I went to visit my mom and family in Baldwin County today. It was very foggy along the I-10 Bay Way (a/k/a Jubilee Parkway) and the Causeway (a/k/a Battleship Parkway) from Mobile to Baldwin County. This is the area where Mobile Bay and the Mobile Delta meet and it is known for its fog. In 1995, the I-10 Bay Way had the largest multi-car collision in U.S. history, involving approximately 200 vehicles, with 90 injuries and 1 death.
The Causeway (also known as Battleship Parkway since it is now home to the U.S.S. Alabama) was built in 1926. Prior to that, in order to travel from Mobile to the Eastern Shore in Baldwin County, one had to go by ferry. In fact, my paternal grandfather said he and his family came to Magnolia Springs by that route. It is said that when he set foot on the Eastern Shore, he cleaned the dirt from his shoes, and disowned the est of his family in Mobile County.
We still don’t know what made him do that, but we did find out in the 1990s that his grandmother (my great great grandmother) had some outlaw brothers (literally), known as the Copeland Gang. Her brother, James Copeland, was hung for a murder he committed and the other brothers and their mother moved out West in order to escape the hatred of the locals. Do you know what’s funny? My maternal great great great great grandfather, Josiah T. Breland, sat on the grand jury that indicted James Copeland. Who would have thought there be a 48-year marriage between descendants of the Copelands (my father) and the Brelands (my mother)?