Ezell’s Fish Camp located on the Tombigbee River at Lavaca, AL (a legendary restaurant that evolved from a dogtrot)

Antebellum | Lavaca in Choctaw County  

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For many 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, began as a small “dogtrot” log cabin, with two rooms joined by a central breezeway, that some believe was built by a French fur trader. The cabin was used as a trading post during the Civil War. Charles Agnew Ezell bought it and ran a ferry across the Tombigbee in the days before a bridge was built. His son, C.A. Ezell, lived in the cabin and worked as a commercial fisherman on the river. Soon, his family outgrew the cabin, but C.A. continued to operate it as a hunting club. Large fish fries were held to accommodate guests. Pauline, the original cook, had a huge pot in the yard where catfish and hushpuppies were cooked and sold for fifty cents per plate. The hunting camp evolved into a full-time, public restaurant in the mid-1950s.

Over the years, several rooms have been added to the building to provide space needed for the restaurant. However, when entering the restaurant, you are reminded of the humble beginning of Ezell’s. In the entrance and the two adjoining rooms, you will observe that the walls are large, hand-hewed logs. This is the original “dogtrot” where it all began.

Ezell’s Fish Camp is still owned and operated by the Ezell family and they are still serving the same delicious catfish, hushpuppies, and “world famous” slaw that has been bringing customers back for decades.

Ezell’s Fish Camp 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) al.com/life/2019/02/ezells-fish-camp-is-a-trip-back-in-time-with-hush-puppies; 3) Historic Choctaw Tour, by Ann H. Gay; 4) Alabama Black Belt Nature and Heritage Trail, a publication of the Alabama Bureau of Tourism & Travel.

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