as told by Mildred Brown Crain to her daughter, Martha Jean Crain
March 28, 1981

Dolomite was first settled by William Brown around 1815.  Brown called the area "O'Possum" or "Possum Valley".  William Brown applied for land in 1819.  Possum Valley can be seen on some of the old maps.  At the time of settlement, Possum Valley took in more area than the present Dolomite as we know it today.

Some of the first settlers in the area were James Rutledge who settled the Rutledge Springs area and who also donated the land for the historic Bethlehem Methodist Church in Dolomite which was established in 1818.  William Snow settled the area known as Snow Springs.  A Mr. Robertson was also an early settler.

The main occupation in Dolomite in the early days was farming.  After the civil war mining became the chief occupation.  Dolomite No. 1 mine opened up around 1884.  (This information from Leon W. Mock, a native of Dolomite).

Early merchants were D. W. Brown Mercantile Company located next door to his home on Edwards Street.  There was a Johnson store, a Mr. Milstead store and Bennie Bell had a photography studio.

Around 1912, the following stores were here:  Frank Reynolds, Joe R. Knight, also located on Edwards Street.  In 1922, the D. W. Brown Mercantile Company changed to Brown Brothers.  Mr. Lewis's store was on the Pleasant Grove Road.  The Woodward Commmisary was also open.

Around 1915, there was a drug store located by the Woodward Railroad on the east of the track.  A. W. Mock's Livery Stable was located on Pleasant Grove Road about where the old Dolomite Elementary School now stands.  Along there also stood two stores, one store operated by Mr. R. W. Vowell, the other by "Jimmy the Greek" (Jimmie Carroll).  Jesse Huey had a barber shop located next to the Brown Mercantile on Edwards Street.  At a later date Dr. Thomas Olin Rush had a dentist office in the building.  Then a black man had a dry cleaning shop.  Later the building was made into a dwelling and the house torn down sometime after 1922.

Two pool rooms were built around 1917 or 1918.  One for the white and one for the black.  The white pool room was located in the area of A. W. Mock's Livery Stable.   The black pool room was located not too far and close to the railroad tracks.

In 1925, Mr. D. M. Knight bought the building where the Black Cat Inn operated and Mr. Knight operated a store for many years.  His son, Mr. George Knight, operated the store after the death of his father.

Some of the settlers from early dates and into the 1900's were:  George Cunningham, Reed, J. R. Wilson, Ben Purser, Thomas, Evans, Johnson, Dixon, Harrison, Burroughs, Joe Knight, Crawfords, J. R. Owen, D. M, Knight, Papa Lewis, Mims, Wolf, Deer, Mocks, Vowell, Brown, Whatley, Gray, Alley, Robertson, Gene Robertson, Reaves, Totherow, South, Sawyers, Hood, Fleming, Jack Smith, Boyd Lewis, Cowden, Reynolds, Ed Cunningham, Milstead, Gulledge, Wood, Hughes, Hodges, Jim Black, Bid Trew, Suit, Eastis, Horton, Kellum, McDonald, Meigs, Rush, Jimmy Carroll, Jim Scott, Huguley, Reed, Ray, and others not recalled.

The Dolomite Masonic Lodge was formed in Dolomite on August 7, 1886.  (Information from Leon W. Mock who was given the dates by Mr. Clyde Crane from the Lodge.)  The first lodge was located in the area called "Sweet Gum Flat".  It was a two story building and was also the Dolomite School building.  The building was later used for a black boarding house.  The lodge later moved to Edwards Street where it is located today.  David Wilson Brown gave the land for this Hall.

As stated before, The Bethelem Methodist Church was formed in 1818.  Rev. Ebenezer Hearn from the Tennessee Conference helped organize the Church.  Rev. James Tarrant was the first preacher.  The Dolomite Baptist Church was founded on October 11, 1885.  Later the Garywood Baptist Church was built, and also the Assembly of God was built later.

Woodward Iron Company had a doctors office located in Dolomite.  Some of the doctors were a Dr. Lacey, Dr. Bonds, and one we all remember today, Dr. E. P. McEniry.  The old doctors office building burned down last year (1980).

According to records in Washington, in the General Services Administration, National Archives and Records Service, the Post Office was formed here on April 22, 1878 as Earle, name changed to Dolomite on August 31, 1885.  The list of post masters are as follows:
    Willis Snow, 4/22/1878                      Cora M. Guthrie, 6/17/1914
    Isaac A. Brown, 5/13/1878                   Emma Reaves, 1/9/1920
    W. A. Snow, 1/9/1882                            Mrs Exa L. Anderson, 11/20/1920
    Albert S. Brown, 2/24/1882                  Beulah Whatley, 9/16/1922
    Joseph E. Brown, 4/21/1882                  Emma Reaves, 10/19/1922
    Alfred B. Beall, 8/31/1885                      Miss Gladys Reaves, 5/28/1940
    Jessie B. Dabie, 7/23/1888                  Jimmy R. McWhirter, 12/18/1957
    Kendrick A. McConnell, 6/29/1889            Geraldine Wheeler, 5/1/1968
    Robert A. Moseley, 3/24/1892                Betty McGown, 5/5/1976
    William D. Walker, 9/28/1892                Ronald M Roseberry, 8/26/1977
    William J. Bell, 10/27/1893                 Randy Banks, 9/12/1977
    Thomas W. Lloyd, 11/1897                    Betty McGown, 4/14/1978
    Maud B. Loftus, 7/3/1902                   
    Thomas D. Lewis, 2/18/1904
    Walter B. Mills, 12/4/1908
    James R. Wilson, 11/18/1909 

    The first school for this area was located in the area called "Brown Town" located about two miles back of the Bethelem Methodist Church.  Later a school was located in the Masonic Hall in "Sweet Gum Flat".  It moved with the Lodge Hall down on Edwards Street.  The school moved from this area to the Pleasant Grove Road around 1942 when a new building was built.  The black school was located about 1/2 mile up the hill from the white school on Pleasant Grove Road.  Today the white school is closed and both black and white children go to the new Woodward School.

Some of the early black families were:  Charity Fox, Mary Washington, Dock and Fannie Terry, Eliza Ellison, Jim Young, Garney Echols, Steve Echols, Mollie Walker, Jake Frost, Nath Chapman, Mary Reed (a school teacher); a Mr. Treadwell (also a teacher), Martha Moody, and Harvey.  Cannot recall Harvey's last name but she is the mother of Earnestine Daniel on Edwards Street, Bennings.  Others not recalled.

Today Dolomite is a prosperous community of miners, steel workers, and various occupations.

Around 1925, the Brown family sold 96 acres of their land to Breen.  This area ws developed and is known as "Garywood" today.  Hueytown just recently took in Garywood.