July 11, 2013 by Beth Spradley
The “Monumental Mysteries” episode featuring Carrollton’s “The Face in the Courthouse Window” segment will air this Thursday, July 11th, at 8pm CT on The Travel Channel. Make sure you tune in and tell all your friends! If you are a fan of Kathryn Tucker Windham, you’ll remember Henry Wells from her book, 13 Alabama Ghosts and Jeffrey.
Who should watch? Everyone who loves West Alabama. History buffs. Ghost hunters.
Why am I telling all of you about this? Two reasons. First, I love The Face. If you spent any time in Pickens County as a kid, what did you do? You went to the Gordo pool, the Piggly Wiggly, Fred’s in Reform, and drove to Carrollton to see the boarded up old courthouse and The Face and hear and wonder about the multiple versions of the Henry Wells tale. It created special memories for me of my granny and my sister that I can remember with joy when I see the play based on the story every year. Second, this is an inspiring example of a small, rural town in West Alabama that has really used what it has and creatively raised funds for historic preservation. That boarded-up old courthouse? It now features a gift shop and restored interior. Future proceeds and donations will go towards an elevator to make the story accessible to everyone. Every April, the local historic preservationists put on the play with volunteer, local, talented actors to raise funds. The play takes place in the courthouse. You get to sit in the pews. You can go down into the cellar jail cell where Henry Wells was held. The University of West Alabama‘s gospel choir adds tremendous beauty to the authentic atmosphere.
If you don’t know the story of Henry Wells, you can find out more at The Face in The Courthouse Window, You can also buy tickets to the April play. I have it marked on my calendar to buy them on December 1. One year, I took an entire row of people. Last year, I talked about it so much that fifteen more people made the trip to Carrollton to see the play.
Tomorrow night, watch for The Face.