Archive for October, 2019

Kathryn Tucker Windham Jeffrey story read aloud by daughter for Halloween

Thursday, October 31st, 2019 by Brian Seidman

For Halloween 2019, Dilcy Windham Hilley–daughter of legendary Southern folklorist Kathryn Tucker Windham–helped us arrange this treat for our readers: an abridged audio recording of “A Promise Kept,” one of Windham’s selections for Jeffrey’s Favorite 13 Ghost Stories. For Southerners, and many outside the South, Kathryn Tucker Windham’s beloved Jeffrey’s stories are practically synonymous with Halloween. These are the perfect blend of reality and imagination with a dash of spooky atmosphere, just true enough to scare more than your average tall tale. Enjoy this special audio recording and order your copy of the book for your pleasure next year at

Publication of Magic in Stone, new book on Sylacauga’s marble legacy, is celebrated with festive B. B. Comer Library event

Tuesday, October 15th, 2019 by Matthew Byrne

In celebration of the publication of Ruth Beaumont Cook’s new history of Sylacauga marble, Magic in Stone: The Sylacauga Marble Story, the B. B. Comer Memorial Library pulled out all the stops for a very special launch event that brought in some impressive company, 72300190_10157779298572009_1581670927077212160_o71805579_10157779312067009_2185124230281035776_n71768412_10157779312307009_2505295363385065472_oincluding library patrons and friends, the mayor of the city of Sylacauga, Jim Heigl, and special guests Craigger Browne, Marcello Giorgi, and Frank Murphy. The event was organized by Ted Spears of the Sylacauga Marble Festival and Shirley Spears and Tracey Thomas of the library. The hundred-plus attendees enjoyed a wonderful reception, followed by a presentation by Cook based on her book, which represents years of research on the internationally famous Sylacauga marble quarry, the first history on the subject ever. Truly this was an event worthy of the story Ruth Beaumont Cook has to tell!

Praise for Magic in Stone has come from many quarters already. See what historians Dr. Leah Atkins and Aileen Kilgore Henderson have to say about the book:

Magic in Stone is a story on a grand scale befitting its subject: marble, which formed with the first seashells that compacted underneath the continental shelf and resulted millions of years later in magnificent works of beauty by giants of talent and fame. The gifted Moretti, the loyal women in his life, and the emergence of an Alabama marble industry and quarry town. This history and much more is told by Ruth Cook in a memorable and richly detailed book. — Aileen Kilgore Henderson, author of Eugene Allen Smith’s Alabama: How a Geologist Shaped a State

From Ruth Cook comes an enjoyable and important work of history about Sylacauga marble — the artists who worked with it, the village that grew up around it, the industry that developed out of it. This excellent book tells the story comprehensively for the first time. It is rich in detail and full of surprising, delightful tidbits about a resource few of us in the state know much about. What a treasure for us as Alabama historians, as Alabama citizens! — Leah Rawls Atkins, Director Emerita, Caroline Marshall Draughon Center for the Arts & Humanities, Auburn University