published Monday, May 21st, 2012

Donation gives Section, Alabama, a park with a river view

Section, Ala., mayor Bob Matthews, right, talks with visiting motorcyclists from Mississippi, from left, Keith Watson, Donnie Kisner and Joe Huffman, at a new, 13-acre civic site given to the town by Scott and Patty Weathington. The park has a grand view of the Tennessee River.
Section, Ala., mayor Bob Matthews, right, talks with visiting motorcyclists from Mississippi, from left, Keith Watson, Donnie Kisner and Joe Huffman, at a new, 13-acre civic site given to the town by Scott and Patty Weathington. The park has a grand view of the Tennessee River.
Photo by Ben Benton.

SECTION, Ala. -- A donation of land at a spot called Twin Eagle Point in Jackson County, Ala., will give the small town of Section a park with a spectacular view of the Tennessee River.

Section Mayor Bob Matthews practically vibrates with excitement when talking about what the future could bring for the 13-acre, $900,000 tract donated recently by native Alabama residents Scott and Patty Weathington, who love the view from the point.

For now, a walking track is laid out and a parking area is corralled by some large stones. The site is just a couple of hundred yards from where Alabama Highway 35 drops off Sand Mountain toward Scottsboro.

The Weathingtons could not be reached for comment last week, but Matthews said they have been longtime fans of the scenic view from Section's slice of Sand Mountain bluff.

Weathington, a motorcyclist when he's not running the Weathington Corp. with his wife, has often stopped his bike there to look out across the Tennessee River, according to Matthews, who guessed the mountain point is about 1,300 feet above the old Section Ferry landing on the east side of the river.

Tentative plans include a pavilion, bathrooms, a flower garden and picnic tables, Matthews said, but he would like to see more work to make the point as special as possible. He said he'd like to see spaces developed that could be used by civic and church groups.

As Matthews talked about the future features, a group of motorcycle riders from Mississippi roared into the park for a quiet break.

Biker Greg Burks, a Tupelo financial adviser, said the mountain top stop is literally a high point for the group of riders when they travel east on Highway 35.

"Every time we go by here, we stop," Burks said. "This is an absolutely awesome spot."

Matthews said a ribbon-cutting ceremony is planned for June 22 to open the site officially as Weathington Park.

about Ben Benton...

Ben Benton is a news reporter at the Chattanooga Times Free Press. He covers Southeast Tennessee and previously covered North Georgia education. Ben has worked at the Times Free Press since November 2005, first covering Bledsoe and Sequatchie counties and later adding Marion, Grundy and other counties in the northern and western edges of the region to his coverage. He was born and raised in Cleveland, Tenn., a graduate of Bradley Central High School. Benton ...

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