Located in a house on this site on Dr. and Mrs. Carnot Bellinger's farm south of the city of Montgomery. Mrs. Bellinger served as both a nurse and administrator as president of the Soldiers' Home. A "Wayside" hospital, it cared for traveling soldiers and refugees before moving to the city in 1862 to become the "Ladies' Hospital." The present Burton Avenue was the drive to the Bellinger home. In the late 19th century the property became part of Montgomery as "Bellinger Heights" and, in 1904, the Bellinger Hill School was built here. The Soldiers' Home structure was altered as a residence and survived until the 1970's.
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The Soldiers' Home
Founded June 1861 by the Ladies' Hospital Association of Montgomery, Sarah Hails Bellinger, with her husband, Dr. Carnot Bellinger, donated the site for the hospital and served as the hospital's first president. The Bellinger farm site included a spacious four-room house for the hospital, one of the first for Confederate soldiers during the Civil War. The name "Soldiers' Home" was attached to the hospital after a patient described the facility in a letter to his mother as neither hospital nor asylum but a true "Soldiers' Home." Dr. and Mrs. Bellinger tended the sick here until May 1862, when exhaustion caused them to move the Home to the corner of Bibb and Commerce Streets in town.
Confederate Military Prison
Near this site, from mid April to December 1862, a Confederate military prison held, under destitute conditions, 700 Union soldiers, most captured at Shiloh. They were imprisoned in a foul, vermin-abounding cotton depot, 200 feet long and 40 feet wide, without blankets and only the hard earth or wood planks as a bed. The cotton shed was situated between Tallapoosa Street and the Alabama River. Of the 700 Union prisoners, nearly 198 died in captivity. The survivors were moved to Tuscaloosa, Alabama in December 1862.
Civil War Military Prisons
Records of the Commissary General of Prisoners list 198 Union prisoners, from the Montgomery military prison, buried at Montgomery. Most of these were listed as unknown. Subsequently, in 1868, the remains interred in the Montgomery cemetery were removed to the National Cemetery at Marietta, Georgia. Over 674,000 soldiers were taken captive during the Civil War. Often prisoners were crammed into facilities with disregard of capacity limits, hygiene, nutrition, or sanitation needs. These deplorable conditions existed in military prisons of both sides. More than 56,000 prisoners died in confinement, 30,218 in Confederate and 25,976 in Union prisons.
[2001: Tallapoosa St. @ Coosa St., Montgomery 32.38119N 86.31087W]
Two small villages, New Philadelphia, founded by Massachusetts lawyer Andrew Dexter in 1817, and East Alabama, established by Georgians led by John Scott in 1818, united in 1819 to form Montgomery, named for Revolutionary hero Gen. Richard Montgomery. Connecting at Court Square, the two towns' principle streets were Philadelphia's Market Street (Dexter Avenue) and East Alabama's Main Street (Commerce Street). First courthouse stood to west of artesian well which city enlarged in 1850s. Fountain erected in 1885.
Historic hub for business in Montgomery. Exchange Hotel built in 1848 on NW corner of Commerce and Montgomery Streets; rebuilt 1906; demolished 1970s. Cast iron-fronted Central Bank of 1856 on NE corner of square; Winter Building, site of telegraph office in 1861, on SE corner since 1840s. Historic processions passing along Dexter Avenue to the Capitol included Jefferson Davis Inaugural, 2/18/1861; Gen. J.H. Wilson's Cavalry Corps, 4/12/1865;167th Infantry Regt. Rainbow Division, 5/12/1919; Selma-Montgomery Civil Rights March, 3/25/1965.
[1992: Court Square beside fountain, Montgomery, 32.37747 N 86.30916 W]
Major Charles W. Davis, Infantry
United States Army
A native of Montgomery, graduate of Lanier, alumnus of the Universities of Alabama and Maryland, Major Davis was awarded the Medal of Honor as Executive Officer, 2d Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division. "For distinguishing himself conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty on Guadalcanal Island. On 12 January 1943, he volunteered to carry instructions to the leading companies of his battalion which had been caught in crossfire from Japanese machine guns. With complete disregard for his own safety he made his way to the trapped units, delivered instructions, supervised their execution and remained overnight in this exposed position.
"Above and Beyond"
The following day, Davis volunteered to lead an assault on the Japanese position holding up the advance. His rifle jammed, he drew his pistol and led the assault. Electrified by this action, his soldiers followed and seized the hill. The capture broke Japanese resistance and the battalion was then able to secure its objective." During a distinguished 32-year career, he served on the Army General Staff and graduated from the National War College. Among many important assignments, he commanded the 503d Regiment of the 11th Airborne Division. During the Vietnam War, he advised the South Vietnamese Army in combat. Retired as a Colonel in 1972, he died in 1991. He is buried in Arlington. His service reflects great credit on Montgomery, on Alabama, and on the Nation.
