In the morning of day two we unpacked, went swimming and got our bearings then headed into town for an editorial meeting at The Forester, Huntsville’s newspaper. It was incredible to hear about the history of the newspaper owned for generations by the Rice family and it's recent handover to Metroland Media Group Ltd. Here’s an old sign we saw hanging on the wall. We met with News Editor Tamara, Mandy who is a new reporter at the paper and Tina Turley who works in production at The Forester but who is also a local legendary country musician. We talked about notable downtown people, the city's development and of course we heard more stories about the bathtub derby and the Empire Hotel. Tina even recounted times when she was a kid hanging out at the Empire while her father played there. Tina continues to perform all over Huntsville and the surrounding areas, and lucky for us she is playing next Wednesday downtown in the afternoon by the lake. Tina coined the unofficial name for the event "a twoonie for a tune" - we can't wait to hear her play!
After our meeting at The Forester, Charles took pics of every business along Main Street with his tripod. Lisa went to find the archives and local history room at the local library. And together we stopped and stared at the empty lot on the corner of main east and main west where the empire hotel had stood. We have heard it burned down several years ago, but it still feels alive in the memories of the few people we have spoken to already.
Back at our little cottage by the lake, we ate and drank and went to sleep early because tomorrow was looking like a jam-packed day.