Loachapoka, Alabama

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Loachapoka is a town in Lee County, Alabama, United States. It is located seven miles west of Auburn in west-central Lee County. The population was 165 as of the 2000 census. It is part of the Auburn Metropolitan Area.

The name "Loachapoka" means "turtle sitting place" in Muskogee. In literature, Lochapoka was the destination of the colonists in James H. Street's 1940 novel Oh, Promised Land.

Contents

History

Loachapoka was a Creek Indian town for some decades prior to white settlement. In the last census prior to the Native removal to Oklahoma, Loachapoka was found to have a population of 564. Upon settlement by Euro-Americans, Loachapoka—temporarily renamed Ball's Fork—became the regional trade center, a position that was reinforced in 1845 when it became the eastern-most point on the railroad to Montgomery. Loachapoka's influence peaked in the early 1870s, when her population reached nearly 1,300. Within a few years, a collapse of trade due to the Panic of 1873 and additional rail lines in the area sent Loachapoka into economic decline. Loachapoka roughly stabilized as a small farming community by the mid-1900s, and by the early 2000s had become a small-town suburb of Auburn.

Culture

Loachapoka is home to the annual Syrup Sopping Day. A historical fair and celebration of making syrup in traditional methods from sorghum and ribbon cane, Syrup Sopping Day attracts more than 20,000 people to Loachapoka annually. Loachapoaka is the home town of country music singer Freddie Hart.

The Lee County Historical Society Museum is located in an 1845 general store in the Loachapoka historic district.

Photo gallery

A general store built in 1845 now serves as The Lee County Historical Society Museum

The famous Syrup Sopping sign as seen from Alabama State Route 14

Fred's Feed & Seed, located in downtown Loachapoka, also serves as a music venue and "pickin' parlor." Fred's regularly features traditional barn dances on the first and third Thursdays of every month.

The Loachapoka Historic District

The Ruth Purdy Speake House and Historic Marker

The now-defunct Rattling Gourd Gallery, Downtown Loachapoka

The Saugahatchee Creek, which runs through the area, serves as a popular swimming hole for locals during spring and summer months.

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