Elyton, currently a residential neighborhood in Birmingham containing the historic Arlington House, was the county seat of Jefferson County from 1821 to 1873. The censuses during that time provide documentation of the agricultural practices and sources of wealth during that period, as well as the incidence of enslaved labor. Birmingham Historical Society’s May 2021 Newsletter … Continue reading What the Census tells us about “Old Elyton” plantations in Jefferson County
The City of Birmingham was founded in 1871, one month after the completion of the last link in the North-South railroad connecting Montgomery to Birmingham through Brock’s Gap. The new city was the center of the developing Birmingham District that grew quickly as a collection of iron ore, coal, and limestone mines. Manufacturing plants were scattered … Continue reading Traversing Brock’s Gap: The Historic Key to the Development of the Birmingham District
We met at the entrance gate to the Brock’s Gap Training Center at South Shades Crest Road where Jim gave an overview of the history of Brock’s Gap followed by Birgit’s introduction of the map and of the walk ahead. As we walked we took a look at the 1907 Atlanta, Birmingham and Atlantic Railroad cut … Continue reading The Brock’s Gap Railroad Bed from South Shades Crest to Chestnut Ridge (1 mile) in West Hoover
Monorails, subterranean boat tours, historic cycloramas and murals under Vulcan Park and The Club never materialized, but were suggested when The Club first opened in 1951. Inspired by the fantasy of California’s recently opened Disneyland, The Club management and the Chamber of Commerce did a series of promotional watercolors now in the collection of Birmingham … Continue reading What Might Have Been – Vulcan’s Underground Wonderland
Several changes were approved at the last board meeting including a slight increase in membership fees. Your generous membership fees and gifts pay for research, publications, society events, annual book signings, tours, newsletters, and educational events. We encourage you to renew your membership or join us now! For more information, please click HERE. Note that … Continue reading TIME TO RENEW MEMBERSHIP
The Lyric Theater is one of Birmingham’s Historic Landmarks and is also one of the few remaining theaters that was specifically designed for vaudeville shows. By 1918, four years after it opened, it had an active and popular schedule of events attracting stars including Mae West and The Marx Brothers, and was lauded by Milton … Continue reading Lyric Theater once again threatened by a pandemic
In the South, recipes are filled with history, and often shared with memories, stories, and traditions. One of the most iconic examples is the Alabama Lane Cake. Created by Emma Lane from Clayton, Alabama for a county fair in Columbus, GA, her flavorful layer cake won first prize. She subsequently included the recipe in her … Continue reading Alabama’s 100-year-old Holiday Cake
Covid-19 is not Birmingham’s first epidemic. For a little historical perspective, and some information on how Birmingham coped in the past, please read our current newsletter! It includes memories of those who experienced the Spanish Flu of 1918. continue reading here > Pandemic 2020 Want to JOIN the Birmingham Historical Society?
Steve Williams was a wonderful friend to Birmingham Historical Society and a contributing member prior to his death this month. Most recently he lent a photograph from his archive in Eufala for publication in our recent Shades Creek book. Over a period of many years he served as a Trustee, President, and Chairman of both … Continue reading Steve Williams III (1936-2020)
This Facebook video created by Lisa Jones of Jefferson County – Alabama Extension – shares details surrounding the beginning and evolution of Grandmother’s Garden at Birmingham Historical Society’s headquarters at Sloss Quarters. Narrated in part by BHS Director, Marjorie White, the video also pays tribute to retiring longtime Urban Regional Jefferson County extension agent, Sallie … Continue reading Grandmother’s Garden at Sloss
The research volunteers at Birmingham Historical Society are committed to providing education not only about Birmingham’s history, but generic information that’s useful to everyone. So BHS was delighted to hear from a youth services librarian and educator at G.A.T.E. DENVER CHILDREN’S COALITION who was able to use our online resources and educational programs for a … Continue reading This Old House Research
Long time residents of Birmingham know that the Altamont ridge has one of the best views in the city, a forested overlook perched 400 feet above Jones Valley. But did you know that Boston architect, George H. Miller, originally created a plan for the Altamont ridge in 1911, specifically providing for both public and private … Continue reading Altamont – A Portion of Red Mountain and its Park
POSTPONED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE DUE TO COVID-19 Historic Houses of Worship: AvondaleA Walking and Driving TourLed by David R. Bains, PhDSunday, April 5, 2020, 1:30-4:00 p.m. Several Avondale churches built in the 1880’s still remain and have been joined by others in this thriving residential community established in 1884. See the map below for the … Continue reading Coming Soon – Tour of Avondale Churches
The annual BHS cake/pie competition was a huge success with eighteen entries and just one more cake than there were pies. Oh my! It was hard to choose! There were pound cakes, there were tea cakes, chocolate, caramel, and even a büche de noel. The stories behind them were as good as the cakes! But … Continue reading And the Winner Is….
The 2020 annual meeting focused on a portion of Shades Valley originally developed for the South & North Alabama Railroad which is now in the Ross Bridge community. A beautifully designed stone culvert, c. 1864, which bridged Shades Creek is all that remains of the original railroad causeway designed to bring iron ore from the … Continue reading Ross Bridge – Remnants of the Civil War Era
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