[2007: On grounds of River District Substation, Montgomery Police Department. Marker is reached by taking the tunnel down to the river at the north end of Commerce Street. 32.38209 N 86.31326 W]
Day Street Baptist Church
Organized from Bethel Baptist Church, congregation founded 1882 with Rev. George Casby as first minister. Originally met in frame building; fund-raising began for this edifice in 1906. Designed by Wallace Rayfield, Tuskegee Institute architect and faculty member, building completed ca. 1910. A graduate of Pratt School of Architecture, Rayfield established the first black architectural firm in Birmingham and won national recognition. Day Street's community activities included the organization of the first black Alabama scout troops and involvement in the Civil Rights Movement. Rev. M. C. Cleveland led the church from 1933 until his death in 1978.
[1995: 861 Day St, Montgomery (Day St. @ Davidson St.), 32.36960 N 86.32438 W]
Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church, Organized 1877
The second black Baptist Church in Montgomery. First pastor was Rev. C. O. Boothe. Present structure built 1885. Designed by Pelham J. Anderson; built by William Watkins, a member of the congregation.
Many prominent black citizens of Montgomery have been members. Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., served as pastor (1954-1960). Montgomery bus boycott organized here December 2, 1955.
[1980: 454 Dexter Avenue, Montgomery, 32.37745 N 86.30263 W]
Dr. Martin Luther King
Dr. King became pastor of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in September, 1954. He led the Bus Boycott of 1955-56 as president of the Montgomery Improvement Association. Leaving Montgomery in 1960 he went on to national leadership in civil rights, advocating non-violence. Accomplishments include: president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference; Selma-Montgomery March; March on Washington; Nobel Peace Prize. His work brought on a world social-humanitarian movement. He was assassinated on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee, during an effort to secure laborers' rights.
[1993: 309 South Jackson Street, Montgomery, 32.37309 N 86.29627 W]
Ministers' Home Dexter Avenue
King Memorial Baptist Church
House built circa 1912. It has been the home of the ministers of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church since 1919. Its most famous occupant, Dr. Martin Luther King, lived here from September 1954-February 1960. During this time he led the Bus Boycott launching an outstanding career as a world leader for civil rights and humanitarian causes. When a bomb damaged the house on January 31, 1956, Dr. King returned from a Boycott meeting and calmed an angry crowd from the porch, averting possible violence. From 1947-1952 the house was occupied by Dr. Vernon Johns, an earlier advocate of civil rights.
First Baptist Church
Founded November 29, 1829, with four charter members. English-born Lee Compere, a missionary to the Creek Indians, was the first pastor. Services initially were held monthly in a building shared by other denominations. In 1833, the church constructed its own house of worship on North Court Street. The growing congregation built a two-story brick structure on the same site in 1854. In 1860, Basil Manly, former President of the University of Alabama, became pastor, delivering the invocation at Jefferson Davis' inauguration the next year. The church played a significant role in the development of the Southern Baptist Convention. Its rich history intertwines with the events of the Civil War and ensuing years.
First Baptist Church
This stone building, modeled after a cathedral in Florence, Italy, is the church's third home. Construction began in 1905 when Dr. Charles Stakely was pastor and proceeded as funds were available. Completed and dedicated on November 11, 1923, its total cost was $175,126.91. The church facilities frequently have been enlarged and modified to parallel the congregation's growth. For untold hundreds, this church has been the place of conversions, baptisms, marriages, funerals, and life-changing worship experiences with God. First Baptist has played an influential role in the historic, cultural, and religious life of Montgomery and the South.
[1994: 305 South Perry Street, Montgomery, 32.37386 N 86.30719 W]
First United Methodist Church
First United Methodist Church, organized September 15, 1829, is the oldest organized church in the city of Montgomery. Located on Court Street downtown for nearly 100 years, the congregation purchased for $20,000 this site in Cloverdale Park in July 1931. The name Court Street Methodist Church changed to First Methodist Church on October 2, 1932. The chapel served as the site for the first worship service, held on November 30, 1933. George Awsumb, a Memphis, Tennessee architect, designed the educational building and sanctuary constructed in the midst of the Great Depression on a pay-as-you-go basis under the supervision of the pastor, Dr. Oscar E. Rice. Worship services were first held in the present sanctuary on July 3, 1938. The Fellowship Hall was completed in 1952; the Fellowship Building in 1961; and Wesley Hall in 1996. First United Methodist Church of Montgomery has provided great leaders, both lay and clergy, for our city, state, and nation since the church was founded in 1829.
[2004: 2416 West Cloverdale Park, Montgomery, 32.35648 N 86.29231 W]
The Frank M. Johnson, Jr. Federal Building and United States Courthouse
Named in honor of Judge Frank M. Johnson, Jr. (1918-1999), who served here as U.S. District Judge from 1955 -1979, as U.S. Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit July 12, 1979 - October 1, 1981, and as U.S. Circuit Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit October 1, 1981 - July 23, 1999. Nationally renowned as a fearless, uncompromising jurist who rendered numerous landmark decisions upholding equality under the law, and enforcing the fundamental tenets of the Constitution in the turbulent years of the civil rights movement in America. Among other historic rulings, Judge Johnson presided over cases authorizing the Selma to Montgomery March (1965) and the Freedom Rides (1961), requiring that women and blacks be allowed to serve on Alabama juries, desegregating the Alabama state police, and requiring the extension of mental health treatment to persons institutionalized for mental illness.
