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South Pittsburg
Thursday, March 27, 2014    |   

Location: South Pittsburg is on the Alabama border in Southwest Marion County.

Size: 5.92 square miles

Founded: 1886 and 1899 (separate dates of incorporation)

Population: 3,100 (2012 estimate)

Mayor: Jane Dawkins

Commissioners: Debbie Hughes, Jimmy Wigfall, Jeff Powers and Ronnie Lancaster

Attractions: Each April, the town hosts the two-day National Cornbread Festival on the streets of downtown South Pittsburg with contests, music and food featuring the event’s namesake, cornbread. The Princess Theatre is a renovated multipurpose theater that harks back more than 82 years on the town’s main drag.

Schools: South Pittsburg High, South Pittsburg Elementary, Richard Hardy Memorial School

Place in history: The most notable war event here was the bombing of the Union Army’s earthen redoubt, Fort McCook, in August 1862. Fort McCook, which was located at the mouth of Battle Creek near the present-day location of the Sonic Drive-In restaurant, was continuously bombarded by heavy artillery for 12 hours on the night of Aug. 27, 1862.

Famous residents: South Pittsburg’s most famous native resident is Jobyna Lancaster Ralston, according to South Pittsburg Historic Preservation Society records. Ralston was born in South Pittsburg on Nov. 21, 1899. After giving her first stage performance as the prince in “Cinderella” at the Wilson Theatre/Opera House in town, she went on to acting school in New York and later danced and sang on Broadway. She also co-starred in the first Marx Brothers’ film, “Humor Risk,” and continued acting until 1931, appearing in more than 100 films.

“We have a good community where people work together and do things together and do a lot of volunteer work. That’s why the town’s as pretty as it is.” – Fran Thomas, South Pittsburg native and head cashier at Hammer’s Department Store