“Shady Main” tells history of Brantley homes

Published 9:31 am Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Fran Tisdale has worked for months to document the homes along Brantley’s Main Street, and that work has culminated in a book called “Shady Main.”

The book features vintage photos of many of the houses along Main Street in Brantley, along with numerous current photos.

The photos are accompanied by a short history of the house.

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“I worked on it for months and months,” Tisdale said. “I had a lot of input, and I talked to many people about the houses. It was wonderful to talk to people who were 80 or 90 years old and hear their wonderful memories and stories.”

She said the biggest inspiration for the book came from her father, Felix Tisdale, who worked as a professional photographer in 1950s.

“Dad was the head of the photo department at Fort Rucker, and he did yearbooks, weddings, portraits and things like that,” she said. “He loved Brantley and he loved photography. I was looking to share his pictures.”

The title of the book came from a folder of photos he had taken of Main Street, with large trees arching from both side of the street and meeting in the middle.

“He had written ‘Shady Main’ on the envelope, and I said, ‘That’s it,'” Tisdale said.

Tisdale went through the negatives and collected those of houses along the street. Then she took a number of pictures on her own to fill in the gaps.

The book, which is full color, features photos of current houses and several houses that are no longer standing.

Tisdale said she went to Montgomery to get the book printed, and so far, she has had to go back to the print shop several times because the book has sold over 100 copies by word of mouth.

She said her next project is a book about downtown Brantley and East and West Emmett avenues.

For more information about “Shady Main” or to buy a copy, call Tisdale at (334) 527-8722.