The first settlers arrived to the lands around Trout Creek in 1822.

Nature Photo

It was an area rich in fish and wild game, according to historian Rubye Sisson. Coal-mining and railroads brought more people to the bustling community, which was incorporated as Ragland in 1899. In 1908, the company today known as National Cement Company began construction on its plant. Eventually purchased by The Vicat Group, National Cement remains as the largest employer in Ragland.

The first recorded deed for the land that now makes up Blue Springs Nature Preserve was recorded in 1836. Davis Charlie Grant purchased a tract of land in Ragland in 1930. The family raised corn, cotton, peanuts, cattle, hogs and chicken. His grandson, Charlie Brannon, grew up exploring the land, fishing and canoeing in the creeks, and hunting. His family sold the land to National Cement in the 1970s.

In 2003, National Cement Company set aside the land and donated approximately $250,000 in “seed funding” for development of the Preserve as 501C 3 non-profit organization. The seed money came from the company's sale of land to St. Clair County for use by the Coosa Valley Water Supply District as a surface water treatment plant.

“Blue Springs Nature Preserve is an important project because there is currently nothing like it in St. Clair County,” explains Lyman Lovejoy, President of Lovejoy Realty and Finance Chairman for the Blue Springs Nature Preserve Steering Committee. “It will give our children a chance to get out of the classroom and learn from hands-on, outdoor experiences, which may even inspire their future career choices.”

“It will be a great educational resource for the area,” said Barnett Lawley, Commissioner of Conservation, Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.