Carrollton, AL

Photos/Text courtesy of Steven Hippensteel, Tuscaloosa, AL
Webmaster for any use of the following  photos
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1. Alabama Historical Association Marker Program: Pickens County
2. Alabama's famous and historic tree program
3. National Register of Historical Places - ALABAMA (AL), Pickens County
4. Lightning Portrait Etched in Window

5. Pickens County Courthouse - Wikipedia
6. Carrollton, Alabama - Wikipedia

Carrollton, Alabama is located in Pickens County about 30 miles west of Tuscaloosa, Alabama and was one of the towns hit by General Croxton's raid. Gen. Croxton and his cavalry burned down the original Carrollton Courthouse. Carrollton is mostly famous now for the face in the courthouse window. A freed slave by the name of Henry Wells had a reputation of being disorderly and lived outside of town. In 1876 the courthouse was burned down to the ground by an arsonist. Henry Wells was arrested in 1878 on suspicion of being the arsonist and was held in the garret of the new courthouse still under construction since there was not jail. Upon word of his arrest the town gathered on the courthouse grounds demanding that Wells be brought down and lynched. As Wells was looking out the courthouse garret window at the scene unfolding below him a bolt of lighting struck nearby and forever etched his agonized face in the courthouse window. Wells died two months later while trying to escape. The face is not viewable close up or from inside the garret and prior attempts to remove the image with various chemicals from soap to gasoline has failed. All of the original courthouse windows have been broken and replaced over the years and this is the only window pane original to the courthouse.


(January 2010) Enlarge Courthouse memorial
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(January 2010) Enlarge Courthouse marker



(January 2010) Enlarge Side of courthouse with face in window

(January 2010) Enlarge  Enlarge-2 Window with face


(January 2010) Enlarge Courthouse first floor hallway


(January 2010) Enlarge Face in the courthouse window mural

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