Mentone

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Cindy and I recently rented a cottage for a weekend in Mentone. Mentone is a small town located a couple of hours outside of Birmingham on Lookout Mountain, in northeast Alabama. The town of less than 400 people is at an elevation of 1708 feet making it the highest elevation of any incorporated town in Alabama.

 

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Mentone Springs Hotel was built in 1884 by Dr. Frank Caldwell of Pennsylvania. During the hotel’s construction Caldwell lived in the home of John Mason.

 

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After the construction, Mason’s daughter, Alice suggested that he name it after a place that she had read about Queen Victoria visiting in France named Mentone, meaning “a musical mountain spring”.

 

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Mentone Springs Hotel celebrated its 130-year anniversary in January 2014 and had been included in the book “1,000 Places to Visit Before You Die”. In March of the same year the hotel burned to the ground from an electrical fire.

 

 

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Vendors were gathered across from the old hotel site. Here Cindy examines a Jerusalem artichoke – a root vegetable that she remembers her grandmother growing.

 

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An wooden gate guards an old entrance that at least appears be unused.

 

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A sign read that this place was the Graham Manor and was built in 1875. I would have loved to have had an opportunity to take a closer peek.

 

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For lunch we stopped at the Wildflower Flower Cafe for a Sampler plate. It included their famous Tomato Pie. (It was to die for.)

 

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Now this is what I call “Flexibility”.

 

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Among many other shops, we stopped at “The Art Gallery” where we enjoyed meeting Joyce Hoffman and her husband Bob. Joyce is a wonderful artist who had recently purchased a new Nikon, so of course we ended up sitting down and talking shop and Cindy came away with a new watercolor.

 

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