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.

Two Men Killed in train Wreck- A serious accident, entailing loss of life and property occurred Saturday afternoon when two of the Jackson Lumber Co.’s log trains collided between Florala and Opp.   Dave Pickeron and J.M. Quick were killed, while J.P. Rhodes was thought to be fatally injured and was hurried to Montgomery for treatment. – Florala News Democrat, Thursday November 11, 1915.


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.

Notice the fire barrels on the tops of these structures.



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.

These boards manufactured by the Jackson Lumber Co came from a courthouse in Richmond, VA. Note the Dixie stamp and Jackson Lumber Co logo which is a J and L placed over a C with an O inside. Pictures contributed by Bridget L.

The two photos above are lumber from the Jackson Lumber Co.  These tongue & grove floorboards are from a kitchen associated with the first Public School (#5) in Lutherville, in Baltimore County, Maryland. The one-room schoolhouse was built in 1896, but the kitchen is thought to have been added later.  The school was only used until 1901, so the kitchen may have been added by a later owner.  - Charlie D.


Does anyone know the meaning of the vertical stamped lines in the wood?

Does anyone know when the Jackson Lumber co was first established?




  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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

  • By Cynthia Prentice, December 3, 2014 @ 8:04 pm

    My grandmother, Ibbie Metcalf Savell, was the telegraph operator for Jackson Lumber Co & Western Union. I have many pictures.

  • By Max Baker, December 5, 2014 @ 9:57 am

    If you would like to share some of your pictures, please contact me via the email address on the Welcome page.
    Thank you.

  • By jeanette McMahon, December 29, 2014 @ 4:01 pm

    I am renovating a house built around 1918. we are trying to match the flooring as close as possible.the back of the flooring is stamped with Dixie Lockhart, Ala with a 5 in a circle after it. Do you know what type floor it is.

  • By Max Baker, December 29, 2014 @ 8:55 pm

    I believe most of the wood sold was long leaf yellow pine. Its was probably old grow
    th and may be difficult to match with new growth but it is possible.

  • By Bridget L, February 7, 2015 @ 10:39 am

    Hello, I am so glad to have taken the time to look up more information on some old wood floorboards that my brother was starting to burn in a burnpile!! I rescued some of it right away, but I will show him this page since he’s been threatening to continue burning it. The boards actually came out of the old courthouse in Petersburg, VA. My uncle had bought them I believe at the Habitat for Humanity store & had a bunch leftover after redoing my Grandma’s house (built in the late 1800′s). Some of the boards are a little worse for wear, but so beautiful & the stamp on them is really cool!

  • By jim manning, February 12, 2015 @ 4:28 pm

    My father, Ed manning grew up in Florala and his father E.D. Manning lived his entire life there and had a brief stint in major league baseball. My namesake James T. Manning is probably the “Grandpa Manning” mentioned in comments above. My aunt Mae was married to A.D. Blackwell who served in an administrative capacity at the mill. I have fond memories of summer 2 week vacations spent in Florala swimming in lake Jackson at the city beach or Manning’s Landing. We used to walk barefoot and shirtless to Martin’s theater to pay 5 or 10 cents to get in and misbehave. I remember the ice cream cones at the drugstore too (Cannon’s).

  • By Curtis Lightbody, March 19, 2015 @ 11:53 am

    I have around 600 square feet of the number 5 stamp if anyone is interested in it. Please email me at Curtis.Lightbody@gmail.com

  • By George W. Coggin, April 3, 2015 @ 8:11 pm

    My uncle, James W. Coggin, worked as a carpenter at Jackson Lumber Company in 1903. My father, George W. Coggin, Sr. joined him that year and when he arrived, James was working on the building that became the company store.
    In 1950, my father visited there and made four photos of remaining structures: the company store, a standpipe, dry kilns, and another building. I am happy to share these by email. contact me at gcoggin31@aol.com

  • By John Lewis, April 16, 2015 @ 10:54 am

    We are renovating a 1927 house in Lenoir, NC and the front porch T&G flooring is stamped EE Jackson Lumber CO, Riderwood Ala. You asked what the vertical lines mean on the back of the wood…. I believe they are simply the teeth marks left by the metal gear that moved the lumber through the stamping machine to put the wording on the back of each piece… probably not a grading system or anything more exotic.

  • By James Collins, August 22, 2015 @ 2:32 pm

    My Great Grandfathers house in Elkin,NC is being renovated and some of the flooring was removed. On the back is stamped L E Jackson Lumber Company Riderwood Ala.. Is there any way to determine the date this flooring was produced?

  • By Steve Norman, January 24, 2016 @ 10:24 pm

    I appreciate this site. I live about 1/4 mile east of the old mill site on Hwy 55. My house was constructed of JL Co. wood. I have made some renovations and all the planks I’ve seen are marked Dixie Lockhart, AL. We also visit the “Long leaf yellow pine” park in Lockhart regularly. Thanks again for the posts and pics.

