Category Archives: Birmingham Historical Society

Cake Walk is BACK!

This popular annual BHS event is finally back. Calling all Cakes! What’s your childhood favorite? 

Is it the Southern Living all time favorite, Hummingbird Cake? 7 Layer (difficult to assemble) Caramel Cake?  Maybe Lady Baltimore, Coca Cola, or even a 7-Up Bundt?  We KNOW you have a favorite—so it’s time to enter this year’s  Birmingham Historical Society Heritage Cake Contest!

Monday, February 27th at Birmingham Botanical Gardens Auditorium, 4PM

It’s another Cake Walk into the Past but this year, we’re featuring your favorite childhood cakes.

The rules are simple:

1. The Birmingham Historical Society annual meeting is Monday, February 27—it’s also Cake Contest Day.

2. Bake your Childhood Favorite Cake and bring it to the Birmingham Botanical Gardens’ Auditorium by 4 p.m. February 27 for judging

3. Be sure to fill out the form (see below) and bring it along.

4. Remember, bake ANY cake that’s your official childhood favorite!!

5. We’ll serve all the scrumptious cakes after our meeting and speaker

(and announce the winners too!)

Judging Categories

—Best Overall Cake

—Most Vintage Recipe

—Most Unusual Cake

—Most Beautiful Cake

—Best Memory Statement

(Click HERE or on form below to enlarge and print)

Thank you for your support!

It’s that time of year again! As a non-profit operating entirely with volunteers, we depend upon the support of our donors and the service of our Trustees. We ask that you renew your membership and join us in the important work of documenting Birmingham’s history. Currently celebrating our 81st year, we appreciate the generous gifts of members and patrons that enables us to provide annual seminars, tours, book signings, publications, and newsletters.

Birmingham has a very rich heritage and learning from its past, shapes its future. Please refer to the long list of publications below!

If you are a Trustee, please complete this form and submit it prior to February 14th, 2023, according to the requirements of our by-laws.

If you would like to join or renew your membership, please complete this form. Thank you for your support! We appreciate your interest!

BIRMINGHAM HISTORICAL SOCIETY PUBLICATIONS 1977-2022

  • 2022. Birmingham’s Dynamite Hill
  • 2021.  Birmingham: The City Beautiful, Compliments of G. Ward
  • 2020. The Birmingham District: An Industrial History and Guide (reprint of 1981 edition)
  • 2019. Pretty Posies, Powerful Healing: An Herbal Primer
  • 2019. Shades Creek: Flowing Through Time
  • 2018. Warren H. Manning’s City Plan for Birmingham, reprint of 1919 plan
  • 2016. Birmingham, 1915, reprint
  • 2016. For Science and Humanity: Building Southern Research
  • 2015. Bob Moody’s Birmingham: A City in Watercolor
  • 2014. Mountain Brook-A Historic American Landscape
  • 2013. MINUTES-Central Committee of the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference
  • 2012. The Jemison Magazine: Birmingham and Mountain Brook, 1926-1930, reprint of the magazines
  • 2011. The Jemison Magazine and The Selling of Birmingham, 1910-1914, reprint of the magazines
  • 2010. Digging Out of the Great Depression: Federal Programs At Work In and About the Birmingham Area
  • 2009. Mountain Brook Village: Then & Now
  • 2008. D.O. Whilldin: Alabama Architect
  • 2007. Hand Down Unharmed: Olmsted Files on Birmingham Parks: 1910-1925
  • 2006. The Olmsted Vision: Parks for Birmingham
  • 2005. A Park System for Birmingham, Olmsted Brothers, 1925, Reprint.
  • 2004. Art of the New South: Women Artists of Birmingham, 1890-1950
  • 2003. A Guide to Architectural Styles Featuring Birmingham Homes
  • 2001. Aspiration: Birmingham’s Historic Houses of Worship
  • 2001. A Pizella Affair: Portraits of the Comer Family
  • 1999. Walking Tours of Birmingham Churches Conducted from 1990-1999
  • 1999. Vive Vulcan! Activities for Schools
  • 1998. In Celebration of the Restoration of Alabama Power Company’s 1925 Tower
  • 1998. Low Virtues: The Value of Human Scale Architecture to Birmingham Urbanism
  • 1998. A Walk to Freedom-The Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth and the Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights, 1956-1964
  • 1997. Birmingham Bound-An Atlas of the South’s Premier Industrial Region
  • 1996. Birmingham View: Through the Years in Photographs
  • 1995. Birmingham’s Vulcan, reprint 1938 booklet
  • 1995. Vulcan & His Times-A Tell all about Birmingham’s Most Famous Landmark
  • 1994. The Birmingham Industrial Heritage District Map
  • 1992. True Tales of Birmingham
  • 1991. Mountain Brook Estates, reprint of a 1926 publication
  • 1991. Judge Clarence Allgood: His Brother’s Keeper
  • 1990. Cinderella Stories, Transformations of Historic Birmingham Buildings
  • 1989. Designs on Birmingham: A Landscape History of a Southern City and its Suburbs
  • 1989. Buildings Against Cities: The Struggle to Make Places
  • 1988. House Detective: A Guide to Researching Birmingham Buildings
  • 1986. Image of the City, by Grady Clay
  • 1985. Go To Town, Birmingham: A Public Forum on a Vital City Center
  • 1984. Old Birmingham-New Architecture: Student Projects for a Historic Downtown Context
  • 1983. Five Points Heritage Hike and Patch
  • 1982. Town Within A City: The Five Points South Neighborhood, 1880-1930
  • 1981. The Birmingham District: An Industrial History and Guide
  • 1980. Birmingham Heritage Hike Guide and Patch
  • 1978. The Ghost in the Sloss Furnaces
  • 1978. Downtown Discovery Tour
  • 1978. Downtown Birmingham: Architectural and Historical Walking Tour Guide
  • 1977-1987. The Journal of the Birmingham Historical Society, 14 issues