The Frank M. Johnson, Jr. Federal Building and United States Courthouse
Born in Winston County, Alabama October 30, 1918, Johnson served as an officer in the ETO during World War II where he was wounded twice and awarded the Combat Infantry Badge and the Bronze Star medal. He was the recipient of multiple national honors during his judicial career, including the Edward J. Devitt Distinguished Service to Justice Award (1984), the American Bar Association's Thurgood Marshall Award (1993), and the Presidential Medal of Freedom (1995) as well as LL.D. degrees from the University of Alabama, Boston University, Yale, Tuskegee University, Mercer, Notre Dame, and Princeton. He was a lifelong champion of the right of all Americans "to share in the freedoms which our government was established to secure and protect."
[2005: Lee Street, Montgomery, 32.37521 N 86.30963 W]
Georgia Gilmore, cited as a "solid, energetic boycott participant and supporter," lived in this house during the days of the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Once arrested on a bus, Gilmore was ardent in her efforts to raise funds for the Movement and organized "Club From Nowhere" whose members baked pies and cakes for sale to both black and white customers. Opening her house to all, she tirelessly cooked meals for participants including leaders such as Dr. Martin Luther King and Dr. Ralph Abernathy. Her culinary skills continued to aid the cause of justice as she actively worked to encourage civil rights for the remainder of her life.
[1995: 453 Dericote St., Montgomery, 32.37043 N 86.29705 W]
Georgia Washington School
Miss Georgia Washington founded the Peoples Village School for black students on this site in 1893. Georgia Washington was born a slave November 23, 1851 in Virginia. As a student at Hampton Institute, Virginia, she met Dr. Booker T. Washington who later recruited her to teach here in Mt. Meigs. The first year the enrollment grew from four to 100 students. She retired in 1936, after 43 years of service, and the school was deeded to Montgomery County. A new school building was dedicated in February 1950 and was named Georgia Washington School. She died October 5, 1952 and is buried here on the grounds of her beloved school.
[2001: Antioch Lane @ Georgia Washington St., Mt. Meigs community, 32.35446 N 86.10147 W]
Governor Jones House
Thomas Goode Jones, governor of Alabama from 1890-1894, occupied this house during his long political career which took him from the Montgomery City Council to a federal judgeship. During his two terms as governor, his home was the Executive Mansion and later frequently was used as a federal courtroom. Originally a four room cottage, the house was enlarged by Jones in the early '90s. His son, the noted jurist Walter B. Jones, continued to live in his family home and inaugurated Jones Law School in a house to the rear. The law firm of Webb and Crumpton restored the house in 1978.
[1979: 323 Adams Avenue, Montgomery, 32.37526 N 86.30379 W]
Governor Shorter House
Residence of Civil War Governor John Gill Shorter, 1861-63. A strong supporter of Confederacy, Shorter built up defenses of state during war. Growing "Peace Movement" led to his defeat for re-election 1863.
House acquired by Jacob Greil 1878. Held by Greil family until 1910. A former Confederate officer, Greil became prominent Montgomery businessman and civic leader. House built 1854, in Italianate style by John P. Dickerson. Neo-classical portico, freize, and interior details added early 1900's.
[1982: 305 South Lawrence Street, Montgomery, 32.37389 N 86.30591 W]
Governor William Calvin Oates
Born in Pike County into a poor Alabama family in 1835, Oates practiced law in Abbeville when the War began. Elected Captain of the "Henry Pioneers," Co. G, 15th Alabama Infantry. He saw service in Jackson's Corps and was appointed Colonel of the 15th Regiment in 1863. Given command of the 48th Alabama infantry in July 1864, Oates' right arm was shattered by a mini ball at Petersburg in August 1864. He later served Alabama as a legislator, Congressman, and Governor. Oates served stateside as a Brigadier General, USV in the Spanish-American War.
Colonel W. C. Oates, CSA at Gettysburg
July 2, 1863: General Law's Alabama Brigade of Longstreet's Corps arrived on the field, having marched 23 miles in 11 hours. The 15th Alabama Regiment commanded by Oates became the extreme right flank of Lee's Army. It made five charges up Little Round Top against withering fire of the enemy and engaged in fierce hand-to-hand combat with Col. Joshua Chamberlain's 20th Maine Regiment and other Federal troops before being driven off the hill by a final desperate bayonet charge from the high ground against its flank and rear. Oates always attributed his regiment's failure to take its objective on the shortage of water and fatigue from the forced march.
[1994: 829 Columbus Street, Montgomery, 32.38472 N 86.29429 W]
Grace Episcopal Church
In the late 1850s the cluster of Episcopal families around Mt. Meigs undertook to build a church and engaged Pennsylvania architect Joseph W. Pierson to prepare the plans. The plans were submitted in April 1861, but due to the hardships caused by the Civil War and its aftermath, it was over 30 years before the church was actually built. Finally becoming a reality in 1893, Grace Church was constructed according to Pierson's original plans in the "Gothic Revival" style popular for rural Episcopal churches all across the South during the 1850s. The auxiliary buildings and the church gardens are of a much more recent construction to reflect the style of the original sanctuary.
