Cardiff, Alabama –

. In Jefferson County, west of Gardendale
. First settlers, the Crocker family, came in 1830. They sold it to people wanting to mine the area.
. Named after the capital of Wales around 1880
. Located on Five Mile Creek
. For years, it was the smallest incorporated town in AL – land area is 0.2 square miles
. Began as a coal mining town
. In 2003, the flood of Five Mile Creek destroyed a number of buildings in Cardiff
. In 2010, the population was only 55. It’s estimated to be less than 40 now.

I wasn’t able to find much information about Cardiff. It seems sad to me that the little town seems to be fading away. One account I read said that it is being overtaken by kudzu as more people move away.

Father, I’m not really sure how to pray for the town of Cardiff, AL. The verse that comes to mind is about how You are the One who establishes kings and removes kings. (I can’t recall the reference at the moment, nor can I remember enough of the verse to look it up.) You are, therefore, the One who raises up towns/cities and the One who removes them. You raised up Cardiff, AL for Your plans and purposes 133 years ago. It would seem to most people that Your plans for this town are coming to an end.

However, here we are, praying for this town today. Father, may Your manifest presence be felt among the remaining citizens of Cardiff today.  We put the name of Jehovah Jireh on them, and ask that You would supply all their needs according to Your riches in glory. Surround them with songs of deliverance. Be the shield about them and the lifter of their heads (Psalm 3:3).

The verse that just popped into my head is Isaiah 62:12. “And they will call them, ‘The holy people, The redeemed of the LORD’; And you will be called, ‘Sought out, a city not forsaken.'” So, Father, we ask that You would reverse what seems to be the inevitable decline of this town. Make this a place once again that is sought out. Do not let Cardiff become forsaken. In the past couple of weeks, we’ve been praying for towns and cities that came back from near destruction, and those who changed what they’re known for in order to draw new people in. We pray that You would do the same for Cardiff. Change what Cardiff is known for, which is a dying mining town. Let it be known for the beauty of Your Creation there. Let it be known for the kindness of its citizens. Bring this town back to a place of growth and prosperity. Not for any reason except for Your glory and Your name’s sake. May everyone who sees the town’s revival know that it was by Your hand alone. Amen.

If you are from Cardiff, or near there, I would love to hear first-hand about the town. In the meantime, I hope the rest of you will join me in praying for Cardiff. Leave your prayer or a verse in the comments below.

8 thoughts on “Cardiff, Alabama –

  1. The words of the Christmas hymn come to mind – “O, little town of Bethlehem”. Out of that city with little promise or reputation came the Hope of every town and nation.

    Lord Jesus, may You make Your home in Cardiff – and out of that little town may Your light shine through our entire region. Amen!

  2. I lived and grew up in Cardiff until we lost our home in the the flood. Cardiff was and still is a great place to raise your kids. We still live very close but are outside the city limits. The Word says do not despise small beginnings and I often think of that town as we travel the world and spread the gospel. We just recently got back from Kenya, Africa. Where 95k were saved through a crusade.

    • Thank you for your input and insight, Brian. You make a good point. God can use little towns like Cardiff to raise up people who can bring hundreds, if not thousands, to Christ. I pray He continues to use Cardiff for His plans and purposes.

  3. Jennifer: Your attention to Cardiff in your 2014 notes is interesting. I am one who was born there in 1927, when it was a bustling little coal mining town, with a mayor, town council, all sorts of small businesses, two train stops a day at the depot, grocery stores, barbers, saloon, school, churches, and A WHOLE BUNCH OF PEOPLE WHO WERE HAPPY TO BE EMPLOYED AND FREE. My Grandpa ran one of the grocery stores, barber shop, and shoe shop, all in one building. We were basically an Italian-American family, with close ties to all members of the family. We had wonderful memorable times together. I hope you have a copy of Martha Mulkin’s book “Cardiff’s Family Circles”, published in 2000. Much more insight in that book than I could provide.

    In 1930 we moved to the adjacent town of Brookside, and in 1934 to Lewisburg (now Fultondale), where I grew up. My Dad was the town barber. Nowadays, when I go back to Cardiff, with its few houses (Grandma’s house still stands, deserted and disintegrating, right in the middle of town, with two huge magnolia trees in the front yard). Makes tears come to my eyes to see it now and ‘remember when’. Especially remembering the family get-togethers almost every week-end. I have an old 1918 Player Piano and many of the old Piano Rolls, pre-1930, that my parents used to play on “Ma’s” piano when they got together.

    Yes, I am now 88 and have lived in Huntsville since 1951 when I came to work with the von Braun Rocket Team. Have had a wonderful and most interesting career. My book “MY PART IN MY TIME” was written in 1992 and quite a few old Cardiff memories are included, along with 40 years progress in the Space Program. Several of us “old timers” still meet regularly to talk about what can be done to advance the current space program–and discuss what has gone by and the failures and successes made in the past.

    Thanks again for your attention to Cardiff. Lots of Memories for me!!!!!

    Gene Cataldo

    • Thank you for taking the time to share your memories with us! I would love to read those books as time allows. One of the things I have enjoyed about this project of praying through all the municipalities in the metro-B’ham area is how it’s piqued my curiosity about each place so that I want to learn all I can. When local people like you tell me about the books that have been written about these places, it makes my job that much easier and more interesting! Thanks for commenting!

  4. I was born and raised in Cardiff Alabama. I grew up in what I call the time of innocence. Why do I call it that because we as children could stay out in the yard playing, go to our friends house, walk to the grocery store down in the little town. Our parents did not have to worry and there was no fear in our little hearts of being kidnapped or someone molesting us.
    Some of my most vivid memories of Cardiff was the Post Office in Mr. And Mrs. Pemberton store and the old tall coal heater that invited everyone in on a cold day, not just to get whatever and your mail but to sit a while and chat. We fondling called Mrs. Pemberton Ms. Lizzie. After they gave up working we could go to our new post office and still chat with the postmisstress Catherine Tombrello. D.D. Tombrello was sometimes around and he was always a happy man. The grocery store was now Mr. And Mrs. Walker proprietors of Walker groceries and could get a penny sack full of candy because a lot of it was two for a penny. I could go on to write a book about “A Big Life in a Small Town” but I will and do pray for the people and the town of Cardiff. My heart strings are still attached not only from growing up there but my family Is still there. The town where everyone is family.”

    • Thank you so much for sharing your memories of your hometown, Dorothy! It’s interesting to me that for these small towns, they’re generating the most comments from people who have grown up there. I loved seeing a glimpse into Cardiff’s personal history through your memories.

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