Red Bay in Franklin County, Alabama — The American South (East South Central)
Red Bay Ice and Gin Company
In later years, C.W. Bolton built an ice plant and a cotton gin in downtown Red Bay near where the Arts and Entertainment Center is located today. The two businesses were side by side with the ice plant being nearest the main road. To make the ice, Mr. Bolton needed clear good tasting water. A site was selected on his property and a well was dug. Local people boasted that it was fine, flowing well similar to an artesian well.
In 1945, E.J. Gober (Mr. E.) purchased the ice plant, the cotton gin, and
In the new ice plant, water was frozen in large metal tanks or vats. The vats containing their frozen treasure of ice were lifted by overhanging hooks that rolled the length of the building. The blocks of ice were stored in well-insulated rooms. Often a delicious watermelon would be cooling there, too. Later the ice was moved to a platform and sawed to a size that could be handled. A fine mist of shaved ice could be felt during the sawing. Town people purchased directly from the ice plant. Several trucks ran regular weekly routes in the community surrounding Red Bay. Eventually, the advent of electricity in the area made refrigerators a popular item in the kitchen.
Activity whirled around the new cotton gin from the first bale in 1948 until it closed in the early 1970s. The Gober Brothers, Eric (Mr. E.), Jim and Jack were master ginners. Farmers traveled long distances passing other gins to gin their cotton with Mr. E. The Gober Brothers' dad, Mr. Felton Gober, the first mayor of Red Bay, had taught his sons well. They grew up working with him at his water-driven gin located on the Mississippi side of Red Bay.
Location. 34° 26.449′ N, 88° 8.589′ W. Marker is in Red Bay, Alabama, in Franklin County. Marker is at the intersection of 2nd Street Southeast and 4th Avenue South (Alabama Route 24), on the left when traveling north on 2nd Street Southeast. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Red Bay AL 35582, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Bay Theater (here, next to this marker); Yarber Grist Mill (here, next to this marker); The Calaboose (here, next to this marker); Pride in Our Past, Faith in Our Future (within shouting distance of this marker); Red Bay School (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Red Bay Depot & Hotel (about 600 feet away); Mac McAnally (approx. 6.2 miles away in Mississippi); History of Vina (approx. 6.5 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Red Bay.
Categories. • Industry & Commerce •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Sandra Hughes of Killen, Usa. This page has been viewed 352 times since then and 5 times this year. Last updated on , by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Sandra Hughes of Killen, Usa. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.