Local historian recalls tragedy

SIX MILE — Julia Woodson remembers the night of the Six Mile tornadoes because the lights flickered in her home in Liberty.
“We were lucky the storm didn’t hit us in Liberty,” Woodson said.
Woodson was 11 years old at the time. Her father sold cotton gins, and several of his customers lived in the Six Mile community.
“He knew a few people in Six Mile and he felt close to the community,” Woodson said. “So he thought it was only appropriate to attend the funeral.”
Woodson said she remembers the church was overflowing with people. The caskets were lined up and buried in one large grave, Woodson said.
Woodson said that though the people of Six Mile seemed shocked by the tragedy, they were very much united in their support for the Garrett family.
One after-effect of the storm was that throughout the county, people began to dig storm pits near their houses to escape bad weather.
“In those days we really didn’t have any warning about bad weather coming,” Woodson said. “We just had to be ready if it happened.”
Woodson, who has a reputation as a historian in Pickens County, said she doesn’t remember any other incident that has caused so much loss of life in the history of Pickens County.