Sears Chapel mile marker
The Sears Chapel mile marker (sometimes called the Rockford rock) is a stone and concrete mile marker on Alabama State Highway 21 / U.S. Highway 231, approximately 2 miles north of Rockford in the Sears Chapel community in Coosa County.
The surviving marker was one of several milestones constructed and placed in 1913 by merchant John McEwen, who had offered $1,000 two years earlier toward the modernization of what was then a "fairly good road" from Rockford to Sears Chapel. He reportedly loaned as much as $13,500 to Coosa County in 1911.
The marker consists of an upright slab with an arched top, resembling a large headstone. A sculpted face occupies the center, below which a rectangular marble inset is carved with "ROCD-2MI" in large letters. The date, 1913, is carved in small letters in the upper left corner, and the carver's initials at the bottom of the panel.
In 1914 McEwen purchased an automobile, becoming one of the first four car owners in the county. He was also responsible for the entrance gate and several markers at the nearby McEwen Cemetery opposite Sears Chapel Methodist Church.
- "Prominent Citizen Offers to Aid Good Roads." (April 11, 1911) The Chronicle (Rockford, Ala.), p. 5 (link)
- "1939 [sic] hand tooled mile marker still stands on Highway 21." (February 6, 1987) Daily Home (Talladega/Sylacauga/Pell City, Ala.), p. 7. (link)
- Kazek, Kelly (April 18, 2016) "Rockford rock: Reader query leads to origins of century-old, human-face marker." The Birmingham News