Model T, Model As this Week’s Topic
ASHS Column for 3/16/06
Jerry Simmons

     I’ve been told that sometimes I give the impression that
I know all there is to know about the local history. Well,
let me squash that image right now, because I do not. More
often than not, someone might call me and ask a question
about something that I have no answer.
     Today, I answered the phone and a gentleman asked
me about the history of a home that purportedly was built
in Century in 1897. I didn’t know about it, but I knew a
person that might know, to whom I referred the caller.
A couple of weeks ago, I failed to know about the naming
of Jefferson Avenue and the midwife Susie Jefferson.
Before that was another thing I didn’t know, and there
was something else before that.
     So even with all my seemingly great source of knowledge,
dear friends, there are indeed things I don’t know. I would
love to find out, though. That’s the beauty of doing this
historical stuff: one is constantly learning! If you have something
to tell Mrs. Collier or me, let us hear it – we can’t guarantee it
will get into print right away, but then again, it might!
     The following is one of the discoveries I made recently while
browsing through the Escambia County Historical Society’s
newspaper collection at the museum at Jeff Davis. Over 50
years ago, a 1956 issue of the Flomaton Journal concerns one
of my favorite people, a faithful member of the Alger-Sullivan Historical Society:

      One Infantry Division officer has made the first 100 miles of his operation Gyroscope to Germany the hard way.
      Lt. Col. Tyron E. Tisdale, assistant chief of staff for personnel, has driven his 1926 Model T Ford home to Bluff Springs, Fla., from Ft. Carson, Colo.
     With baling wire in his hand and his father as co-pilot, the officer made the trip in about 45 and one-half hours traveling time.
     The Colonel’s father, O.O. Tisdale, went to Ft. Carson to help with the trip. He taught the young Army officer to drive that same [car].
     Old cars are more than a hobby with this Colonel, who scorns those who drive their antique cars only on special occasions. He’s been driving his to work for the past two years.
     Young Mr. Tisdale bought the car in 1953 for $100 and later acquired the remains of another for spare parts purposes.
     Mrs. Tisdale isn’t as good at on-the-spot repairs, Mr. Tisdale says, so they are leaving the old car home with his father and taking the newer car to Germany.
     This Ft. Carson-to-Florida trek isn’t the first long trip the Colonel has made in the old car. He drove it to Bluff Springs from Ft. Benning, Ga. in July 1954, a trip that took him five days
     Hardy Ford Model Ts are still around today in the hands of various collectors, although its successor, the Model A, is the car you will see (and possibly ride in) at the ASHS’ annual birthday celebration. This year it’s Saturday, April 8.
     There’ll be the Model As, hamburgers, hot dogs, cold drinks and lots of local and visiting entertainment:
The Beasleys from Wallace
    Curly Brooks and Friends, from Bluff Springs
    Curtis Johnson from Pollard
    Twin Creek Cloggers (Don Carter and his dancers from Brewton and South Alabama)
    Heather Leonard with "Dance-works," a tap dance and ballet group comprised of youngsters from this area
    Angie Shelby and "Twirl Time," a baton group, also made up of youngsters from this area
    Roy and Marina Chancery with their North Alabama Bluegrass Pickers
    Jennifer Fox from the Dance Academy of Jay
    Free tours of the three museums of the ASHS
    Book sales, new and used
    A White Elephant sale
     So bring your lawn chairs and join us for a lovely spring day in the Historic District in Century! If you’d like to have a booth at this party, contact us right away. There’s no charge for booth space and no admission fee!
     Call 850-256-2029, 850-256-2661, or 850-256-3980 for more information.
     Members, be sure to make the next meeting, March 18 th . Don’t be like some folks we know who forgot the meetings start at 6 pm now.

     Y’all come!

This page last modified on Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Rozzie Mayo Tompkins on the back of an old car. Is it a "rumble seat?" Can anyone tell from this picture the year and make of the car? (Photo from the Eva Vaughn Collection)