0213 Images of America Bluff Park
Heather Skaggs has written Images of America: Bluff Park.
A new book from Arcadia Publishing's Images of America series adds Bluff Park to its collection of books sharing the history of small towns and neighborhoods across the country. Presented in a unique pictorial format, Images of America: Bluff Park, contains 200 black and white historical and modern photographs compiled by BluffParkAl.org, the Bluff Park Community website, with the assistance of Hale family descendant Susan Hale Copeland Kelley. Author Heather Jones Skaggs takes readers through the communities infancy and transition from resort area to residential community.
Bluff Park, a small Hoover community atop Shades Mountain, was first developed as a mountain resort and summer vacation site popular for its natural springs and breathtaking views. Gardner Cole Hale bought the mountain property in the 1860s and called it Hale Springs. Hale's children went on to do most of the development in Bluff Park. One of the first recorded uses of the name Bluff Park was with the Bluff Park Hotel, built in 1907. The stately hotel with its rooftop observatories was the place to stay when vacating on the mountain. Unfortunately, the hotel was lost to fire in 1925.
After its resort days, the area became more residential. Several of the founding families in Bluff Park settled on the mountain, building homes and farms. The Hales ran a lumber mill, a cotton gin, and an icehouse while the Tyler family ran a large dairy farm after they moved to the area around 1888. The community school started around 1899 as a one-room schoolhouse and church.
Images of America: Bluff Park contains archive photographs from area churches and libraries. There are also newly published Hale family photographs including images of the Bluff Park Hotel and the only surviving fireplace mantel from it and images of the original Summit-Bluff Park School building and classes. The churches in Bluff Park are featured in their own chapter looking at each congregation's establishment, growth and current place in the community.
The book will be released on Feb. 4. And can be found at any major book retailer or online at amazon.com or arcadiapublishing.com.