[2000: 906 Pike Road, Mt. Meigs Community, 32.35517 N 86.09508 W]
On Aug. 27, 1940, the AAF leased the Montgomery Municipal Airport for use as a military airfield. During WW II, the field was the home of the AAF Basic Flying Training School and was named in honor of Mayor William A. Gunter. It later housed Extension Course Institute, AU Field Printing Plant, School of Aviation Medicine, and Air Force Senior NCO Academy. Tenants included the Air Defense Sector, HQ 14th Air Force, and Standard Systems Group. The field became an Air Force base in 1948 and an Air Force station in 1973. It returned to base status in 1988 and later became an annex to Maxwell AFB in 1992.
Gunter Basic Flying Training School
Activated on Aug. 27, 1940, the school was among the first established under WWII Air Corps expansion program. BT-13s were the principal planes used in the 10-week training course until 1944 when they were replaced by AT-6s. Once, nearly 400 airplanes were involved in the training program and the skies over the field were hailed as the "densest air traffic in the world." The school closed September 1945, with over 12,000 cadets-American, British, and French-earning their "wings" and with British cadets dominating early classes. At the war's end, 600 Chinese students received preflight training here.
[1996: Just inside gate of Gunter AFB on Cong. William Dickson Blvd., Montgomery, 32.41053 N 86.24418 W]
Hank Williams-Alabama Troubador
In 1938, young country singer Hank Williams won a contest on the stage of the Empire Theatre. Born in Butler County, south of Montgomery, on September 17, 1923, Williams learned to play the guitar and sing on the streets of Georgiana. Writing songs and performing, he made his way to Nashville, where in 1949 his "Lovesick Blues" stopped the show at the Grand Ole Opry. Other acclaimed compositions include "Your Cheatin' Heart," "Jambalaya," and "Kaw-Liga." Williams died on January 1, 1953, and is buried in Montgomery's Oakwood Annex Cemetery.
Rosa Parks-Montgomery Bus Boycott
At the bus stop on this site on December 1, 1955, Mrs. Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to boarding whites. This brought about her arrest, conviction, and fine. The Boycott began December 5, the day of Parks' trial, as a protest by African-Americans for unequal treatment they received on the bus line. Refusing to ride the buses, they maintained the Boycott until the U.S. Supreme Court ordered integration of public transportation one year later. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. led the Boycott, the beginning of the modern Civil Rights Movement.
[1993: 252 Montgomery St. near Moulton St., Montgomery, 32.37654 N 86.31135 W]
Historic Site of St. James Holt Crossing Baptist Church
On this site, the St. James Baptist Church #2, also known as St. James Holt Crossing Baptist Church, stood as the oldest Baptist church founded by African Americans in the City of Montgomery. Organized in 1875, the Church occupied two buildings on this property - one was relocated to make way for the railroad in 1908, and the second was relocated in 2004 as part of improvements to adjoining properties. The Church now resides east of Zelda Road on property formerly owned by the Alabama Masonic Lodge. The St. James Holt Crossing Baptist Church was originally founded by four members, including James Ashe whose descendants continue to play a role in its congregational affairs.
[2006: Carter Hill Road near Zelda Road, Montgomery, 32.35247 N 86.26389 W]
Holt Street Baptist Church
Holt Street Baptist Church is a congregation founded by former members of Bethel Baptist Church in 1909. Under the leadership of Rev. I.S. Fountain, a group met for four years in Labor's Hall, on the corner of Cobb and Mobile Streets before purchasing this site and constructing a church in 1913. The congregation added a wing in 1946, and in 1953 demolished the old structure and built the present sanctuary. On the evening of December 5, 1955, the first day of the Bus Boycott, some 5,000 people gathered here. Dr. Martin Luther King, a newly elected leader of the Montgomery Improvement Association, addressed the crowd which pledged support for the continuation of the boycott. Minister, A.W. Wilson, was officer of MIA.
[1995: South Holt @ Bullock Street, Montgomery, 32.36489 N 86.32056 W]
"House of Mayors"
Built in the 1850's for Jack Thorington, mayor of Montgomery in 1838-39, this House has also been the home of Mordecai Moses, mayor in the late 1870's, and Joseph Norwood who had been mayor of Fort Deposit before coming to Montgomery. Moses owned the home from 1879 until its purchase in 1893 by Norwood whose family converted it into apartments in 1940. The House has undergone several alterations and exhibits excellent architectural ornamentation which evidences the tastes of each period of change. In 1979, the House was restored for use as a tourist center and office building for the State.
[1979: 532 South Perry Street, Montgomery, 32.37114 N 86.30731 W]
A liberal arts college. 1854-founded by citizen group as Tuskegee Female College. 1872-acquired by Methodist Church: Alabama Conference Female College. 1909-moved to this site as Woman's College of Alabama. 1935-named Huntingdon College for Countess of Huntingdon, Wesleyan leader. 1946-became co-educational.
