Broomtown Valley

Communities in Broomtown Valley

Alpine– South of Menlo, this community was once far more bustling than the later city of Menlo. The old Samuel Knox home and the Alpine Presbyterian Church (now Community Church) mark the central portion of this community.

Arbutus – A short-lived community, this post office was found on Lookout Mountain just inside the Chattooga County boundary with Alabama.

Broomtown – Broomtown was established in the earliest days of the county. It was once home to a thriving eponymous Methodist Church. While the name continues to describe a much larger valley that runs from Chattooga County into Alabama, the community name has vanished in the county.

Chelsea – While the community has largely disappeared, the name is still in common use today. Among the earliest settlers of this section were the Harper, Atkinson and Strickland families. Chelsea Baptist Church and its aged cemetery mark the location today.

Cloudland – Formerly Arbutus, this area remains well-populated today. Cloudland and its neighbor, Mentone, Alabama, became popular places for retreat and relaxation for well-to-do citizens of the late nineteenth century.

Deep Spring – Near Alpine on the Alabama line.

Fairview – Said to have been located near the intersection of Sunnydale Road and Hair Lake Road near Garrett Cemetery and the Hutchins’ farms, the name remains but describes a settlement several miles north, in southern Walker County.

Harrisburg – North of Teloga, on the Lafayette highway, Harrisburg is partially in Walker County.

Lookout – On Lookout Mountain, just about 1.5 miles west of Gilreath’s Mill.

Menlo – established by A.J. Lawrence, an admirer of Edison, in 1883. The town eventually eclipsed the previously more populous Alpine.

Mineral Springs – Located on Shinbone Ridge, west of Menlo, where a fashionable hotel of the same name once existed until it was destroyed by fire in 1918.

Pleasant Green – 3.5 miles west of Summerville, the post office was established in 1837 by the venerable Rev. James Gamble who built a home bearing the same name at this location.

Saw Mill – Located on the eastern slope of Lookout Mountain at Gilreath’s Mill.

Sunnydale – It was located near the old Wyatt home northeast of Menlo. A road still bears the name today.

Teloga/Teloga Springs – On the earliest maps, shown as Euthtilloga Springs and variations. The name derives from the Native American name. It was located about seven miles north of Menlo on the Broomtown/Lafayette Road. McWhorters and Hemphills served as longtime postmasters here.

Valley Store – Not too far from the Teloga community and located along the Menlo-Lafayette Road, the post office was active for over fifty years before closing in 1906.

Welcome Hill and Welmyer – A community located west of Trion, the Welcome Hill Baptist Church marks the center of the neighborhood. Note that the Welmyer community is a variant that combined the community name with the Myers School name in the early 20th century.

Broomtown Valley Photo Archive

Menlo gets a new Post Office August 1963
Menlo gets a new Post Office August 1963
The TAG scooter waiting to leave Chattanooga via Menlo to Gadsden, circa 1920
The TAG scooter waiting to leave Chattanooga via Menlo to Gadsden, circa 1920
Cotton picking at the O’bannon farm near Menlo early 1900s
Cotton picking at the O’bannon farm near Menlo early 1900s
The Cavin Family in Menlo pose for a photo in the early 1920’s
The Cavin Family in Menlo pose for a photo in the early 1920’s
Campers at Camp Juliette Low 1924
Campers at Camp Juliette Low 1924
A young boy at Desoto Falls, His mother was a cook for a group of campers from the county, circa 1915
A young boy at Desoto Falls, His mother was a cook for a group of campers from the county, circa 1915