I Remember Old Tuscaloosa, December 10, 1970

Dec 10, 1970.pdf


I Remember Old Tuscaloosa, December 10, 1970


History--Tuscaloosa (AL)
Maxwell, Fred (Frederick Richard Jr.), 1889-1988


Fred Maxwell wrote "I Remember Old Tuscaloosa" for a weekly newspaper in Tuscaloosa called The Graphic from December, 1970 through December 1971. The Graphic was founded, owned and published by Maxwell's daughter Camille Elebash and her husband Karl Elebash beginning in 1957. It was sold to The Tuscaloosa News in 1976 and ceased publication sometime later.

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Fred Maxwell


Camille Elebash


The Graphic


December 10, 1970


Betty Slowe (Description)
Brenda Harris (Description)
Tuscaloosa Public Library






Tuscaloosa (AL)


IF YOU walked around town and asked five or six elder citizens where the old “tan-yard” was located, chances are that more than one would ask, “what’s a tan-yard?”

The dictionary defines tanning as “to convert (a skin) into leather; originally and still generally by impregnation with an infusion of oak bark or other form of tannic acid.” The resulting leather is tan in color, hence the name. A tan-yard is a place where this process is carried out.

The most recent tan-yard in this city was probably located at the north end of Monroe St. (23rd Ave.) close to the Warrior River. It is shown on the projection map of Tuscaloosa dated 1887 as the small building next to the river. This is the one I remember.

An older and larger tan-yard is mentioned in Matt Clinton’s history of Tuscaloosa on page 46. This was owned by Petite Marlow, a wealthy free Negro. It was indicated on an old map as being between the Sander’s Ferry Road and the river and what would be 42nd St (just west of the present Tuscaloosa Country Club).

An interesting by-product of a tannery is the discarded oak bark after it has served in the leather making process. It is considered ideal for circus rings, athletic running tracks, and if enough is available, for horse racing tracks.

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