Fourmile family remembered

Published 3:13 pm Friday, September 7, 2012


FOURMILE – Pieces of Fourmile history will be available to collectors, as an estate sale will soon be held after the old Blalock family farm passed to new ownership.

Former Shelby County Commissioner Hoyt A. Blalock and his wife, Frances Lambert Blalock, owned the farm with their son, John Hoyt Blalock. The family inherited the farm from Hoyt Blalock’s father and grandfather, as they were the third and fourth generations to inhabit the land, according to Bobby Joe Seales, president of the Shelby County Historical Society.

Hoyt and Frances Blalock passed away in 1978 and 2007, respectively, and their son, John Blalock, a Shelby County High School graduate, lives in Chicago presently. The farm had been abandoned for about six years until Birmingham resident Frank Moody drove by and saw pure “Americana,” he said.

“When I saw the barn and pecan trees, I was in,” said Moody, who recently purchased the house, land and rambling red barn.

The Blalock family was one of the oldest families in the area, according to Fourmile landowner Mary Cobb, who was a close friend of Frances Blalock.

Della Fancher, who is on the Shelby County Historical Society board, said there are “precious few” structures from the early days of Fourmile, and Blalock Farm fits into that category.

Cobb said the original structure of the Blalocks’ farmhouse was a two-room home built around 1890.

“It’s still there and the house sprung up around it,” Cobb said.

The Blalocks were involved in founding Blue Springs Methodist Church in Fourmile. Frances Blalock began attending Columbiana United Methodist Church in her later years, Cobb said.

Frances Blalock was involved in starting Fourmile’s volunteer fire department, as the fire trucks originally were stored in the Blalocks’ barn, Cobb said.

“She went from house to house and cajoled to get the fire department building,” Cobb said. “On her 90th birthday, the fire department came up here and all the firemen honored her because she was instrumental in getting the fire department started.”

Moody said he intends to “put the house back to 1950s with upgrades.” He donated a table and hand plow to the Shelby County Historical Society.

The contents of the house will be sold at an estate sale.

The sale will take place at Blalock farm, which is located at 17090 Shelby County 61 in Fourmile, from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Sept. 15 and noon-3 p.m. Sept. 16.