[Before 1965: replaced by following marker in 2007]
Coeducational liberal arts college of the United Methodist Church
1854: Founded as Tuskegee Female College
1872: Acquired by the Methodist Church, renamed Alabama Conference Female College
1909: Moved to this site as Woman's College of Alabama
1935: Renamed Huntingdon College for patron of British Methodism
Motto: Enter to Grow in Wisdom; Go Forth to Apply Wisdom in Service
[2007: 1500 East Fairview Avenue, Montgomery, 32.35791 N 86.28519 W]
Professor John Metcalfe Starke
A native of Virginia, John Metcalfe Starke received his early education in Petersburg and graduated from the University of Virginia in 1882, earning diplomas in Latin and mathematics. He taught in Virginia and North Carolina before coming to Montgomery in 1887 as headmaster for a boys' school organized by prominent local men. Its success caused him to start a school of his own at Hamner Hall. In 1897 he built a building here. The following year he married Frances Powell. He received an honorary doctorate from the University of Alabama in 1929. A small, wiry man, honest, courageous and fair, he believed fervently in the school's motto, "Work Wins." For over half a century, he was a paragon as an educator here in Montgomery.
Starke University School
"Omnia vincit labor - Work Wins"
In 1887, eighteen prominent men founded a private school for boys, hiring John Metcalfe Starke as its headmaster. In 1888, Starke opened his school. Rigidly high academic, military and disciplinary standards prevailed throughout the next eighty years. Boys who fell behind reported for Saturday classes. From 1897-1923 the school stood here on Dexter Avenue; later located on Houston Street and then on Mount Meigs Road. Professor Starke died in 1941. The school continued, closing in 1967-68. A governor, U.S. senator, judges, generals, doctors, businessmen, academics, lawyers and financiers were among Starke School's many distinguished graduates.
[2001: Dexter Ave. @ South Decatur St., Montgomery, 32.27442 N 86.30209 W]
Josiah Morris 1818-1891
Had his bank on this site 1852-1891. He helped finance Montgomery's business, railroads and industry. Here on Dec. 19, 1870, he bought 4150 acres of land and deeded them to the Elyton Land Co. which later was platted, and on his motion named the City of Birmingham.
[1952: 8 Commerce Street, Montgomery, 32.37788 N 86.30983 W]
Designed by Stephen Decatur Button, Knox Hall built in the 1840's by William Knox, a native of Ireland who settled in Montgomery in 1830's. Knox founded Central Bank of Montgomery which made first loans to Confederate government.
House incorporates details from LeFever's "Beauties of Modern Architecture," leading Greek Revival pattern book of ante-bellum period.
[1982: 419 South Perry Street, Montgomery, 32.37327 N 86.30709 W]
The Lightning Route
In 1886, Montgomery became the first city in the Western Hemisphere to convert an entire street railway system to electricity. The Capital City Street Railway Co. initiated electric trolley service on one mile of the street car line the year before. Civil engineer J.A. Gaboury supervised installation of the system developed by Charles Van de Poele. The car line, fondly known as the "Lightning Route," operated until 1936. Investors in the mass transit system also were involved in the development of the early suburbs of Highland Park and Cloverdale, as well as the first public recreation area at Oak Park.
Central Bank Building
Designed by Philadelphia architect Stephen Decatur Button for William Knox, president of Central Bank of Alabama, this Renaissance Revival building emulated the Venetian palaces of the 16th century. Completed in 1856, it was praised by state newspapers as the first ironfront in Alabama. Central Bank, which generously supported the Confederacy, was bankrupt at the end of the Civil War. Other banks occupied the building until jewelers Klein and Son acquired and occupied it from 1923-1983. The building was restored for the Arts Council of Alabama in 1985.
[1993: Court Square/First Alabama Park, Montgomery, 32.37756 N 86.30892 W]
Lilly Baptist Church
Lilly Baptist Church, established November, 1900 as a missionary church of Bethel Missionary Baptist. Originally located on St. Clair Street in a small frame building. Moved May 27, 1973, into new 1500-seat sanctuary at present location. Education Complex added April, 1985.
Known as "The Lilly," church was active in Montgomery Bus Boycott (1955-56). Noted for its music, the church has seven choirs which recorded albums in 1974 and 1984. 500 members of congregation participated in nationally acclaimed movie, "Long Walk Home." "The Lilly" has played a significant role in Montgomery since its founding and continues to serve as a spiritual beacon to the community.
[2007: 820 Hill Street, Montgomery, 32.36660 N 86.32957 W]
In 1907 the American Securities Company opened Lincoln Cemetery for African Americans and Greenwood Cemetery for whites, the first commercial cemeteries in the city. Landscape design indicates Olmstead influences with curving drives and two circular sections. Space allotted for 700 graves with first interment in 1908. Most graves are simple concrete slabs with evidences of African-American funerary art and late-Victorian motifs. Marble markers denote members of Mosaic Templars of America, black benevolent society, or graves of veterans. American Securities owned site until tax-exemption ended in 1957. Vandalism and neglect have seriously damaged graves and landscape.
Rufus Payne, 1884-1939
"Tee-Tot," Mentor of Hank Williams
Born in Lowndes County, Alabama, Rufus Payne grew up in New Orleans in midst of jazz musicians. Young Payne learned every instrument possible. At death of his parents, he came back to Greenville where he soon had a following of both races, playing jazz and blues for all segments of society. In nearby Georgiana, he met young Hank Williams, an eager student of the rhythm and beat of Tee-Tot's music. In 1937, Williams moved to Montgomery and soon thereafter Tee-Tot came to the city where he lived until his death in 1939, a friend of Williams' family and mentor to the singer-composer. Hank Williams stated that Payne was his only teacher. Tee-Tot died a pauper and lies here in an unmarked grave.
