Florala History

Stories and Information of Florala, Alabama

Jackson Lumber Co

Jackson Lumber Company was located in Lockhart, AL adjacent to and west of Florala. The mill no longer exists, nor does the railroad which served it, however the old logging pond can be easily seen from Hwy 55. Jackson Lumber Co was closed during WWII. It was named “Jackson” for E.E. Jackson, a lumber entrepreneur from Maryland who started the mill.  Read a 1908 article on Florala lumber mills: Florala Lumber Cos-15. A history of Jackson Lumber co and the peonage controversy can be found here http://www.southernspaces.org/2013/inside-jackson-tract-battle-over-peonage-labor-camps-southern-alabama-1906.

 

Engineering News-Record, July 7, 1938.

1924 Map of the Jackson Lumber Co.

Logging crew for Jackson Lumber Co.

Jackson Lumber Co Mill and logging pond

Jackson Lumber company logging crews

Jackson Lumber Company was owned by Crossett, Watzek and Gates Industries of Crossett, AR. Crossett Lumber Co continued as a company and merged with Georgia-Pacific in 1962.

This steam engine (above and below) provided power for the Jackson Veneer Mill in Laurel Hill, FL. It is located at the Florala Historical Museum (old L&N depot). Sam A. Jackson, who was secretary for Jackson Veneer Mill, was responsible it being placed at the museum as a reminder of the early lumber industry in the area.

Ad for the Britton Lumber Co. Britton Lumber Co was located in Lakewood, FL (two miles east of Lake Jackson).

Hughes Lumber Co (Florala Saw Mill Co) was located close to Lake Jackson on its southeast side. W.D Johnson was president and J.T. Hughes was vice-president.

A bill of sale for the Belmont Lady (1917). Sold by W.S.Harlan, manager of the Jackson Lumber Co, and namesake of the W.S.Harlan Elementary School, Lockhart, AL.

17 Comments

  • By S. Johnston, August 29, 2011 @ 10:34 am

    Recently enjoyed a program given at The Covington Historical Society on the W.S. Harlan School and the History of Lockhart! Wonderful program, and activities going on in the school there! Loved seeing the photographs at the meeting as well as finding more of them on this website! Great Work!

  • By Mike, November 12, 2011 @ 6:33 pm

    I’m in process of repairing an old red oak floor in my 111 year old mill home up here in frozen Connecticut. The old flooring was stamped on bottom with “LOCKHART ALA”- which was followed with a #9 inside a circle. It’s amazing how far that lumber traveled and the history of the mill and tiny town. Only thing more interesting is all of the liquor bottles buried in my foundation:)

  • By Max Baker, November 13, 2011 @ 12:08 am

    That’s very interesting. Most of the lumber to come out of the area was long leaf yellow pine. But red oaks did grow in the area. About 12 miles up highway 55 toward Andalusia is a community named Red Oak, AL. Its possible that your red oak wood is from an old growth forest. If you have the opportunity to take a picture of the Lockhart stamp and markings, I would be pleased to post it.

  • By Al George, February 18, 2012 @ 9:01 pm

    My father was Albert George of Florala, Al, and played on the storied 1928-29 Florala High School football team which had but three points scored against it in 1928 and was unscored on in 1929. I was born there, but moved to So. Car. age three. We returned each summer for a stay, and I well remember the Jackson Lumber Co. My grandfather, M.A. George, was also in the lumber business in Covington County and North Florida. Anyone with connections to the town and that era may reach me at ag3121@comcast.net.

  • By Max Baker, March 10, 2012 @ 4:52 pm

    Thanks for writing. Do you recall what lumber company your grandfather was associated with?

    Do you have any newspaper clippings or other documents of the 28-29 Florala football team. I was not aware of them and their success.

  • By Deloris, May 5, 2012 @ 9:08 pm

    I enjoyed the pictures of the old mill. I was born in Florala and lived in Lockhart until I left home. I have recently gotten an large picture (18X32)of the old mill. I am in the process of having it reprinted and touched up in order to have framed. Does anyone know the year the mill closed. My father would know, but he has passed away. He lived in the area just about all of his life.

    Who ever did the site did a great job.

    Thanks

  • By Max Baker, May 5, 2012 @ 9:21 pm

    I was told the lumber company closed during WWII, maybe 1941. It would be nice if someone could verify that. Between the mill closing and WWII starting, I believe that caused an exodus from Florala by the “younger” generation. Thanks for your comments on the site.

    Max Baker

  • By Tammie Money, May 30, 2012 @ 9:22 pm

    I just salvaged an old house in Statesville, NC that was built in 1926. The wood flooring has Jackson Lumber Co stamped on the back of it. That is some good wood. I believe it is pine. I have some for sale if anyone is interested.

  • By Judy Gillespie, September 24, 2012 @ 12:23 am

    Today I purchased an old door from a vendor at the Nashville Fea Market to repurpose as a table top. The tongue & grove, 2 1/2″ planks have stamped on the back: Lockhart ALA., Dixie, a JL logo, some circles with 1, 2 or 3. Do you know if this is yellow pine? Thanks for a great website.

