Borden Springs Revisited

3 08 2011

Old Post Office At Borden Springs Photo by Kenneth Hedgepeth from the "Lorren And Related Research Pages" Webiste

A little small town story for small town folks from around here or anywhere really….Here’s what you need to know before you read it if you ain’t from around “here”. Borden Springs is a beautiful, very small community in the mountains of northeast Alabama near the Georgia line, it’s famous for good moonshine and lots of it, it’s also known for its beautiful surroundings and the friendliest folks you’ll ever meet. Friendly if you’re friendly, if you ain’t, friendly that is, well fellow gardeners, you’re on your own…..:-)

"MERSER" store later bought by J.W. SADLER (SADDLER) This photo was also provided by Nina (Bischoff) Friend. Photo and caption from the Lorren and Related Families Research Pages. By the way, Nina Bischoff is now my (Paul From Alabama's) friend too. This store is located in an area of Borden Springs known as Palestine.

I got a friend on facebook who I know in “real” life too….:-)  Her name is Chris and in a conversation posting she said,”to this day I have not been to Borden Springs. I need to come up and roam the area.” If you ain’t been to Borden Springs, then you ain’t really lived life to the fullest yet. New York? A nice place to visit, might not want to live there though. Washington, D.C.? Who wouldn’t want to live in a town with all our hardworking Senators and Congressman bickering all time? Well come to think of it, I wouldn’t……:-) Paris? I don’t do escargot’, and I don’t do snails either it’s kinda like eating squid…….:-) But Borden Springs?…..Ah, now that’s a place you can sink your teeth into, wander around in, nice and quiet, friendly, available high speed internet, no traffic, the trains not only don’t run on time, they don’t run anymore at all, so no waiting at train crossings……:-) Chief Ladiga Trail, Pinhoti Trail, Terrapin Creek, springs and streams a plenty, “wildlife” and there’s animals too……..;-) Used to be a lot of “refreshments” available that had been aged almost a week or more, but no more, sorry. But at Slaughter’s Grocery and Emporium up the road piece just over the Georgia line in Esom Hill there’s a wide selection of legal beverages and if you have any money left you can buy a lottery ticket…..:-) I mean where else in the world can you find all those amenities…I’ll tell you where? Nowhere. And that’s why Borden Springs is the best place in the whole world to live and I hope not a single person believes me and doesn’t even consider moving there cause if everyone moved to Borden Springs well you might as well live in New York or Washington D.C. or Paris or God forbid, even Cedartown, Georgia……:-)

The Old Lorren Store/House The store was located across the road from the old Lorren house. To the right of the photo and not shown was a gas pump. The front of this building was the store section and located to the back part of the store was a living area. A bedroom was located in the back and to the left in this photo. The section that juts out to the right was the kitchen area. Photo and caption from the Lorren and Related Families Research Pages.

The old Borden Springs Hotel - An old postcard "photo"

Nina wrote: "Found this picture in my mother's old pictures and thought you might like to have a copy (yes indeed, I would...thank you, Nina). This is the waiting area for the Seaboard Train that went through Borden Springs. My mother was a post master there and back in the 1950s as children we would go down there and watch my mother hang the mail sack on a tall pole....the train man used a long hook to snatch the mail bag off the pole and the train never stopped...just kept on going. My sister and I played inside the building as kids but I don't ever remember during our childhood...of the train stopping to pick up passengers.......the buildings must have been used in the earlier years when visitors were coming and going to the Borden-Wheeler Hotel, and the train stopped in Borden Springs." (Photo and caption is from the "Lorren and Related Families Research Pages")

I just love Borden Springs, the area and the people and their history, as anyone who reads my little stories knows. I wish it was all just like it was years ago and all the people I knew back then were still riding the roads, working or playing in their gardens or yards, sitting on their porches or up in the mountains but they aren’t. And all I have and other folks like me have are the memories. But like someone from Piedmont once told me, “memories are a stored treasure” or something like that, but I knew what she meant and she was right too…..

Paul From Alabama




6 responses

3 08 2011
Pat Maddox

Love this Paul….I have been in the Lorren “Store” which was later to become home to Christine Lorren, Leon’s sister. My aunt used to keep Leon and Arlene’s children while they worked.
They were all fine folks!!!
Keep up writing Paul. Love the old pictures….

3 08 2011

Pat, glad you’re enjoying the stories and the pictures. If I knew what I knew now I’d have collected lots of pictures of my own years ago just to keep and maybe one day write about them so folks don’t forget them or for folks who were never lucky enough to know them, well they can get a sense of what kind of folks they were. I ain’t never met nobody yet that was perfect, but I sure have met some memorable people from up there who for sure enriched me life. Made me smile, taught me all kinds of things I never knew about, not just what some folks think of when they think of Borden but all kinds of things……Borden Springs was much more than moonshine making, though that part of it caught my imagination and if I said other wise, I’d be lying but there are many things, good things them folks up there had to teach folks. Folks that cared or would take the time to listen to…….

3 08 2011
Nell Jean

Reading this story and the next triggered a number of memories and stories, too many to share here. When the Epiphyllum bloomed last night and I was able to preserve blooms for just a few short hours longer than its usual dark of the night lifespan I was reminded how short and fragile life can be but how sweet it is while it lasts and how we want to share it with others.

3 08 2011

Thanks Paul from Alabama, I sincerely luv your stories, sometimes they touch a nerve and I can recall some wonderful memories of my own..thanks for are gifted in so many ways, writing these stories for all of us is a great gift to all of us…thanks….

3 08 2011

Philip, thank you for reading them and taking the time to share your thoughts too. And as far as gifts go, I’ve received many gifts from folks in Borden Springs over the years, gifts that aren’t necessarily wrapped in bows or have cards but are cherished none the less. if my stories are looked upon as gift for you or other folks, well I’m just finally giving back what I already received years ago……Again I hope you’ll return and please check my archives on the old site for some other stories of Borden and the folks up there…..

3 08 2011

Nell Jean, You got it……short and fragile is right, but wonderful none the less and the more so when you share it with others, others we care for and that care for us…..I tell you the human heart and mind is wonderful thing that carries you along on your life’s journey well along with your legs and feet that kinda wear down and slow down after a while but seems your heart and your mind, well they’re forever young in some crazy way, and a wonderful way too…..Not always like that I know, but when it is, its all the best of what Borden Springs was and is and will be I hope for other folks, some of who haven’t even found either Borden Springs yet or more the case “their” Borden Springs……You gotta watch me Nell Jean, you know how I am when I get to rambling….one other thing, your Epiphyllum sounds beautiful and bet it is…..I got moon flower getting to start its blooming cycle soon, I can’t wait……it gives a new meaning to six or seven in the evening…..

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