Today the reality is a museum housed in the old Vinemont Stagecoach Inn, which he bought and moved years ago to preserve a piece of Cullman history. A winding narrow dirt road circles the hill above the creek and loops down through the narrow valley alongside the creekbank where he has historic markers and covered picnic tables.
“It’s been a lot of work, and I couldn’t have done it without the help of my sons. I worked on the place for a long time, then my funds dried up. But my son, Mike, wanted to help keep it going, so we finally got it finished and opened in April 2006.”
Mike Wise helps in all aspects of the museum and they have one employee. “Keeping the grass cut, maintaining this place is still a lot of work.”
Wise said he’s had visitors from foreign countries, New Zealand, Denmark, South Africa and every state in the USA except two. “There are many people from other countries still very interested in the American Civil War. I love giving them a tour and pointing out where the soldiers fought.”
A couple weeks ago Wise said Guy Hunt and his family visited, and then recently a woman visited whose great-grandfather was captured in the battle at Crooked Creek. She said her great-grandfather was with the 1st Alabama Calvary in the Civil War and had passed along valued historic documents which she donated to the museum.
Wise has a six-seat golf cart he uses to transport visitors around the hillside loop while he explains the historic territory. He is a good story-teller and makes the battle come alive as he explains the drama and bloodshed which occurred so long ago. “You have to imagine what this place looked like back then, and from historic records I've studied, it says these hillsides were covered with thick pines and provided cover for advancing soldiers."