Back to Life

Published 8:25 am Wednesday, February 28, 2007

By Staff
Story by Lydia Grimes
Sowell Street once echoed with the voices of children playing, but the homeowners who once lived there have moved on.
But a new development plan would bring small cottages back to the street.
Joe Gordy has a vision of putting some raised cottages along the street that would be reminiscent of days gone by. They would have porches and wide eaves such as were prevalent in the early days of the 20th century homes in the South.
Bulldozers have been hard at work on Sowell Street, getting ready for some new home sites.
About a dozen lots are available, Gordy said, and houses will be built for sale or rent.
The project could bring new life back to the street, which leads to O'Bannon Park.
Longtime Brewton resident Gail Burch remembers when the street was bustling with families.
Burch inherited the 405 Sowell Street house when her brother, Columbus, died in 1994.
The neighborhood and park were a gathering place for families, Burch said.
The former residents have stayed close even after all these years. They still have a Sowell Street Reunion every year to see each other and keep in touch.
Burch remembers the street being home to many athletes from T.R. Miller High School. She remembers Charles Ray, Mac McClelland, Eugene and Charles Prestwood, Larry Smith, Charles Rowell, Buddy and Columbus Evans, James Rodrick Lynn, Ray Langham, Travis Harrell and Don Ray Rowell.
And the park itself was known for hosting a wide variety of activities, from swimming to baseball to softball.
As housing is developed on Sowell Street, Gordy said recreation at O'Bannon Park will be an important part of the project.
The City of Brewton, the Tree and Beautification Board and the YMCA in Brewton are exploring plans to link Burnt Corn Creek Park, O'Bannon Park and the YMCA with walking paths.
Hopes are to eventually have some type of water sports along Burnt Corn Creek, which could be accessed through the parks and the YMCA, Gordy said.

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