Monroe County’s Piney Woods Driving Tour: Tour IV
Leave Courthouse Square on Hwy 21 South. Travel 4.1 miles to Hwy. 136 east. Turn left. Continue on 136 east 3.2 miles to Excel, home of Leroy Jordan, football great who played for the University of Alabama under Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant, and later for the Dallas Cowboys. While in Excel, enjoy a meal at Mark’s BBQ on the right past the 4-way stop, closed on Mondays. At the 4-way stop, turn right on to Co. Rd. 23.
Travel 3.7 miles to Frisco City, a drive that will take you through pine forests and cotton fields. In Frisco City, (formerly Jones Mill) turn left onto Hwy 21 South. Look for a park on the right with a c. 1913 Red Caboose, the Old Jones Mill Post Office Museum, the J. W. Jones two-story Victorian House and the first Jones Mill one-room jail.
The Jones House was originally a farmhouse built in 1889 for Rev. and Mrs. James W. Jones, and was then the single dwelling of Jones Mill, which later grew to become Frisco City. The lumber used to build the house, sawn and planed in Brewton, attracted the interest of all of the area. The community that sprang up was named for the sawmill, gristmill and cotton gin working at the site. The town of Frisco City gained its name in 1928 by memorializing the arrival of the Frisco Rail Company.
Prior arrangements should be made in order to tour these places. This may be arranged at Frisco City Town Hall 251-267- 3439, weekdays only.
When leaving the park, turn right onto Highway 21 South, and travel 11.2 miles to Uriah. Uriah was named for James Uriah Blacksher, of German and English ancestry, who helped tremendously in settling southwest Alabama and in the development of Monroe County. The original Blacksher House, c. 1891, is on your right. The Blacksher Company logged the piney woods around Uriah. At the intersection of Hwy 21 and 59, to the South sat the 2-story company missary store. It was dismanted in 2007. In Uriah, take 59 South.
Look for the King Plantation House on the left. This house originally sat upriver at Packer’s Bend and was built by a nephew of William Rufus King, Alabama statesman and U.S. Vice President. Construction on this beautiful mansion was begun in the late 1850s, but the outbreak of the Civil War prevented its completion on the grand scale that it was first conceived. Still, the house is said to have the broadest facade of any plantation house in Alabama. The home was purchased by the late Eugene Garrett, a former legislator, dismantled, numbered board by board, and moved to Uriah in August 1965, and rebuilt on its present site.
Travel 12.5 miles to Chrysler, and turn right on Co. Rd. 8.
Travel 1.9 miles and look for the Norris House, c. 1881, on the left. This 2-story Victorian is the second house on the site. The house was built as a summer home for and first occupied by Dr. Charles L. Scott of Mobile. The house was built from trees cut on the property, rafted to Mobile, milled into lumber and returned to Mt. Pleasant Landing on the Alabama River by steamboat. The lumber was then carried by ox-pulled sled to the house site. Lumber from the first house located here was also used in the construction. The house is now owned and occupied by Chester and Kathlene Barnett. Mr. Barnett’s grandfather, P. J. Norris, purchased the home from Dr. Scott’s wife in 1912. Travel 2 miles further to Eliska. Turn left onto a dirt road at Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church. Travel 5 miles to Eureka Landing on the Alabama River, where you will see private river camps of all types.
Return to the church and turn left onto Co. Rd. 8. Travel 7.7 miles to Rocky Hill Baptist Church (sign on the right.) Please note that Co. Rd. 8 and Co. Rd. 1 are the same for a short distance. You are now on Co. Rd. 1. At Rocky Hill Baptist Church, turn left onto a dirt road. Travel 2.5 miles to Bailey’s Creek Landing, also on the Alabama River. This drive takes you through both pine and hardwood forests and into a true river swamp. Wildflowers are numerous along this road. The Bailey’s Creek area is near the site of November 1813 fight between Sam Dale and the Creek Indians.Return to Co. Rd. 1 and turn left, and go about 2.25 miles to an intersection with a dirt road (Co. Rd. 10) on your right. Turn right on Co. Rd. 10, also known as Frisco City Road. (The road is a well maintained dirt road for the first 2 miles, then is paved the rest of the way to Frisco City.) Go 7 miles to Hwy. 21, turn left. Go 9 miles to Monroeville Courthouse Square. – OR – Travel 10.3 miles to Perdue Hill on County Road 1. (See Driving Tour of Claiborne – The
Lost Town) At Highway 84, turn left to go to Claiborne. To return to Monroeville: Turn right onto U. S. Hwy 84 and travel 5.9 miles to Hwy. 47.Turn left and return to Monroeville Courthouse Square.