“Dynamite Hill” unveiled Sunday, December 11th at Tabernacle Baptist Church

The Birmingham Historical Society’s newest book has 13 first-hand accounts of what it was like to grow up on Dynamite Hill, the neighborhood that was repeatedly bombed in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Barbara Shores, the daughter of civil rights activist and attorney Arthur Shores, along with Marjorie White, director of BHS, bring those stories to life with childhood memories, photos, and historical background.

Ryan Michaels with The Birmingham Times, interviews Shores and White prior to the event on Sunday in this article. Shores notes that many young people who have grown up in Birmingham are unaware of the significance of Dynamite Hill in breaking the racial barriers that existed in housing and schools. It’s a story that needs to be told and retold! Please mark your calendars for Sunday’s event:

Birmingham’s Dynamite Hill” will be unveiled on Sunday, Dec. 11 at Tabernacle Baptist Church, 600 Center St. North in Birmingham’s Graymont neighborhood, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Please note that this and other BHS publications will also be available locally at SHOPPE in Forest Park, via USPS and online HERE

Autograph Party for Birmingham’s Dynamite Hill – December 11, 2-4PM

You’re invited to attend an autograph party of our newest publication, Birmingham’s Dynamite Hill, with speakers who grew up on the hill in the 1950s and 1960s. The event will be at the Tabernacle Baptist Church at 600 Center Street in the Center Street Historic District of Smithfield on December 11th, 2022, 2-4 PM. Please plan to attend!

New Book Release! Birmingham’s Dynamite Hill

This is the compelling story of the fight over residential segregation laws as told by the people who lived it. The multiple bombings in the ‘40’s, 50s, and 60’s of the close-knit Birmingham neighborhood, now known as Dynamite Hill, were intended to intimidate residents and discourage their families from building in designated ‘whites only’ zoned areas and attending white schools. But due to the persistence and courage primarily of resident and attorney Arthur Shores, archaic ordinances and laws were changed. In 2011, the Center Street district was added to the National Register of Historic Places, commemorating the fight for fair housing and schools.

Weaving first-hand accounts into the historical narrative, this new book personalizes the struggles and courage of the families whose homes and neighborhood were terrorized. It also tells of the accomplishments of the children of that era, their close ties, their memories, and their hope for the future. Multiple photos of historic events and homes along with personal interviews, makes this history come alive, representing as Arthur Shores’ daughter, Barbara Shores, says, ‘the best and the worst of humanity’. To purchase a copy of the book, please click HERE

Although the neighborhood has seen brighter days, its location, character, and history make it unique. It’s important to know our history and to preserve and renew Dynamite Hill so that future generations may learn of this landmark neighborhood that illustrates the best and the worst of humanity.

~Barbara Shores