Auburn University | Toomers Corner |Aubrurn, AL | History of Toomers Corner | Photos by Stevie Dee Photography

Toomer's Corner

Anyone who knows Auburn knows the significance of Toomer's Corner, but for those who don't, let  me give you the cliff notes version.  Located at the intersection of Magnolia and College, Toomer's Corner is one of the most recognizable landmarks in Alabama. In 1872 Sheldon L. Toomer, Jr. graduated from the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Alabama (now Auburn University) and later returned for a pharmacy degree. It is said Judge John Harper, the founder of the city of Auburn, planted "Toomer's Oaks" in 1880, directly adjacent from Toomer's Drugstore which was opened by Sheldon L. Toomer, Jr. in the late 1800's.

Since Toomer's Drugstore was home to the only telegraph machine in the city, employees found a signaling system to notify the community of  AU football wins at away games by throwing the ticker tape from the telegraph machines onto the power lines outside the store.


Since 1962, Auburn fans have been rolling the power lines outside Toomer's Drugstore with toilet paper after every away game victory. The tradition continued as an away game celebration until 1989 when the Iron Bowl came to Auburn, AL for the first time. The post AU victory celebration resulted in fans blanketing Toomer's Oak trees with toilet paper.

In the early 1990's the power lines were moved underground resulting in a new tradition of "Rolling the Oaks". This 20 year tradition continued until Auburn took the Iron Bowl over long time rival Alabama State in December 2010.


Self-proclaimed Alabama Crimson Tide fan, Harvey Updyke, poisoned the oaks following Auburn's 28-27 comeback win over the Tide in December 2010. The trees were poisoned so bad and were forced to be cut down. Hundreds gathered around the poisoned Oaks after the AU game on April 20, 2013 and celebrated one final victory with Toomer's Oaks. One final roll before the trees were removed, one of the most devestating moments in the history of  Toomer's Corner.

The city has since installed wire cables that cross the intersection at Magnolia and College. giving Auburn fans a place to continue a new version of a very old tradition, but nothing will ever be able replace those Oak trees.


Although Toomers Oaks can no longer be found on the corner of Magnolia and College, tiger fans still roll Toomer's Corner (and the entire block) after every AU football victory.


And the clean up crew is still out there with their fire hoses the morning after. Cleaning up the signs of yet another Auburn victory.


To this day, Toomer's Corner remains a gathering place for the community to the celebrate AU football wins, even though it may look a little barren without the soaring oaks. Alabama didn't win this either, Auburn did.





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