Tag Archives: Marjorie White

“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!

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!

Brock’s Gap as a Pedestrian Pathway per Hoover Developer

Click HERE for full article

The mission of the Birmingham Historical Society includes supporting the preservation of historic landmarks and educating the community about their significance. This often requires field study, mapping, photography, and fact checking before informing owners and developers about their property’s history.

Many times, owners are initially unaware of the historic significance of their property, but once it’s pointed out, they begin to see the historic landmarks on their property as amenities that not only need to be preserved but that can also enhance its marketability .

As posted in The Hoover Sun by Jon Anderson on November 25, 2021, Developer and Signature Homes President, Jonathon Belcher, soon realized how working around Brock’s Gap could enhance any future development as he states:

“… (he) wants to use the Brock’s Gap cut as a pedestrian pathway to help connect Ross Bridge and the Everlee community to 10 miles of mountain bike trails his company built in Trace Crossings, and eventually to historic coke ovens across the Cahaba River in Helena.”

“For us, that old railbed will serve as a great connector trail that’s already built, so we like having that there,” he said. “It enhances the communities we create.”

Completed 150 years ago, the beautiful, forested railbed at Brock’s Gap was the last and most laborious stretch of the South and North Alabama Railroad that finally connected Montgomery to the mineral region of central Alabama. With this important link finally in place, the city of Birmingham was founded a month later, on December 19th, 1871. For more photos and information, please click here and scroll to read all articles related to this issue (including this one).

And a year later, the final link of South & North —from Birmingham to Decatur — created the first railway linking the north and the south in the United States.

Thanks largely to the efforts of Birmingham Historical Society trustees, Marjorie White and Birgit Kibelka, the importance of Brock’s Gap has been brought to the attention of not only the community, but also to the developers and city leaders who will determine its future. For the Birmingham Historical Society, that is their stated mission, accomplished.

BHS concerns considered for Planned Parkway that could destroy Historic Landmark

It’s rewarding when the efforts of Birmingham Historical Society trustees to preserve a first-class historical site are not only recognized, but seriously considered by city leaders and developers in urban planning. Thanks to the research and site visits of BHS Director Marjorie White, and BHS Trustee and Hoover resident Birgit Kilbeka, plans for a 4 mile parkway that could potentially destroy the landmark Brock’s Gap are now being debated. This article in The Hoover Sun by Jon Anderson highlights the importance of what is being proposed.

An earlier BHS post follows the mile long walk along the railbed. And this BHS article highlights the importance of Brock’s Gap to the City of Birmingham and why it needs to be preserved.

Thank you to Birmingham Historical Society Trustees for bringing historical sites to the attention of developers. And thank you to developers and city planners for listening and responding to these concerns!