[2001: 1162 Lincoln Rd. at Harrison Rd., Montgomery, 32.36767 N 86.26547 W]
Built by James J. Gilmer. Purchased by Reuben C. Shorter, 1819, for his wife, Caroline A. V. Billingslea, who later married Tennent Lomax, captain and governor of Orizaba, Mexican War. Colonel, 3rd Ala. Infantry Regt., CSA, killed at Battle of Seven Pines, 1862. Social center of Montgomery for 60 years. Purchased in 1932 and restored to its original condition in 1972 by the Preferred Life Insurance Company.
[1973: 235 South Court Street, Montgomery, 32.37415 N 86.30878 W]
Henry Allen Loveless
Born in Bullock County in 1854, H.A. Loveless struggled to get an education, working by day and attending school at night. After a few terms at Selma University, he settled in Montgomery where he first entered the undertaking profession. In addition, he opened a coal and wood yard, operated a livery stable and was a building contractor. A founding member of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, he served as treasurer and was on its Board of Trustees and that of Swayne School. An officer of the Alabama Realty Company, he was also a member of the Negro Businessmen's League and numerous fraternal organizations. He died in 1921, respected by the entire community.
Montgomery's first junior and senior high school for African American students began in Loveless School. Built in 1923 and enlarged in 1930, this building first housed seven grades; the opening of Carver Elementary School and the reduction in enrollment made possible additional classes at Loveless. Under Principal T.H. Handall, the first seniors graduated May, 1940. In 1948, George Washington Carver Senior High organized and had first classes here, but upon its moving to new quarters, Loveless reverted to a junior high and then to elementary. In spring of 1998, elementary moved to new site, and in fall of 1999, Loveless became home of LAMP.
[2000: 921 W. Jeff Davis Ave., Montgomery, 32.36599 N 86.32376 W]
Stood 2800 feet north of this point, just west of Line Creek on the Federal Road. Moved to Montgomery in 1978 to serve as the Visitor and Information Center for the Old North Hull Historic District, it is the oldest remaining building in Montgomery County. Original proprietor, James Abercrombie, ran it from about 1818. Walter B. Lucas announced his take over of the tavern in the January 6, 1821 issue of the Montgomery Republican. A four-room frame building with a long central hall, the tavern's most famous guest was Revolutionary War hero the Marquis de Lafayette who stayed here on April 2, 1825 during his triumphant tour of the United States.
[2002: @ Mile marker 151 on US Hwy 80 in Waugh, 32.36606 N 86.04194 W]
Maj. Gen. Claire L. Chennault
Born in Commerce, Texas, on September 6, 1893, Chennault was commissioned in 1917 and received his wings in 1919. A graduate of and instructor at the Air Corps Tactical School, he became a leading advocate of pursuit aviation, and later formed the nationally renowned aero demonstration team called the "Flying Trapezers." Channault retired in 1937 and went to China where he established the legendary "Flying Tigers." He was recalled to active duty in 1942 as commander of the USAF in China and later commanded the 14th Air Force. He retired from service in 1945 and died in New Orleans, LA, on July 27, 1958.
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Three Men on a Flying Trapeze
The Flying Trapezers, the Air Corps' first aerial demonstration team, was established under Maxwell's Air Corps Tactical School in 1932. Led by Capt Claire Chennault, members included Lt Haywood Hansell, Sgt John Williamson, and Sgt William McDonald. Chennault used P-12Cs to perfom loops, rolls, and figure eights to show his fellow officers that three planes could execute with precision the violent and difficult maneuvers necessary to attack and destroy invading bombers. The team played a key role in developing pursuit tactics and in discrediting the "bomber invincibility" theory before being disbanded in 1936.
Major General James Harrison Wilson USV
Exceptional American soldier, born Illinois, West Point Class of 1860, MG at 27. Civil War service: Port Royal 1861-62, Aide to McClellan '62; Vicksburg and Chattanooga Campaigns, Grant's staff '63-64, Chief of Calvary Bureau '64; Wilderness and Valley Campaigns, Commander Calvary Division, Sherman's Corps'64; Franklin, Nashville, AL & GA '64-65. Retired from Army 1870; pursued railroading career in U.S., Latin America, Japan & China. MG USV, 1898; War With Spain, Division Commander in Puerto Rico; Boxer Rebellion, Commander U.S. & British troops in China. U.S. representative at coronation of King Edward VII.
Marks House-Circa 1825
Built by William Matthews Marks, who immigrated from Oglethrope County, GA, on acreage purchased from the U.S. land office in Cahaba, AL for $1.25 per acre.
Foundation is pegged-together heart pine; framing is 3" by 9" timbers; mantles, dados, and all the bricks are hand made. Kitchen, baths, a rose garden and pavilion for dancing were added by the Churchill Marks family in the 1920s. The house was purchased by Dr. Haywood B. (Woody) Bartlett in 1957.
