Sylacauga is a city in Talladega County, Alabama with a population of 12,616 according to the
The first settlers in the Coosa River Valley were the Creek Indians. Sylacauga was first mentioned in Hernando DeSoto's records in 1540. The unusual name "Sylacauga" has spawned two opposing stories as to its origin and meaning. Some say the name is made up of two Indian words - "Chalaka-ge" meaning "The place of the Chalaka Tribe". The city has long been locally nicknamed "Buzzard's Roost."
The city was first incorporated as Syllacoga in 1838 and again in 1887 as Sylacauga. Sylacauga, "The Marble City", is constructed on a solid deposit of the hardest, whitest marble in the world. The bed is approximately 32 miles long by one and one half miles wide and 400 feet deep.
The reputation of Sylacauga marble producers began to be evidenced by numerous building projectsthroughout the nation. Alabama Marble Company supplied marble for the Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial. Marble supplied for the Washington monument was so like its Italian counterpart, "Carrara," that it was placed aside until a confirmation of its origin could be made.
Moretti-Harrah, in a little over a three year project shared by Gray-Knox Marble Company of Knoxville, supplied much of the marble for the U.S. Supreme Court Building, including thirty-six massive interior columns measuring 22' long x 3'4" in diameter.
Gutzon Borglum, creator of Mount Rushmore, sculpted a bust of Lincoln which stands today in the rotunda of the United States Capitol from Sylacauga marble.
Sylacauga is the site of the first documented case of an object from outer space hitting a person. On November 30, 1954, a 8.5 pound meteorite crashed through the roof of an Oak Grove house, bounced off a radio, and striking the resident. See the section on "Monument to a Housewife" for more information.
Sylacauga is full of things to see. One of the great attractions is the Isabel A. Comer Museum.
Sylacauga is also home to Gravity Hill. A gravity hill, also known as a magnetic hill (and sometimes a mystery hill or a gravity road), is a place where the layout of the surrounding land produces the optical illusion that a very slight downhill slope appears to be an uphill slope. Thus, a car left out of gear will appear to be rolling uphill.
I threw the picture of Dixie Drug Store in for selfish reasons. I remember going to the Sylacauga High School Stadium to run track meets several afternoons. I building going to the track meet, but coming home it sure would have been nice to stop and dig into a big cold banana split--unfortunately, it was just not meant to be. Still think about that every time I go by the store.
We will be going back to Sylacauga soon to provide more coverage of Sylacauga and its many interesting things to see.