The Pond: First public opportunity to visit

Published 6:09 pm Friday, June 10, 2022

The talk around town is now about the first-public opportunity to visit The Pond, the private retreat of the Jim Jackson family in Petrey on Thursday June 16.

A Picnic at the Pond is an event of the Crenshaw and Pike County chapters of Alabama TREASURE Forest Associations and will include a forest tour and management program from 4 until 5 p.m.

The forest tour is open to all who love nature. The program will focus on longleaf, loblolly planting, hardwood bottoms and food plots. The program will also include a tour a working hunters’ lodge.

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Following the TREASURE Forest tour, guests will be invited to visit the main log house with a large collection of trophy animal mounts and the dog trot guest house. Also on the tour, will be a double-pen log corn crib.

Guests will have an opportunity to enjoy the nature park and the view the wildlife that includes four bald eagles.

Carter Sanders, TREASURE Forest member, said the Picnic at The Pond is a unique opportunity to visit the Jackson family’s private retreat.

“Many people in this area don’t even know that it exists,” Sanders said. “We are very appreciative of this opportunity to enjoy Mother Nature at her best and to see how the farm structures have been preserved and maintained.”

Sanders said around 50 years ago, Jim Jackson realized that weather and time were taking a devastating toll on forgotten farm out-buildings.

“When the front shelters on these buildings collapsed, Mr. Jackson purchased the structures, pulled out the nails and used the pine boards and the logs to build the family retreat and, in doing so, he preserved what could have, would have, been lost.”

The retreat’s main log house features a variety of trophy animal mounts and a dogtrot house that is the guest house.

“Almost every structure has a fascinating story,” Sanders said. “The Pond is like a museum except the man who had the vision for it will be able to visit with the guests and, perhaps, be willing to share the story – the stories – of how it came to be. “

Sanders said The Pond is a Southern Living kind of place.

“And, it’s right here in our backyard,” he said. “Everyone is invited to experience that first-time opportunity.”

The cost of the event is $25 for those over age 16 and will include a picnic supper of burgers, hotdogs, barbecue and chicken nuggets. For the kids, Woodmen of the World will have cotton candy and shaved ice and activities for the kids.

Thanks to a generous donation, the proceeds from the ticket sales will benefit the Pike County Salvation Army.

Directions to The Pond from Troy are Highway 29 South (Luverne highway). Turn right onto the Petrey Road (across from Dollar General). Follow the road to the four-way stop in Petrey, turn right.  The Pond is six miles. Signs will guide the way.