February 2016 Whereville
We were pleased to have so many personal responses to our February 2016 Whereville photo contest. Below are some of the comments, lightly edited for space and clarity, that we received from our readers.
“Yes, I recognize this landmark. It is called Col. Howard’s Church at Desoto State Park at Mentone, Ala. I recall attending this church at my age at the time as 3 or 4 years, with my mom and dad and my four siblings. I understand that my dad was a caretaker of Desoto State Park at the time, employed by the WPA in those years, probably 1935-1938. My dad’s name, John Elmer Drain, my mom’s name, Mabel Newson Drain. All are deceased except me. My age at this date is 81, born Aug. 19, 1934.”
James F. Drain, Marshall-DeKalb EC
“It has picnic tables in the back and outhouses. Been here probably 15 times. So beautiful. They have services on Sundays. I’ve taken many people to see this. They are always amazed and enjoy the visit.”
Wanda Marion, Cullman EC
“We repeated our 25th anniversary vows there. It is a special place to us and a great place to see.”
Jackie and Sandra Hodges, Arab EC
“As a child, we would visit Desoto State Park each year on an extended family picnic. We always visited the quaint, unique church of Howard’s Chapel. … The pulpit is located directly in front of this massive rock, and church pews face this rock. I also remember that there was a hand pump faucet outside. We would always refresh ourselves with a cool drink from the well.”
“It is very unique and a little scary up on that stage, standing so close up under that big rock. I know, I was up there one night as lead singer, as my family were the special guest singers for the night service when I was very young. And it was in the little rock church. Many years later my oldest son also asked his wife of (now) almost 25 years to marry him. He felt if he asked her in God’s house she would come near saying yes … and it would be more blessed by God and more special. He planned it all to surprise her and did. And of course she said yes.”
Doris Ragan, Cherokee EC
“This is the first church my son, Jeffrey Fuller, pastored in the 1980s.”
Loretta Wilson, Boaz, Ala.
“I am a Girl Scout leader and our troop camped at Desoto State Park last July. We visited this church. They just just held Sunday service. The ladies told us to just go in and look around, that it was unlocked. So we did. Very unique church.”
Anji Hall, Cherokee EC
“Our daughter got married there.”
Barbara Self, Cherokee EC
“My husband and I were married there 13 years ago.”
Susan Rogers, North Alabama EC
“I was born and raised in Mentone and married in this chapel. It has always been an inspirational place for me. Thank you for including it.”
Allison Kirby, Mentone, Ala.
“My husband and I were married in the chapel in 1979 and we maintain a home nearby where our family loves to gather.”
Paula and Jim Leftwich, Sand Mountain EC
“My wife and I were married there on Dec. 3, 1988.”
Darrell Ray Maddox, Cullman EC
“My parents attended Howard’s Chapel for years and my husband, David, now leads the singing. My dad, Jim Lyday, is buried in the cemetery behind the church, so we have quite a history with the little church and the wonderful folks who attend and visit.”
Mellanie Lyday Tuttle, Sand Mountain EC
“I know that church all so well! Me and my husband were married there 15 years ago! A beautiful place with a beautiful history behind it.”
Robin and James Sampley, Stevenson, Ala.