that time ,
Wise has bought back much of his collection and obtained permission
to display some of the items he was unable to purchase. In addition
to the items he has found on the property, the museum also contains
many other Civil War pieces Wise has collected. Included among
them are a very rare Allegheny Arsenal saddle made in 1862,
numerous belt buckles and unit insignias, bullets, a Confederate
cooking pot from 1863, and a stunning Lorenz-Jager .72 carbine
imported by the Confederacy and later modified by Native Americans,
who decorated the rifle with leather, trading beads and feathers.
The museum itself has historical value, Wise said. The entrance
and gift shop are housed in the old Vinemont Stagecoach Inn, which
Wise purchased and moved to his property years ago. Also on the
property is the Mayes homestead cabin from Somerville, Ala., built
in the 1830s. Wise numbered each board and reconstructed the cabin
after moving it to his property with hopes of turning it into a
small bed and breakfast someday.
In addition to the museum, Wise has added picnic tables and covered
pavilions by the creek. Following the trail that leads
from the hilltop museum to the banks of the creek, visitors can
see areas where Union soldiers entrenched themselves for protection
from enemy fire. Some of the trenches still have rocks piled around
them, stacked by the soldiers to offer further protection, according
"I want to eventually have nature trails cutting through the
property," he said. "We've been getting ready for this grand opening
for the last six months ... we thought we had plenty of time, but
it's creeped up on us."
"It's really come together this week, though. I hope we have at
least a hundred people come out. It should go pretty good if the
weather will hold out."
The grand opening will be
April 29-30, 9 AM to 5 PM each day. A Civil War reenactment group,
the 11th Alabama Cavalry, will be on hand to speak with visitors
about Streight's Raid and the life of a soldier during the Civil
War. Food and drink will be available. Admission is $5.
Crooked Creek Civil War Museum is located at 516
County Road 1127 in Cullman County. For more information, contact
Fred Wise at 256-739-2741.
Directions: Take AL Hwy 157 West to West Point.
Pass through the red light intersection and turn left at the
Shell Gas Station. Follow the "Forrest-Streight Route" signs until
you see the museum on your left.