Anyone who regularly travels through area east of Saltillo is

Anyone who regularly travels through area east of Saltillo is familiar with its many twisting roads.

So imagine how an outsider would feel if he got lost on those back roads and then came up on a Highway 35 sign with the state of Alabama outlined in black.

A wrong turn in the wrong state? Not even a trusty Rand-McNally atlas could help him.

If the visitor had seen the roadsign before reaching the fork in the road, he would’ve known he heading down Lee County Road 1389 more commonly referred to as Springhill Road. The road takes a sharp right at Springhill Grocery and winds through the community.

As for that Alabama Highway 35 sign? Well, it’s been a Springhill Road landmark for some time. You can see it on the left side of the road, nailed to a post in front of Elbert Hallmark’s home.

“It doesn’t say Alabama, but it has the outline of the state on it,” said Hallmark, a truck driver with Super Sagless in Tupelo for 32 years. “A person would know that it was an Alabama sign if he saw it.”

In fact, the sign came directly from Highway 35.

Hallmark said he and another man were traveling in the same truck on Highway 35 near Rainsville a town in northeast Alabama between Scottsboro and Fort Payne either in 1970 or ’71 when they were involved in an accident.

“A car pulled out in front of us, and it was raining,” Hallmark recalled. “The other driver hit the brakes; we left the road to the right. The sign was knocked down by the truck leaving the road.

“The guy in the car that pulled out in front of us didn’t stop. We got his tag number and the law run him down.”

Hallmark said there wasn’t much damage to the truck. After the accident, Hallmark said, the other driver picked up the sign and put it in the truck; it wasn’t discovered until he returned home.

“It laid around here for a while, but then it got hung up there,” Hallmark said. “I’m not sure who hung it.”

Hallmark said he thinks the sign has been in front of his home for about 20 years.

“It’s really just hanging there on a nail through the hole that was knocked in it by the accident,” he said. “I think my son was the one who hung it out there.”

The sign has been there so long, it’s taken for granted by those who live by the road or travel on it. If they see that Alabama sign, they know they’re heading in the right direction.

“That thing’s been hanging out there so long, you just used to seeing it there,” Hallmark said.

Miriam Hallmark takes

over Shannon beat

Lee County Neighbors would like to welcome Miriam Hallmark as its Shannon correspondent. Miriam will be reporting every two weeks, starting with today’s edition, on the hometown events taking place in Shannon. Her first column appears elsewhere on this page.

She’s excited about becoming a hometown correspondent and we’re happy to have her. If anyone in Shannon has any news they want Miriam to report, give her a call at 767-9272.

We would like to see all cities, towns and communities in Lee County represented in the Neighbors section, so don’t be left out. If anyone is interested in becoming a hometown correspondent, give us a call at 678-1600 for more information.

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