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Photo Feature From the Collection of Homer Barnwell

Vintage Jacksonville

Town Plat, c. 1894, Shows Normal School's Early Headquarters

TOP: A plat from the collection of Mr. Homer Barnwell of Jacksonville shows a portion of downtown Jacksonville as it appeared in 1894 (we were unable to authenticate the date, but local historians say the stated date is most probable). Note that the courthouse was located on the site of the present-day police department next door to St. Luke's Episcopal Church and that the Iron Queen Hotel was on the lot behind the courthouse where Brother's Bar exists, facing what today is Pelham Rd. (Highway 21 South). The Baptist Church (later the First Baptist Church of Jacksonville) can be seen in the lower right corner, where it gained a thriving membership before moving to its present location on Church St. North. BOTTOM: A copy of a c1900s image of the Iron Queen, also from Mr. Barnwell's collection. The hotel experienced financial difficulty and was transferred to the Normal School for use as a dormitory. Classes were held in the adjacent courthouse, which headquartered the school's classrooms and office for a brief time. For more vintage local scenes, go to Al Harris' photo blogger, which has a more extensive collection of historic photos from Calhoun County (the Newswire publishes primarily photos of interest to the JSU community while the blog has a broader goal). You can subscribe to the service to be notified as newly acquired historic photos become available. If you have old photos to share or would like to ask questions about this project, e-mail Al Harris at


All photos copyrighted by the photographer. Please contact Al Harris for permission for commercial use.

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