In 1967, the movie of Truman's Capote's "Thanksgiving Visitor" was filmed in the house. The facility has served as the Pike Road Community Club Center since 1968. The Pike Road Arts and Crafts fair is held here annually on the first Saturday in November. The house suffered extensive fire damage on August 28, 1997 and was subsequently restored by the Pike Road Community.
[1998: 706 Old Carter Hill Road (County Road 85), Pike Road, 32.26004 N 86.09883 N]
Lt. William C. Maxwell
William Calvin Maxwell was born Nov. 9, 1892, in Natchez, AL. An Army ROTC student at the University of Alabama, he left in 1917 to enlist in the Army. He received his commission in April 1918, after completing flight training at Kelly Field, Texas. In 1919, he was assigned to 3rd Aero Squadron, Phillippines. On August 12, 1920, engine trouble forced Lt. Maxwell to attempt to land his DH-4 in a sugarcane field. Maneuvering to avoid a group of children playing below, he struck a flagpole hidden by the tall sugarcane and was killed instantly. On the recommendation of his former commanding officer, Maj. Roy C. Brown, Montgomery Air Intermediate Depot was renamed Maxwell Field on November 8, 1922.
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Air Force ROTC
The Reserve Officer Training Corps was created by the National Defense Act of 1916. Air Force ROTC has its roots in seven Army Air Service ROTC units established at land-grant colleges in the 1920s. The program was significantly expanded after World War II and again in 1964. Air Force ROTC is the Service's largest and oldest source of commissioned officers, recruiting and educating thousands of officer candidates each year at colleges and universities nationwide. The Junior ROTC program provides citizenship training to high school students in the United States and the Department of Defense schools around the world. Maxwell Air Force Base has been home to Headquarters, Air Force ROTC since 1956.
Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce
The first American Chamber of Commerce was organized in New York City in 1770. The Montgomery Chamber was organized in 1873. Thomas Joseph was its first President. The Alabama State Journal stated at its founding, "Montgomery ought to have a Chamber of Commerce. Located in the midst of one of the richest agricultural districts in the South, the political center of the commonwealth, and the commercial center of a large section which obtain here their supplies, the Chamber of Commerce would seem to be demanded by the necessities of our position." Initially, it occupied the front rooms of the First National Bank Building.
The Forefront of Montgomery's Future
The Chamber changed names several times, but stayed in the lead for solid progress. Initially, it encouraged European immigrants to move south, promoted development of the Alabama River and the railroads, and had Commerce Street paved. It brought the Wright Brother flying school here in 1910 and was key to bringing military bases, the Veterans Hospital, trade schools, educational institutions, industrial parks, and tourism to the area. It is the linchpin of business and community growth partnering with elected and civic leaders to create jobs and a better quality of life for Montgomery area citizens.
[1996: 41 Commerce St., Montgomery, 32.37828 N 86.31022 W]
Montgomery's Confederate Hospitals
Situated away from main battlefields and with good rail and river connections, Montgomery was ideal for Confederate hospitals. Two locally operated were Soldiers' and Wayside. The government staffed six during the conflict. Citizens rendered services including food and nursing. Ladies, General, Madison and Concert Hall hospitals were on Commerce and Market streets; Stonewall and Watts, tent units, were west of town near the Alabama and Florida Railroad. After Shiloh and during the Atlanta Campaign, the hospitals were very busy, but throughout the War they tried diligently to heal wounds and diseases, often with limited supplies. These approximately seven hundred and fifty graves represent their failures. The commemorative marker was placed by the Ladies Memorial Association.
Civil War Medicine
During the War Between the States medical knowledge was primitive. As a result, twice as many men died of disease than in battle from wounds. Early in the War, childhood diseases such as measles, mumps and chicken pox decimated entire camps. Later, the greatest killers were diarrhea, dysentery, typhoid, malaria and pneumonia. Many of those who survived battlefield wounds and amputations later died from infection. Scarcity of medical supplies in the beleaguered South added to the suffering and high death rate. For generations maimed veterans served as reminders of the horrors of wartime medicine.
[2007: 829 Columbus Street, Montgomery, 32.38423 N 86.29648 W]
Montgomery County Circuit Court
Site of Major Civil Rights Cases 1956-1960
In 1956, 89 persons were indicted for violating an anti-boycott law; Rosa Parks’ conviction was appealed; the Montgomery Improvement Association car pool was enjoined; and Fred D. Gray was accused of legal misrepresentation (actions in all 4 cases ended with the successful end of the boycott). In 1957, the NAACP was banned from Alabama (later overturned). In 1960, black Alabama State College and white MacMurray College (Illinois) students were jailed for eating together at the Regal Cafe, and a white and a black student were arrested for attempted desegregation of the Jefferson Davis Hotel; all convictions in these cases were reversed. Also in 1960, local black ministers were sued for libel in the case that resulted in the landmark 1964 Times v. Sullivan ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court, and Martin Luther King Jr. was acquitted by an all-white jury in a tax case. African American lawyers arguing cases in the courts here included attorneys Fred D. Gray, Charles Langford, Solomon Seay Jr., Charles Conley, Orzell Billingsley, Peter Hall, Arthur Shores, and Robert Carter.