  • By Mike, April 21, 2016 @ 11:17 pm

    My wife and I renovate houses. We recently did a house in Piedmont, SC where the floors were almost totally termite distroyed. I was able to salvage several pieces. I was asked to build a wine bar for an old client and we decided to use as much reclaimed wood as possible. I was remilling the old flooring when I noticed the mill marks from Lockhart, ALA., Did a little research and came across this site. I was able to salvage some of the markings and incorporate them into the piece and the owner loved it.

  • By john henderson, April 23, 2016 @ 10:36 am

    Thanks for this site. My childhood home is located on Seminole avenue in Lockhart and I am trying to find out some historical facts about the builder. I was told it was built by a mill executive. It has beautiful floors and woodwork. I would like to know more. If anyone has any information please share. It is on “silk stocking lane”.

  • By Max Baker, April 23, 2016 @ 8:22 pm

    Thanks for writing. I got this answer for you from a source in Florala:

    All the houses in old Lockhart were built under contract by Crosett, Watzek and Gates, the owners of Jackson Lumber company. The houses on Seminole were built, I was told, by the company after each executive approved of whichever plans he liked—but they were all built under the supervision of the planners/architects back in Chicago that laid out the streets and planned the buildings of the mill, offices, etc. The L&N Railroad and the Central of Georgia railroad was given specific ‘plots’ for their buildings and I’m told even their track layouts had to be ‘approved’ back at headquarters. No doubt there wax some customization of the houses on Silk Stocking Lane—or Executive Row (I’ve heard it called both—) but there is probably no record anywhere of these things……….

    Remember ‘rent’ was charged based on salary and a raise in pay could mean a move to a more expensive house, too—the company required it………..and the company deducted that rent from the pay……….

  • By Sam Chapman, August 13, 2016 @ 3:52 pm

    I recently remodeled my 1926 home in Purcellville VA – The whole house is made of EE Jackson Lumber Co T&G – Every board is stamped. Cool history!

  • By S.L. Burney, September 6, 2016 @ 5:25 pm

    My aunt and uncle (Ewell and Ethel Fillingjim) lived just west of what I think was one of the Jackson Lumber Company offices. A large school was at the west end of their street. I was last there in the early ’50′s and snooped around in the office building.

  • By Kevin laubach, November 24, 2016 @ 11:55 pm

    I had bought a house in Berwick Pa that was built by my great grand parents in 1903 and all floors are built from this wood I believe i can identify because the entire underside of the roof I can see in the attic is tounge and groove and it is all stamped with with Lockhart ala and has the Dixie logo I was doing some research because I was told some of the roof was pulled out of the Susquehanna river which is very close and it was salvaged from the covered bridge that spanned to nescopeck pa that had been wiped out in an ice jam in 03 I have renovated house because of the history and family ties

  • By Erin Karsten, May 8, 2017 @ 11:00 am

    I’m renovating my grandparents and great-grandparents farmhouse in Montgomery, NY. My family has owned the property since 1914, but the house I much old likely 1850s. The EE Jackson Lumber flooring was installed overtop of the original wide plank floorboards and another hardwood floor was installed on top of that. I too took a picture of the underside of the floor board if you’d like me to share for you to post. Like so many others I’m fascinated by the fact that my family likely bought lumber from Alabama when surely there were no shortage of local lumber mills. I also was trying to determine the date for a better history of the architectural renovations in this 150+ year old home. Do the stamps correlate to any time periods? Mine just has the EE JL Co in the triangle between the name EE Jackson and the Ridgewood Ala, followed by a zip code? I would to hear any other insights?!?

  • By Lesley Gibson, July 9, 2017 @ 2:03 pm

    The wood you are all talking about also was used to build the school in Lockhart, Alabama. The school is called W S Harlan, my family is from Florala, Alabama and W S Harlan is where my mother and my kids went to school. It is a bit bigger now then when my mom was there. It goes from K to 6th grand now. The lumber mill is no longer working but the building are still there. It’s a nice piece of history and I’m glad to know that the wood that was cut and processed there is still in some old homes.

  • By Cody Odom, July 10, 2017 @ 7:32 am

    I received some of this tongue and groove hardwood flooring from a friend remodeling his house. I have made a coffee table and end table out of them. I have one board on each piece turned over so the stamp can be shown. Would be really neat for someone to own that has ties to the company. I’m selling the set for $400. Please see my Craigslist add for pictures and response information. When responding, please let me know you found out about this on here. Thanks.


  • By Cindy Carroll, September 26, 2017 @ 2:07 pm

    The floors in the house we are repurposing are marked with these markings – Escambia Farms Florida

  • By Josie Cox, October 11, 2017 @ 10:37 pm

    Does anyone know where I could get some 2 1/2in JLCo flooring? I am currently restoring a 1927 home and am having a hard time tracking down this size. Thank you!

Other Links to this Post

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a comment