Around 1900, rural families of the south had an occasional photograph made whenever a traveling photographer such as William Brummitt Farley or his brother, Walter, came through the community.
The Farleys came to Alabama from North Carolina in the early 1900's, bringing their studio, a small building on wheels, behind four horses. Upon arriving at Crossville, they chose that community as a good location from which to travel over Sand Mountain. At first, walking from farm to fram, and later riding in horse-drawn buggies, the Farley brothers stayed gone a week at a time before bringing their work back to the studio to finish. Once, while both were away, the studio caught fire and burned to the ground. A large building was then constructed to take its place.
W. B. Farley met and married Nannie Jane Jones at Crossville. While living there they had four children, Lewis, Verby, Liston, and Norma. Around 1920, W.B. moved the studio to Fort Payne and set it up on a lot on Gault Avenue. Later he located it on a corner across from the old courthouse for awhile before moving it again to another lot on Gault Avenue.
In 1941 the family moved to Chattanooga, where W.B. Farley and his son Liston formed a studio business which made portraits all over the south extending at times into the north and southwest. They also established a finishing plant known as Photographic Laaboratories, which employed around 100 people. Other members of the family were associated with the business at various times. Farley Studios are still in operation, managed by Liston Farley's son, Larry (grandson of W. B. Farley) whose horse-drawn studio moved up Sand Mountain about 75 years ago.