This page last modified on Thursday, November 24, 2005

Travel from Andalusia to Pensacola

ASHS Column for 11/24 2005
      Jerry Simmons

Years ago, a friend showed me an old book he'd retrieved from his father's house. It was from the early 1920s, and reminded me of a "TripTick" from AAA. By that I mean there were detailed driving instructions from town to town across the Southeastern United States. Keep in mind that in the 20s, there were no Interstate highways and locally not even any paved highways such as US 31 or US 29.

I was able to copy several pages of the book, and recently I came across a couple of sheets of those copies. One page I retrieved was titled "Directions from Andalusia, Alabama, to Pensacola, Florida." Unfortunately, that one page only includes the directions from Andalusia to Cantonment. As you read it below, I think you'll get the idea. The numbers to the left of the directions are the cumulative distance and the distance from the last mark. Remarks in italics are my suggestions.


Andalusia, Ala., to Pensacola, Fla.-105.5 m.

(For Accommodations see Index of Towns, Back of Book. Via Dixie, Brewton, Pollard and Flomaton. Sand-clay to Pollard, encountering several deep, sandy places. There are numerous long clay hills, which are good in dry weather, but very slippery when wet. Caution should be used for many wooden culverts in bad condition. First 40 miles out of Pollard alternating stretches of sand-clay and gravel; last 10 miles sand-clay, stone and gravel.)

(This is the second link of what is, on the whole, the best way from Montgomery to Pensacola. Combined with Route 319 it forma a connection from Montgomery.)

0.0 0.0 ANDALUSIA, at public square. Go south. Cross RR 0.2.

1.5 1.6 Fork; bear left. Pass grist mill on right 4.3. Cross RR 10.0. Avoid left-hand diagonal road 10.9. Ford Hart's Mill Creek 12.8.

13.4 11.9 5-corners; turn slightly left (not sharp left).

13.6 0.2 Fork; keep right. Cross RRs 15.9-16.4

17.1 3.5 4-corners; turn left.

17.4 0.3 ROAM, 3-corners, house on left; turn right Pass small wooden school on right 17.8.

20.5 3.1 DIXIE, Straight thru. The stretch near mileage 24.9 is likely to be under water in wet weather. Cross long iron bridge 25.5.

25.7 5.2 End of road beyond gate; turn left. Thru fords 27.5.

35.4 9.7 Fork; bear left- sign "Harold's Mill Road."

35.8 0.4 Fork; bear right across numerous small wooden bridges. Cross RR 39.9. Cross long iron bridge 45.1 over Murder Creek.

45.2 9.4 BREWTON, Keep ahead across RR.

45.3 0.1 3-corners, stores on right; turn left across RR. Cross long concrete bridge over Burnt Corn Creek 45.6, avoiding right-hand diagonal road beyond.

46.5 1.2 4-corners; turn right.

46.6 0.1 Left-hand diagonal road; turn left.

54.5 7.9 Left-hand diagonal road; bear left.

54.8 0.3 4-corners just before RR; turn right.

54.9 0.1 POLLARD, 4-corners, sta. on left. Straight thru along RR, curving right away from same 55.4. Go over RR bridge 58.9 (I think this is the Rr from Flomaton to Selma). Cross long wooden bridge 60.8 (Is this the bridge across the Big Escambia?)

61.6 6.7 FLOMATON, 4-corners beyond P. 0. Turn right with travel along RR on right (I think this means the RR is on left and the travel is to the right of RR).

61.7 0.1 End of road; turn left across RR, following poles. Cross RR 63.2. Right at 61.8 Is Route 321 to Mobile. Thru diagonal 4-corners 63.6. Caution for many bad culverts and clay hills. Avoid right-hand road at school and church 67.2 (I think this may mean the Bluff Springs Grammar School and Pleasant Hill Church), and follow poles. Go downgrade across long wood bridge 71.6 (Is this a bridge just before McDavid?)

72.1 10.4 McDAVID, public telephone on right, church on left. Straight thru with poles. Cross RR 78.0 and long wooden bridge 78.6. (Is this bridge at Pine Barren Creek?) Cross RR 82.2. Thru small negro settlement 83.9 (Possibly Barth?), and follow poles direct.

89.0 16.9 COTTAGE HILL, sta. on left. Straight thru along RR. Pass sta. on left 90.5. Cross RR 90.6.

90.7 1.7 CANTONMENT, P. 0. on left. Straight thru across RR. Follow poles across RRs 91.8-94.0.


This concludes that page. The rest of the way from Cantonment to Pensacola is missing. I hope you can make some sense from the directions. The route taken from Andalusia may well be very well close to the present day route via U.S. 29. One of the interesting parts of this is the remark at the beginning that this is part of the "best way from Montgomery to Pensacola." The book was likely used mostly by stereotypical males who wouldn't stop for directions, as many women insist males are prone to do.


Two weeks ago, Bob Callaway and Donald Sales made the trek to Tallahassee to attend a grant application review panel meeting. There were some 102 applications for historic preservation under review, all competing for about 12 million dollars in possible grant money for the year 2006. Bob and Don work well together and we feel they did a great job in promoting the project's importance to our area. However, we were notified last Thursday that the application was not approved for funding.

Bob Callaway was voted to be the new chairperson of the committee to bring back Old 100 at our last meeting. I wish him great success because I think the new attitudes shown by Bob and Don will persuade the Society to allow them to press on.


Michael Cullen and Christy Hurt, graduate students from the University of West Florida, were guest speakers at our regular meeting last week. They showed us a slide presentation of their work in sorting and storing many ASLC documents retrieved from the old office building earlier this year. The society retained personnel records and intends to record and store them for genealogical research in the future. Mike and Christy pointed out many of the requirements for permanent archiving and it's going to be costly to do it right. Any donations you might make toward this effort are encouraged - there is an immediate need for over $400.00 just for acid-free folders and more.

We appreciate the work UWF students have done over the years, yet there is much to be done. We continue to preserve what was such an important time in our local history. If there are high school or college students out there who have an interest in working with us to accomplish this task, let us know. We can promise there'll be long and tedious hours of work of sorting records and alphabetizing folders, and keying in data on the computer.


Please don't forget to look at the Christmas gifts we have available. The outstanding one, we think, is the beautiful collectible ornament, a 3-D representation of Old 100. At only $15.00, we think your gift selection isn't complete until you check out this deluxe gift suggestion. Of course, the Sawmill Scrapbooks and Pictorial History books make wonderful gift ideas for the local history buffs on your list! Make the Alger-Sullivan Historical Society the first stop on your Christmas shopping schedule!


Y'all come!