Help Save Shades Mountain with the SOUND of MUSIC!

Friends of Shades Mountain
are sponsoring a Benefit Concert
at Wild Roast Cafe in Bluff Park,
featuring great live folk, mountain,
and classical guitar music,
as well as original songs
by the President of the Birmingham Music Club

Sunday, September 11th, 6:00PM

Click image to download & print pdf invitation

The Birmingham Historical Society continues to research the historic importance of Shades Mountain and Shades Creek to our community with recent attention focused on Brock’s Gap, and the publication of Shades Creek–Flowing Through Time. But the Friends of Shades Mountain also want to preserve it for the benefits it provides all of us NOW including:

  • The forest protects homeowners below from erosion, mudslides and damaging storm water runoff.
  • It helps keep the water and air in the county clean.
  • By providing visual screening, the forest enhances property values in the valley below and the ridge above the mountain.
  • It provides habitat for many plant and animal species, some rarely seen in other parts of the county and state.
  • It is an aesthetic value in itself, providing a lush green landscape that cools the eye of everyone coming around, over and under its forest canopy.
  • It helps protect Shades Creek, already imperiled by previous development.
  • The forests along this mountain help to keep homes cooler by reducing the effects of hot, humid summer days. In the winter, the forest provides wind brakes that cut heating costs.
  • The forest cover saves the county an estimated $1,500,000 per year by reducing air pollution and storm water runoff.

You can HELP by buying tickets or donating if you can’t attend.

We are MOVING!

Please note our change of location to: 2827 Highland Avenue/Birmingham, AL 35205. At this time, the BHS business office is open ONLY for scheduled meetings and appointments, and our mailing address remains unchanged at P.O. Box 321474/Birmingham, AL 35232. When our ongoing renovations are completed, a formal opening will be announced.

We LOVE our historic Highland Avenue neighborhood!

A big thanks to all those who made this move possible including John Lauriello of Southpace Properties, architect and BHS Trustee Wayne Hester, and The Ehney Camp Foundation.

Take me out to the OLDEST ballpark 🎵🎶

America’s oldest ballpark right here in Birmingham

Lifetime and passionate baseball fan and writer, Sean Dietrich, aka Sean of the South, recently discovered Rickwood Field, America’s oldest ballpark, and brings it to life for us with THIS colorful description. One of our favorite Southern writers, he really loves the game and frequently explains why in his daily column. Don’t miss his article, “The Old Ballgame”. So after attending a travel game here, Sean toured the facility with Friends of Rickwood volunteer Randy Ferguson, who told him,

“Sad thing is, you’d be surprised how many folks in Birmingham have never heard of Rickwood Field….Tell everyone you know to come visit us.”

Birmingham Historical Society board member Tom Cosby reminds us that just as the Friends of Rickwood were getting started 30 years ago, the Birmingham Historical Society, through the efforts of Marjorie White, got HABS/HAER (the Historic American Building Survey and the Historic American Engineering Record) to visit Birmingham and fully document the unassailable fact that Rickwood Field was, indeed, the oldest baseball park in America.

Local artist Terry Slaughter took those measured HABS drawings, colored them, and turned them into the promotional rendering that kick started the preservation of Rickwood. And with those efforts, the Friends of Rickwood have been able to effectively raise just enough money to help save (so far) this ancient and historic ballpark — a ballpark where such American legends as Willie Mays, Babe Ruth and Reggie Jackson once played.

So we’re repeating the words of Randy, as recorded by Sean Dietrich:

“The best thing anyone can do is tell your friends about this place. Don’t let history die. Tell everyone you know to come visit us.”

Thank you Sean, for spreading the word!

Genealogy Research – Ask a Librarian!

Birmingham Historical Society frequently receives requests for information on family histories, photograph archives, or specific Southern history items.

The Birmingham Historical Society researches specific subjects and are not the best resource for genealogy. However, we are fortunate to have the excellent Department of Southern History at the Birmingham Public Library. Not only do they offer classes in computer research for genealogy, but for specific requests, you can ’ask a librarian’ in writing to research individual questions.

They offer databases of building photographs, browsing by subject and/or name, and digitized obituaries, newspapers, and magazines. Cemeteries, stories, census records, church histories, military & civil rights histories, marriage records, and maps are just a fraction of the information to which you have access.

The digital collection contains more than 30,000,000 documents and 500,000 photographs.

So next time you want to discover more about your Southern history, ask a librarian!

Birmingham’s Hot Weather Extremes

It is HOT today, and there is another heat alert advising people to be cautious, but it IS July. So thought we’d take a look at some of Birmingham’s weather extremes throughout its weather history.

The hottest recorded temperature in Birmingham, Alabama history was a scorching 107 degrees Fahrenheit which occurred on July 29th, 1930. But it reached:

  • 106 on July 13, 1980
  • 106 on July 29, 1952
  • 106 on July 25, 1952 and
  • 106 on July 12, 1930.

Take a look at some more Birmingham extremes HERE. A special thanks to the Hostetler brothers. They created this site using U.S. government aggregate data in response to anecdotal stories from their parents about the extremely cold weather while students at the University of Michigan.

Maybe the upper 90’s in July are not so extreme after all! Stay cool…

Historical Research, Publishing, and Education