“March 8, 1962, A.E. Moore was part of a group that went to Montgomery to incorporate the city,” Mayor Joe Lee said. “A.E. Moore was the first mayor.”
Lee, along with other city leaders, will be part of a celebration of the city’s anniversary Sunday, beginning at 2 p.m. at City Hall. County commissioner Ken Crowe, a native of Moody, will be part of that celebration, as well.
“I remember when it was just the crossroads,” he said. “There was a sign there where ADESA is now (on U.S. 411), because there was an active dairy there across the road and you had to stop and let the cows cross.
“We would leave the crossroads and bird hunt. And we didn’t even have to ask permission from anybody.”
Now, with anywhere from 11,000 to 13,000 residents — depending on who’s counting — the city is one of the two largest municipalities in all of St. Clair County. It is home to the Red Diamond headquarters, as well as a major interstate exit (144). It also maintains some of its original small-town atmosphere — Gaye’s Barber Shop, the oldest active business in town, remains open on 411.
“The interstate coming out this way in 60s was really big, as far as opening up the city for development,” Lee said. “I’ve been here 20 years and watched it change from 4,000 people in 1992, to 13,800.”
Lee is only the sixth mayor in the history of the city.
“Every mayor and council has had to deal with growth and expansion,” Lee said. “In the 60s and 70s, our fire, police and administration offices were all in the same building. Our ‘new’ city hall is now our police department; it was built in 1982. This is the new ‘new city hall.’”
In recent years, Moody has opened the Miracle League at the city recreation fields, completed a major relocation of the Little Cahaba River and collaborated with Leeds to bring The Shops of Grand River and Bass Pro Shops to the area.
It is something that causes city leaders to marvel.
“Of course, part of you always misses things being the way they used to be,” Ken Crowe said. “I’m proud to be from Moody.”
Contact Will Heath at firstname.lastname@example.org.