Lowndesboro celebrates its 50th year

Published 12:26 pm Friday, July 26, 2013

7-25Ivey with PateJPG-web

By Fred Guarino
The Lowndes Signal

“You are famous for your contagious community spirit.”
Those were the words of Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey who served as guest speaker for the 50th anniversary of incorporation celebration held by the town of Lowndesboro at Marengo House last Monday night.
The town of Lowndesboro marked the event with a dinner and program featuring Ivey and a balloon release by attendees.
Among some 60 guests were local, county and state officials and Melinda C. Williams, representing Congresswoman Terri Sewell.
While the town’s history goes back to the Creek Indian War and the Civil War, it was not incorporated until Wednesday, July 24, 1963.
The name of the town came about in 1863 when residents voted to change the name of the community from McGill’s Hill to Lowndesborough. The spelling was changed to Lowndesboro by Legislative act in 1838.
Lowndesboro Mayor Rick Pate said the town has installed sidewalks from one end to the other, paved walking trails, a new water well, increased its water storage capacity from 80,000 to 280,000 gallons, added new water customers (through expansion) and had its fire insurance rating improved.
He called Lowndesboro “the little train that could.”
Pate recognized all the organizations that make the town run such as the Lowndesboro Landmarks Foundation which he said has been responsible for preserving so many structures in the community, the Lowndesboro Volunteer Fire Department which improved the town’s fire insurance rating from a 10 to a 6, the Rec Club, the Heritage Society, the Planning Commission, the Board of Adjustments and Lowndes Academy.
He also said Lowndesboro is along side local leaders such as Mayor Kelvin Lawrence of Hayneville, Lowndes County Probate Judge John E. Hulett, Lowndes County Sheriff John Williams and the Lowndes County Commission.
“We will work together and keep doors open,” he said.
Pate said, “We want a quality place to raise our kids and for a our families to live. We want clean air, clean rivers, clean groundwater, clean dirt and any good jobs that meet that standard, we’ll be beside you 100 percent.”
Pate recognized Lowndesboro Council member Caswell McCurdy as the longest serving councilman in the state of Alabama.
Council member Jerry Ingram made a special presentation in honor of Councilman James Adams as “Mr. Lowndesboro for 2013” calling him one of the most dependable people in the town, especially for setting up sound systems for school and church events and seeing to the flying of the American Flags for the Fourth of July.
Ivey, the first Republican woman elected as Lieutenant Governor in Alabama said, “Happy anniversary, 50 years for Lowndesboro. You are famous for your contagious community spirit.”
She said, “That kind of thing just doesn’t happen. It’s not in the air. That kind of spirit from a community happens because it’s a reflection of the people that live here and cherish it and call it home.”
She presented a certificate of appreciation the town from her office and said of Pate, “Y’all have a wonderful mayor.”
Williams read an official Congressional Proclamation in recognition of the town’s 50th anniversary noting that “the town of Lowndesboro is considered one of the most beautiful antebellum communities in the South.”
People who have served as mayor of Lowndesboro include Crowell Pate, 1963-1972; Ted Lingham, 1972-1989; Lewis McCurdy, 1989-1990; Chuck Debardeleben, 1990-1992; Elsie Debardeleben, 1992-1994; John Nichols, 1994-2004; and Rick Pate, 2004 to present.

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