Meeks Grain and Gin provides Pisgah with a unique venue. (Photo by Tyler Pruett)
By Tyler Pruett
PISGAH, Ala.— Right before reaching the main drag in Pisgah off of County Road 58, Andrew and Whitney Meeks have repurposed a forgotten cotton gin into a unique venue. When the couple were preparing to tie the knot in 2014, they were searching their home town for an adequate site for their reception. Andrew and Whitney decided on the old family cotton gin after a family member recommended it. Soon after, they received calls from others wanting to use the venue, and this began the new story of the old Meek’s Grain and Gin.
The Meeks Grain and Gin Company was built in 1947 and was operated until 1975 by Lloyd and Ruby Meeks. The structure would sit mostly idle until their grandson, Andrew reclaimed for use as a venue.
“It’s a funny story,” Andrew said, “we cleaned it up for our own wedding, and had no idea what it would turn into.”
The structure was grown up in thick brush from being vacant for almost forty years and needed a lot of work.
“Before we turned the old gin into a venue, it was so grown up most people would drive by and not even notice it was there,” Whitney added.
The grounds hold much more than just the gin. The Meeks’ also maintain the area behind the gin which was once the cotton warehouse, now called the “loading dock.” The warehouse burned down in the fifties, and all that remains of the original structure is the concrete loading dock. This area provides a great spot for an outdoor ceremony, and the loading dock is well elevated above the lot.
The gin itself accommodates 350 guests with overflow. The interior is well lit, with a chandelier made of clear christmas lights. The spacious back deck provides a peaceful overlook of Little Bryant Creek and is yet another great location for the wedding ceremony.
Perhaps what’s most striking about this venue is it’s old south, rustic feel. The Meeks’ did an excellent job of rehabilitating the structure while leaving the “antique” feel of an old cotton gin. Some of the old ginning equipment remains inside, while they’ve added flat screen tv’s and modern bathroom facilities. The grounds surrounding the structure are also decorated with antique farm equipment.
One of the most interesting features is the artesian well which flows from a pipe next to the gin. This well is one of only three natural artesian wells in Alabama. It was drilled almost a century ago for the lumber mill which predated the gin.
The Meeks’ are not only providing a unique wedding venue, but also a location for the Pisgah community to hold events.
“We sometimes hold events just for the good of the community,” Whitney explained. “We hold our annual ‘Christmas at the Gin,’ every December to benefit needy children in the area. We’ve also had youth rallies, church events, and other charity events.”
Located just minutes away from Rainsville and Scottsboro, Meeks Grain and Gin is an excellent wedding venue at an affordable price. They also can provide entertainment, decorations, catering contacts, and wedding cakes if needed. Andrew and Whitney have already hosted over forty weddings and twenty other events in its first two years of operation.
Unfortunately, if you would like to rent the gin this year, it’s completely booked. Much of 2017 is open, but is filling up fast. To reserve this venue or find out more information, visit their website: http://www.meeksgrainandgin.com or contact the Meeks’ directly at email@example.com.