Notable People, Places and Events about The Ridge Project Area, The Ridge Neighborhood and Surrounding South Macon Communities

Lafayette, General - In 1825, during the Creek Indian Wars, the last surviving Revolutionary War  General Lafayette once spent the night at Lewis’s Tavern near Boromville.  Lafayette was a military hero who visited Alabama during a tour of the U.S. to honor the country's 50th anniversary. There is some dispute as to the actual location of Lafayette's stay.  Some accounts are that members of his entourage actually spent a night at Lewis' s Tavern, but Lafayette himself actually lodged at Big Warrior's Tavern in Warrior Stand.

Henderson, George Wylie, Jr.- Harlem Renaissance writer who was born and raised in Warrior Stand until he was six years old.  His first novel Ollie Miss is set in the Ridge Communities.

U.S. Public Health Service Syphilis Study- Extensively connected with the history of the Ridge Communities by way of the numerous round up locations (where PHS workers met the study subjects) and historic cemeteries where study subjects are interred.  These locations include: The The Cooper Chapel AME Zion Church and cemetery, the Creek Stand AME Zion Church and cemetery, the Macon County Training School (a.k.a. Crossroads), and Davisville (historic site formerly located near the junction of U.S. 29 and Macon County Road 47).

Washington, Booker T.Visited this area during his "Good Will Tours" throughout Macon County.  Many young people from The Ridge Project Area and Neighborhood area attended Tuskegee Institute.  Some returned to home to be teachers in their local community schools. 

Dow, Lorenzo- The famous eccentric Methodist itinerant preacher was a visitor to Creek Stand in the early 1800s.

Wilson's Raiders- Near the end of the Civil War, a brigade of Union soldiers called Wilson’s Raiders came nearby and enlisted many freedmen into the United States Colored Troops’ Infantry, 136th, 137th and 138th regiments.

Jelks, William D.- Born in Warrior Stand in 1855, Jelks was the 32nd governor of the State of Alabama.  Terms served:  June 11, 1901 - January 14, 1907.

The Reynolds Family - Newman Reynolds was an early settler of The Ridge.  His son, William A. Reynolds, was a physician, farmer and store owner in Warrior Stand.  William A. Reynolds was married to Frances Elizabeth Gresham.  Their son, William Edward Reynolds, farmed and raised Rhode Island Reds (poultry) and Arabian horses. The family is affiliated with Auburn University across several generations.

McLeod, John W. - Affluent planter from the Hannon Community, located in The Ridge Project neighborhood.  McLeod owned an 1800 acre plantation that was farmed by African American tenants. He was lauded in the writings of Booker T. Washington for offering incentives to his tenant farmers to improve their day- to-day existence through education and high expectations.

Pace, Lorenzo- A descendant of Steve Pace, the enslaved Federal Road pioneer.  Lorenzo Pace is a contemporary artist, sculptor and author best known for his creations: "Triumph of the Human Spirit," a black granite monument erected in 2000 in Foley Square, Manhattan, New York to commemorate the re-discovery of the African Burial Ground; and, the children's book Jalani and the Lock, a story about a boy named Jalani  making the Middle Passage and passing a slave lock down to his descendants. Jalani represents Steve Pace in the story.

Snipes, James "Buddy"- A descendant of enslaved pioneers who was born near the Creek Stand community about 1955.  Snipes is a contemporary folk artist and his work is sold by art galleries across the United States.

Washington, Rose Kelley- A descendant of the Chambliss and Kelley families who came to The Ridge along the Federal Road as enslaved pioneers.  She was a lead singer with the 1960's group out of Indiana called the Opals.  The other members were: Rosie 'Tootsie' Addison, Myra Tillotson, and Betty Blackmon. The Opals recorded for Okeh Records and are best noted for their background vocals on the "Shoop Shoop song (It's in His Kiss)" recorded by Betty Everett in 1964. The group also worked with Curtis Mayfield.  Rose was the lead singer on the  the song"You Can't Hurt Me No More" that was written by Mayfield.

Big Warrior - Chief of the Upper Creek Indian Nation.  Died in 1825.  Resided in Warrior Stand and owned a Tavern there called Big Warrior's Tavern.  Was a silent partner in the operation of Lewis' Tavern in Ft. Bainbridge along with Kendall Lewis, his son-in-law. 

Stone's at Creek Stand - Early in February of 1837, members of the Georgia militia, led by Major Henry W. Jernigan, camped overnight at this location on the third night of a mission to track and detain "renegade" Creek Indians who were reportedly armed and perpetuating egregious acts against white settlers. The militia campsite was located on the property of David Stone.  Stone purchased the land in 1837 (SE 1/4 of Township 15N, Range 25E, section 12). The site is near the present day intersection of Macon County Roads 10 and 79.  

Images top to bottom:  General Lafayette; Lorenzo Pace; Lorenzo Dow;

Nurse Rivers and unidentified man outside of the Creek Stand AME Zion Church, 

circa 1950s - Tuskegee Syphilis Study; and, Booker T. Washington.  (Gen. Lafayette, L. Dow,

and B.T. Washington photos courtesy Wikipedia Commons - public domain.  Syphilis Study photo  is from the National Archives, Southeast Region digital photos).