As we approached Blountsville, I offered another short history lesson, explaining that back in 1819 this town was still a Native American village called Wassausey, which means Bear Meat Cabin. Most online sites state that Bear Meat was the name of a translator who ran a trading post. One of us, not impressed with the name Blountsville, commented that the settlers should have kept the original name. We did see signs for Bear Meat Cabin Road, but I can’t imagine having that on my St. Jude’s address labels.
TOR was driving this trip, and I asked if she minded going to see the oldest building in Blountsville, a Methodist church built in 1818, the year before Alabama became a state. “Of course not,” she said and immediately checked in with Siri. After going around our elbow a couple times, we spotted the simple white clapboard church, which appears to be in pristine condition.
According to the historic marker in the church’s side yard, Ebenezer Hearn was the first minister assigned to the Alabama territory in 1818. Before going on to found more churches all over central Alabama, Reverend Hearn preached his first sermon in Bear Meat Cabin, which would have been about two blocks from the church’s location.