Ezell’s Fish Camp located on the Tombigbee River at Lavaca, AL (one of the oldest restaurants in southwest Alabama)

Antebellum | Lavaca in Choctaw County  

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For many of its customers, Ezell’s Fish Camp is much more than a restaurant. It is a cultural institution, representing a way of life very much connected to the community’s river heritage and to family tradition. This well known landmark, on the Tombigbee River, is believed to have been built by a French fur trader prior to the Civil War and used as a trading post. Charles Agnew Ezell purchased the cabin and used it as a trading post during the Civil War, supplying packet boats from Mobile traveling up and down the Tombigbee River. His son, C.A. Ezell, became a successful commercial fisherman employing other fisherman throughout the river region. He used the cabin as his home and the base for his fishing operation. C. A. Ezell later used the cabin as a hunting club attracting guests from all over the state. Large fish fries were held, and the original cook, Pauline, set up a huge pot in the yard, where catfish and hushpuppies were sold for fifty cents per plate. The hunting club evolved into a full-time, public restaurant in the 1950s. The restaurant is still owned and operated by the Ezell family. Originally a classic “dogtrot” log cabin, with two rooms joined by a central breezeway, additional rooms have been added, providing space for the restaurant that is known far and wide for its catfish and hushpuppies. Before Crumpton Bridge was constructed, this was also the location of Lott’s Ferry, and you’ll still find an active boat ramp just above the restaurant.

This restaurant is located on the west bank of the Tombigbee River just north of the Hwy 10 river bridge at Lavaca, AL (GPS Coordinates 32.134996, -88.041820).

Sources: 1) EzellsFishCamp.com; 2) Historic Choctaw Tour, by Ann H. Gay; 3) Alabama Black Belt Nature and Heritage Trail, a publication of the Alabama Bureau of Tourism & Travel.

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