  • By Max Baker, September 24, 2012 @ 9:33 am

    More than likely it is yellow pine, but you can verify it by looking at the grain and color of the wood if it is not too oxidized. Can you take a picture of the logo and let me post it on this site? Those are rare.

    Thanks

  • By Joseph Lester Scott, December 18, 2012 @ 4:15 pm

    Fresh out of Livingston State Teachers’ College in Livingston, AL in the early 1930s my mother, Kathryn Maude (Temple) Giles was hired by a wealthy lumberman in Monroeville, AL to teach his son and a group of children belonging to his associates, and maybe his workers. One of those students (pupils), my 1st cousin, Carl rodgers, introduced my mother to his uncle, my father, Lester Lee Scott in the Scott Mountain community in Choctaw County.

  • By Judi, August 1, 2013 @ 5:14 pm

    I am trying to find a record of my gtgrandfather’s employment at Jackson Lumber Company pre-WWII. Can anyone recommend a website (or page) that might help me? If I can place him working there, it will help me with a genealogy brick wall. He was Green J. CADENHEAD. Thanks for any help/suggestions. Judi

  • By seasure hardwood, February 25, 2014 @ 12:28 pm

    Working In an older beach home in margate Nj

  • By David Clarke, July 8, 2014 @ 1:34 pm

    My partner Colonel Tom Kelly began his career at the Jackson Lumber Company. Tom has written 20 books about Wild Turkeys, girl children, the people of the South and about his lifetime career as a lumber man. Tom has just finished a chapter about Longleaf for his 2014 book. I would like to speak to you about your pictures of Jackson Lumber Company for possible use in the new chapter. You may call me toll free. 800-852-0662 David Clarke VP Tom Kelly Inc.

  • By Greg Jones, September 27, 2014 @ 7:03 pm

    Visited the Lockhart/Florala area this summer and took photos of the Jackson Co. logging pond. Thanks for your wonderful site. It is always great to get the history of the places you visit. I was hoping someone could answer a couple of questions for me.
    1- When was the Jackson Lumber Co. mill at Lockhart built and first put into operation?
    2- Was there an earlier sawmill on the site before the one shown in the pictures? When was the pond created?

    Thanks in advance for your help.

  • By Max Baker, September 29, 2014 @ 8:00 pm

    The link below provides some history of the Jackson Lumber co. Based on its history and the fact that Florala was incorporated in 1900, its very likely it was the first mill at that location and started near that time. I don’t know when the pond was created, probably when the mill was because water was needed to float the logs. The creek, Pond Creek, has always been there. ( I corrected the fact that its named Jackson, not for Andrew Jackson, but for E.E. Jackson)

    There was trouble for the mill when it was discovered that the manager, W. S. Harlan, was engaged in peonage labor. Harlan eventually went to jail for it, but returned to Florala/Lockhart afterwards.

    http://www.southernspaces.org/2013/inside-jackson-tract-battle-over-peonage-labor-camps-southern-alabama-1906

  • By Max Baker, September 29, 2014 @ 8:46 pm

    Additional comments from a Florala, AL source:

    The mill was built around the turn of the last century—I don’t have the dates. It was supposed to be closer to Opp (as mentioned in that link above…) but ‘Grandpa’ Manning somehow influenced the men doing the site selection and the land on the West side of Florala was chosen: Lockhart.

    To my knowledge there was nothing there prior to the mill; farm land and virgin timber.
    Remember WC McLauchlin had 5th avenue go straight from the top of the hill—it did not take a dog leg and go to Lockhart—(still doesn’t, Lockhart boulevard branches off 5th avenue and became the ‘main road’ sometime in the early 1900’s……….) west 5th avenue is now the ‘back way to Lockhart’ and when they replace the bridge over Lockhart pond in the next couple of years, we will all have to go that way to go to
    Andalausia………. (WC McLauchlin laid out the streets of Florala)

    The pond was there, but I think it was enlarged and might even have been a small stream that was backed up—it does continue into Florida and I think it eventually empties into Shoal river (or maybe yellow river)

    Whenever it was built—it must have been fabulous to see in its prime; largest lumber mill in the world. 100 miles of railroad, 9 locomotives, over 100 cars…………

    The site of the very short lived Jackson Lumber Company golf course has never been used for anything in my lifetime. This was a logging operation. It certainly would appear to be a large spacious spot for a new elementary school for the two communities, but that, is my own idea………..

    Ed Rodwell wrote a story of the golf course, he played a short round of golf on it on the Saturday before it was to open. The clubhouse was deeded over the city of florala when JLc o ceased operations and it has been used as a church for decades. Westside Baptist church built a new building the last couple of years, but the old b uilding of heart pine still stands behind the new. The land for the course was across ‘green branch’ in Lockhart, the clubhouse in Florala on this side of the branch.

    The course land was sold to private parties by JLCo. Ed was the only one that I ever heard speak of it.

    Far as I know, it was never played again and was replanted later in pines.

    Opening date was set for a Sunday. December 7, 1941

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