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Crossroads Store: 1936

August 1936. "Crossroads store and post office. Sprott, Alabama." Last glimpsed here. 8x10 inch acetate negative by Walker Evans for the U.S. Resettlement Administration. View full size.

August 1936. "Crossroads store and post office. Sprott, Alabama." Last glimpsed here. 8x10 inch acetate negative by Walker Evans for the U.S. Resettlement Administration. View full size.


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L.B. Sprott General Merchandise

Almost all 34 pages in ED53 11 are residents along the Sprott to somewhere road. It covers a pretty big area -- just the road from Sprott to Heiberger today is nine miles. Today the store is referenced as L.B. Sprott General Merchandise.

I found L.B. Sprott in the 1940 Census. White male, 53, farmer, with his wife, daughter and son-in-law and granddaughter, and sister-in-law. There is also a boarder, A.L. Pope, white male, 52, whose occupation is store manager of a plantation general store. Nearby is J.T. Fancher, white male, 56, who is the blacksmith at a plantation blacksmith shop. I did not find a postmaster, but Dee Hughley, white male, 53, listed his profession as both farmer and rural mail route carrier.

I counted 201 farmers and 84 farm laborers (almost always grown children). No one was listed as sharecropper, but I'm pretty certain L.B. Sprott did not farm his own land (see below) and his store was a plantation store. I also counted 18 men who were road hands, 12 men working for the WPA (mostly road work), 8 working at a CCC camp, 5 working at a sawmill, 5 county road truck drivers, 2 county road tractor drivers, and 1 country road grader operator. There were also four public school teachers and two men with the surname Miller, white, 35 and 25, who turned and molded pots at a pottery shop.

I didn't pay attention to renters and owners while pulling together the above information. But, looking at the three linked pages, almost everyone is renting their home for $2 a month. Only six are owners. At the top of that list is L.B. Sprott, who valued his home at $4,000. Next is Dee Hughley at $2,000. The remaining home values are $1,500, $800, $500, and $175.

Rust in Peace

The end of the road for an abandoned flivver.

The 1940 Census of Sprott, Alabama

Since this and the previously posted photo of Sprott are from 1936, I looked at the 1940 US Census to see if someone in the first photo might be identified. Unfortunately, Sprott was never incorporated; but Perry County had only 20 Enumeration Districts (ED) in 1940, so I quickly looked around. The most promising is ED 53-11. On page 3 the address is referenced as Road between Sprott and Heiberger. Later addresses are the road between Sprott and somewhere else. Someone along those roads might be listed as the Sprott Postmaster or general store proprietor, but I'm not taking the time to look now. I'm busy writing a limerick for Dave's contest.

There was a young lady from Sprott,
who wanted more than she got.
So she and Fonzie
Created a ponzi,
Now they're rich until they get caught.

Still There --

in need of some paint

My father was gainfully employed all through the Depression.
And what he did for a living was selling paint for a paint manufacturer.
When I look at pictures from this time period and the state of so many of the buildings in need of some TLC, I often wonder how my dad did it.
He must of have been awfully good at what he did.

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