Checking old baggage

Checking old baggage

August 19th, 2012 by Adam Poulisse in Glimpse 2012-a

Unclaimed Baggage is located in Scottsboro, Ala.

Unclaimed Baggage is located in Scottsboro, Ala.

Photo by John Rawlston /Times Free Press.

Plenty about Scottsboro, Ala., is a treasure to discover, with caves all around, some of the world's best bass fishing in Guntersville Lake and the unique Unclaimed Baggage Center.

Then there's an annual chance to see men in kilts.

But the town also is known for a place, the Scottsboro Boys Museum, that provides an unpleasant reminder of some ugly history along with the inspirational story of how the miscarriage of justice was stopped before it couldn't be righted.

- Compiled by staff writer Adam Poulisse,, 423-757-6592

Sobering history preserved

• The Scottsboro Boys were nine blacks who were accused wrongly of raping a white woman in 1931, and the story of their case lives on at the Scottsboro Boys Museum and Cultural Center. A campaign to save them from execution paid off in the nick of time.

• The museum's 428 West Willow St. location is near the town square where the Scottsboro Boys stood trial - and the rail line they traveled. The site is the former home of the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church of Scottsboro.

• The museum features artifacts from the jury room and the boys' jail and prison cells.

• The center offers race-relations and diversity-opportunity training for businesses.

Source: The Scottsboro Boys Museum


Luck of the draw

• You never know what you'll find at the Unclaimed Baggage Center, a one-of-a-kind store that is the largest destination for lost luggage in the United States.

• Baggage left in airports around the world winds up at this business at 509 W. Willow St., open weekdays 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. It is closed on Sunday.

• The possibilities include artifacts from around the globe, formal wear and just about everything in between.

Source: Unclaimed Baggage Center

Caving in for adventure

• With 1,500 charted caves, Jackson County has the most per square mile of any other county in America.

• Spelunkers the world over descend upon Jackson County to explore.

• One cave of note is the Russell Cave National Monument in nearby Bridgeport. The only national monument in Alabama, it includes 310 acres of pristine woodlands. A guided tour or permits are available to travel deeper into the cave.


Scotsborough Wevery fall

• As the movie "Highlander" said, "There can only be one." The North Alabama Scottish Festival and Highland Games is just that one, and it's in Scottsboro.

• Held every October at Goose Pond Colony, 417 Ed Hembree Dr., this is the only time that it's socially acceptable for men to wear skirts (kilts) around Scottsboro.

• Beautiful Highland music from bagpipes and drums fills the air with stirring melodies to dance to.

• For the physically fit wanting to show their strength, the Highlander Games consist of such events as a hammer toss, caber toss and sheaf toss.

Source: Scottish Festival and Highlands Game

Soups made from scratch

Carlile's Restaurant has the Official Dish of the Year for the Alabama Mountains region. Located at 23730 John T. Reid Parkway, it is closed on Mondays but opens at 11 a.m. every other day.

• Carlile's soups are created entirely on the premises.

• Appetizers are homemade and hand-breaded, and the seasonings and sauce make for, as their motto says, "Food so good, you'll thank the Lord for taste buds!"

Source: Carlile's Restaurant

Down by the river

• Population: 14,770

• Biggest employers: Maples Industries, Tennessee Valley Authority, Highlands Medical Center

• Number of miles from downtown Chattanooga: 55

• Landmarks or geographic features: Guntersville Lake on the Tennessee River, King Caldwell Park

• Date founded: Incorporated Jan. 20, 1870

• Historic info: Cherokee Indians inhabited the area. The city's founder, Robert Thomas Scott, was a state legislator who lived in Bellefonte. They later moved to what would later become Scottsboro in 1850.

• Most famous residents: Philanthropist David King Caldwell, songwriter Claude "Curly" Putman Jr.

• Odd/unique tradition: First Monday flea market

Source: Several websites, including the Scottsboro Chamber of Commerce and previous Times Free Press reports