me they make the rounds of the fairs in the state and a lot of schools. I think it is amazing to look at those birds.

    Comment by momcat | October 24, 2010 | Reply

  4. This was the same sort of thing, Momcat; the birds are not resident at Otter Point in Flomaton, but visit regularly and do the show from a rehab and wildlife preservation center, maybe out of Auburn University (?) 🙂

    Comment by intlxpatr | October 24, 2010 | Reply

  5. I didn’t read this post, but had a quick glance at the images… The eagle’s beak is strange.

    Comment by Bu Yousef | November 7, 2010 | Reply

  6. Sharp eye, Bu Yousef. Bald Eagles are protected in a big way in the USA, and you cannot have one in captivity, unless, as this one, it cannot survive on its own. This one has a birth deformity due to resilient pesticides in the environment; according to his handlers, he is a fine hunter, but because his beak is deformed, he cannot tear and eat the meat he catches, it has to be torn into tiny pieces for him.

    Comment by intlxpatr | November 8, 2010 | Reply

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