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Started by kdtrull, October 15, 2017, 09:19:43 PM

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Many of my posts have read "Welcome from Greenhill".  Well, Greenhill is not actually a town, we don't actually live in the community of Greenhill, and it's actually Green Hill.  We actually live out in the county in an area between the Green Hill community, the town of Killen, and the Center Star community.  We do, in fact, have a Killen address and it is the closest town to us.

The area known as Killen in Lauderdale County, was settled in the early 1800s. In 1826, Joseph Mason was appointed the first postmaster of the new community called Masonville, later to become Killen. The post office existed until 1866. In the 1830s the construction of the Alabama Canal brought growth to the area. The canal was built to solve the navigation problems created by the shoals in the Tennessee River. Construction on the new canal began in 1875 and the 14 1/2 - mile canal, with nine locks with a lift of 85 feet, opened November 10, 1890. The canal was renamed the Muscle Shoals Canal. Lock six served as the headquarters and was located just 1/2- mile south of Killen. The canal system had a major economic impact on the development of Killen. Many of the citizens were employed on the canal and others supplied raw materials and food for the operation.

In 1885, 200 men were employed by the Corps of Engineers. Many of these men built homes near their work. In 1895, Mr. James Sharp Killen built a general store and applied for a post office. He sent in three possible names with the application and Killen was chosen. The post office opened on August 22, 1896 and the Town of Killen was founded. Killen was incorporated and established a police department in 1957. A fire department was started in 1962 and a town park was added in 1976. The town library was established in 1985. Killen has grown because of the good citizens of this community and the moral fortitude established by our local churches. The Killen Lions Club was chartered in 1957 and is a major community asset. Other sources of pride for the Killen area are Brooks Elementary, dating to 1908, and Brooks High School which opened in 1968.

Killen most likely ows its continued existance to the canal system mentioned above.  If you were just driving through along Hwy 72, you might never suspect that you were just a few thousand feet from the Tennessee River.

If you were familiar with the area and a fisherman, you'd likely know of the Lock 6 boat ramp in Killen....which is kinda' what we're looking at in the images above....the pictures were taken from the parking lot for the Lock 6 boat ramp.

Lock 6 has a significance all its own.

I think this link may take you to a larger image if you'd like to read the story behind Lock 6 and the Alabama Canal system.

It's kinda' trippy to think that they reclaimed all the lumber from all the structures that were eventually flooded but left a locomotive engine down there.

These little wooden markers are scattered about several structures around town.  I wonder if they indicate places where the reclaimed lumber was reused or if they merely indicate the dates of the old houses and buildings.

Just north of Lock 6 is the Killen Park with playground, trails, ball fields of various types, pavillions, and a stage.  Our annual Killen Founder's Day fesival is hosted here.

There's also a stage area where bands and other performers do their thing during the festival.

One of the many curches in town:

When we first moved here, this was the main restaurants in town.  It's been shuttered for years now.  They had a lot of historical photos on the walls back then.  One that really sticks with me is an old flood picture that showed a tall bridge (15 feet or more) on County Road 8 over Shoal Creek (the same Shoal Creek you cross going through Iron City) with an entire house washed up against the guard rails on top.

The old Town Hall:

The new Town Hall and library:

This could be a cool little piece of history if they'd just clean it up a bit:

Another old house with the nifty marker (1904):

I've never been inside before but the kids tell me this is one of the best haunted houses in the area....people come from all around when it's operating...which it currently is.

And, right next door is the recently constructed mini-golf course.

We even have a traffic light...although, I didn't get a picture of that.

Until someone converted it to a hardware store and gave it a makeover, this was one of the most recognizable landmarks for Killen.  For years, this was the Outpost 72 Restaurant....a (not bad) BBQ joint with a cool old log cabin/lodge vibe.  Now, not so impressive.  Killen has no sewer system.  This condition has rendered many restaurants inop over the years.


Had no idea Alabama had a canal?
Cool old gas station  :respect-048:

Brian A

Interesting stuff.

Thanks for sharing all that.


Great write-up and pictures as usual!!
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Thanks fellas'.  Glad you enjoyed the post.  "This is My Town" board has always been interesting to me.  It'd be cool to see some revived action here.

It was nice to post something upbeat after being somewhat of a sourpuss lately.....Sorry for that, BTW.  Keep hope alive!  :DANCING-banana-032:


Really enjoyed your feature, KD...Thanks! :respect-048:
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