Not far off a mountain road near here is a place that goes back in history thousands of years, back when men chronicled their goings and comings by painting on rock walls. That it was used and perhaps inhabited by indigenous Indian tribes is clearly recorded in a rock shelter.
According to Wikipedia, the Kinlock Shelter, occasionally referred to as the Kinlock Antiquities, is the home of a Native American Winter Solstice sunrise ritual. The shelter was first used by the Yuchi Tribe who used the site and the patterns drawn in the rock as part of a trance-inducing process, and for ceremonial acknowledgement of solar cycles. The site has also been used by other tribes, including the Cherokee.
Once upon a time there was a grand house nearby built in the early 1800’s for David Hubbard by slave labor, as was the covered bridge and the mill down on Hubbard Creek a ways, all of which stood for decades. In 1933, the house was used as headquarters for the Civilian Conservation Corps while that group cleared the creek and made the place more accessible to tourists for hiking and swimming. It was from Hubbard that the area got the name “Kinlock”, which is believed to be of Scottish origin.
After it became a part of the William B. Bankhead National Forest it was used by tourists as well as locals for picnicking and swimming in Alabama’s sweltering summer heat.
In the middle of the creek a sloping rock formation, worn smooth over millennia, lends itself to sliding for those brave enough to try, and many a teenager has taken that challenge over the years. The falls themselves have approximately a 40 foot drop.
The beautiful, untamed area is still much as it was during Hubbard’s time, or it would be, except for the trash, that is. Most reviews mention that the trash detracts from the otherwise picturesque beauty of the place.
Several years ago, noted Lawrence County artist Carol Carraway Terry painted a beautiful landscape of the falls in its pristine condition. She has recently donated the 24 x 30 painting done on a wooden panel to The Jackson House Foundation which is holding a raffle to raise money to purchase a heating/cooling unit for the historic house. When the unit is installed the house, which is over one hundred years old, only a few minor issues will remain to be taken care of, then the house will be available to rent for family oriented occasions, public meetings and holiday celebrations.
Terry wanted to help with the Jackson House fundraiser. “I am a portrait painter and a portrait or a painting of a person would not be as appealing to a large number of people,” she explained. “I felt that Kinlock is a place that holds cherished memories for the residents of our county. Perhaps a painting of the falls could tug at the heart strings of many people the way a portrait of a child does for a family. It is a very different experience to look at a portrait compared to a photo. It seems more lifelike. I hope the person that ends up with the painting can look at it and remember with lifelike clarity the times spent there.”
In order to capture as much detail as possible for the painting, Terry waded out into the frigid early spring waters of Hubbard Creek to take the photos from which the painting was done. Being a perfectionist is sometimes a cold and dangerous job, but her efforts paid off. You can almost hear the rushing of the water and the call of birds in the forest which surrounds this idyllic scene.
The painting can be seen at Vickie’s on the square in Moulton. You may purchase raffle tickets there, too. Cost per ticket is $1. You may also purchase them online at Venmo, @JacksonHouse-Foundation
On July 16, 2018, from 4:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. the Mellow Mushroom in Decatur will donate a portion of all food sales, including to-go orders and gift cards, to the Jackson House Foundation. Raffle tickets can also be purchased there during the event, and the winning ticket will be drawn during the evening. Come out and enjoy some great pizza and hear Glenn Copeland of Moulton from 6-8 and Patrick Gunn beginning at 8:00 p.m. “Many thanks to the Mellow Mushroom for hosting the event and for their generous donation to this worthwhile endeavor,” said project chairperson, Tammy Roberts. “We deeply appreciate their help and admire their efforts to assist with various community projects such as this one.”
For more information about the Jackson House, visit Jackson House Foundation on facebook.
For more information on Kinlock Falls visit Sipsy Wilderness Area or google Kinlock Falls.
For more information on portraits, email Carolcarrawayterry@gmail.com with Portrait Request as the subject. Terry will also be teaching a portrait painting class for adults at Lume, which is located on the west side of the square in Moulton. Date to be determined.
Contact Lume for information about the class, 14531 Market Street, Moulton, Alabama 35650, (256) 476-1443.
How to get there:
Directions: Take Lawrence County 6 (Cranal Road)/Winston County 60 to Kinlock Rd. Take a right on Kinlock Rd, this will turn into a gravel/dirt road. Kinlock Falls is located right before the bridge crossing. The falls are just before you cross the bridge over Hubbard Creek if you are going north on Kinlock Road.
A detailed map of the Sipsey Wilderness Area can be purchased at the Wild Alabama Trading Post in Wren, on the corner of Hwy. 36 and Hwy 33.