A new state historical marker, honoring Buffalo Rock Ginger Ale founder Sidney Word Lee, was recently dedicated on Highway 25 between Vincent and Leeds. Lee pushed for the highway along a mountain path once called the Winding Stair Trail, so that residents of the Coosa Valley could reach needed services in Birmingham and the more widely settled Cahaba Valley.
The new road across Double Oak Mountain eliminated a 30-mile trek, often by horse-drawn wagons, for those in need of medical care or commercial transactions.
Sidney Word Lee lived from 1864 to 1944. His grandson, Jimmy Lee Jr., chairman emeritus of Buffalo Rock, was featured on the cover of the first issue of Business Alabama, January 1986.
By Nedra Bloom