Forgotten Trails – by Lydia Grimes

Published 6:48 pm Wednesday, December 3, 2008

By Staff
Downing-Shofner thought of as reform school
I thought I would wind down with the Downing-Shofner material. Every time I think I have written it all, something else pops up.
I received a letter this week from Mrs. Onie Mae Dawson and in it she told an interesting little story that I thought I would share with you. As you know by now, I am a great believer in the small things you find out about places and people are the most interesting.
Mrs. Dawson tells the story of one of Mr. Jesse's daughters. You will notice that Mr. Jesse has no last name and Mrs. Dawson thought it would be better that way, as there may be relatives still living in the area.
Mrs. Dawson was born in 1914. She came to Brewton in 1941 and taught in the Brewton School System for 36 years. She has many stories that she can recall and is very interesting to listen to.
I will have more in the future of the Downing Industrial School.
Now let me turn to a different subject. A couple of weeks ago, a couple came in to see me and they brought with them a couple of photographs of a house. They assumed, because of the tower on the house, that the Finlay-Fountain house on Evergreen was the one in the photo. I thought it didn't look just right and after they left, I took another look through the photos that I have. Sure enough, I was able to find the house they were searching for. It was not on Evergreen, but instead was located on the corner of Henderson Street, St. Joseph Avenue and Evergreen Avenue, just across from the City Park.
Emmett Brooks mentioned this house in his 1956 series of stories he wrote for The Brewton Standard. “The residence at the corner where Henderson, St. Joseph and Evergreen meet which is now owned by Miss Lillian Terry was built by the late Dr. F.H. Mason in 1906. Dr. Mason was for a long time a prominent Brewton physician and at the time of his death resided in the Colonial home on Evergreen which was originally constructed by W.H. Strong and which has been previously mentioned in this series of articles.”
Joe Foshee and his wife were my visitors a couple of weeks ago and it may have belonged to the Foshee family at some time or another. This could be checked with a little time at the courthouse. The Foshee family is one that had a long history in Escamba County. I don't have a lot of information about them, but will tell what I do have in the next couple of issues.
If you have any photos or stories to show and tell, get in touch with me, I can be reached at P.O. Box 887, email at You can also call me at 251-867-4876.

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