Grayson History


In 1941 Grayson Lumber Company owned by Claude Grayson was granted a twenty year contract to harvest timber in the Bankhead Forest. During the summer of that year the site was selected and land was cleared to construct the sawmill town. One of the reasons for this site was the land was fairly level and Collier Creek which was close by provided a good source of water to operate the mill. This was at the beginning of World War II and lumber was in much demand. The forest service decided to harvest the timber in the forest. Mr. Grayson decided to build a complete town with a commissary. Grayson is located near the Lawrence County line off Cheatham road. The CCC Camp at Grayson was located across the hollow from the mill site. Several families lived in the old barracks and were employed to clear the land for the mill site. In order to get a post office the town had to have a name. It was suggested that it be called Grayson after the owner of the mill. Through Mr. Graysonís political connections a fourth class post office was secured and John L. West was appointed its first post master. Mr. Grayson purchased a set of post office boxes and were installed in the front of the store. The store was 40 feet by 60 feet; more was added later. The store was heated by a large pot-bellied stove. For water Mr. Grayson had wells drilled and a rope and bucket was used to draw out water. Later a water system was installed. Water for the boilers for the mill was pumped out of Collier Creek. A generating system for electricity was installed at the mill, but none was provided for the homes. Kerosene lamps were used for light.


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