Sponsored by the Montgomery Improvement Association
Sit-Ins and Marches at the Montgomery County Courthouse
On February 25, 1960, Alabama State College students demanded service at the “Whites Only” Courthouse Grille located on this site. When refused, the students occupied all the tables. The Grille was then closed, the lights turned off, and the students asked to leave. Subsequently, 9 ASC students were expelled, a dozen professors were pressured to resign, and the president was compelled to step down. Fred D. Gray filed St. John Dixon v. Alabama as a result of these actions and ultimately the students were ordered reinstated. On March 17, 1965, after a week of voting rights demonstrations in Montgomery marred by police violence against the protesters, some 4,000 students from Montgomery and Tuskegee marched on the Montgomery County Courthouse where leaders met with city, county, state, and federal officials. During the 7-hour meeting, students sang and chanted in the rain outside. When Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. emerged from the meeting, he announced that officials had apologized for the recent violence.
Sponsored by the Montgomery Improvement Association
[2015: South Lawrence Street]
Montgomery and Electricity
Gaslights in 1854, electric lights in 1883 and the electric trolley in 1886 made Montgomery a state leader in applying modern technology for lighting and motive power. Steam was used first for generation, but in 1902 local businessmen built a dam on the Tallapoosa River to provide electricity for the city. Several companies competed fiercely to supply the growing demand. Montgomery Light and Power and Montgomery Light and Traction struggled to survive and were in receivership in 1923 when acquired by Alabama Power Co. Today, Alabama Power continues to serve the city and state. Montgomery Water Power and Electric Company, although short-lived, built this classically inspired structure in 1901.
Placed in recognition of Alabama Power's centennial, 1906-2006
Hydroelectricity in the River Region
Hydroelectricity played a vital role in the growth of Montgomery and the state. The 1902 dam at Tallassee was the first major hydroelectric plant in Alabama. The Great Flood of 1919 destroyed the dam, causing acute power shortages, a problem not fully resolved until 1920, when workers completed a transmission line linking the city to the Alabama Power Co. dam at Lock 12 on the Coosa River. In 1926 Martin Dam was completed on the Tallapoosa River, creating what was at the time the largest artificial lake in the world. In 1928 work was completed on Jordan Dam north of Wetumpka and Yates Dam at the site of the 1919 dam failure. Thurlow Dam, also near Tallassee, was completed in 1930. Today, Alabama Power operates 14 hydroelectric projects on the Coosa, Tallapoosa and Black Warrior rivers.
Placed in recognition of Alabama Power's centennial, 1906-2006
[2006: E. Jefferson Street @ N. Lawrence Street, Montgomery, 32.38093 N 86.30615 W]
Montgomery City-County Public Library
First official library organized 1843 in building on Court Square. Although of short duration, others followed. In 1898, Montgomery Library Association chartered as subscription library. In 1900, Andrew Carnegie, steel magnate, offered $50,000 for a building if property acquired; over $12,000 rapidly raised locally for lot at corner Perry and Adams. York and Sawyer of New York designed building with Frank Lockwood supervising architect for Beaux Arts structure. This was first free library. In 1959, Sherlock, Smith and Adams designed new building for Library and Fine Arts Museum at Lawrence and High. Racial integration took place in1962. With Museum's move to Blount Park in 1988, Library re-designed to better utilize space. In 2005, main facility renamed to honor civil rights advocate Juliette Hampton Morgan. Nine branches and the Morgan Library now serve the City and County.
Sponsored by The Friends of the Montgomery City-County Public Library
Juliette Hampton Morgan
Juliette Hampton Morgan was a white Montgomery, Alabama librarian whose privileged upbringing seemed unlikely to produce the determined civil rights activist that she became. Her letters to the Montgomery Advertiser supporting the 1956 Bus Boycott, integration of the University of Alabama, and national compliance with public school integration drew fire from traditionalists who demanded her resignation. People boycotted the Carnegie Library on Perry Street where she worked, taunted and insulted her, and burned a cross on her front lawn. In 1952, she wrote to a friend, "there are thousands [like me] who want to change our old order, but they are afraid of speaking out. I believe that is our biggest problem - overcoming the fear of decent white people."
[2008: High Street @ South Lawrence Street, Montgomery, 32.37202 N 86.30587 W]
Montgomery's First Election
January 3, 1820
At this site, in Jonathan Coggswell Farley's store, an election was held to establish Montgomery's first government. The Alabama General Assembly, meeting in the capital at Huntsville, approved an act on December 3, 1819 to combine the communities of New Philadelphia and East Alabama into the new town of Montgomery. Named in the act to conduct and manage the election were Jonathan C. Farley, Walter B. Lucas, Ebenezer D. Washburn and Andrew Dexter.
Elected to the first town council were Nimrod E. Benson, William Graham, Clement Freeney, Ebenezer D. Washburn, John Goldthwaite, Rhodes L. Smith and Daniel Carpenter. They chose Graham as the first intendant (mayor).
Walter B. Lucas proposed that the new town be named for Gen. Richard Montgomery, the Revolutionary War hero.
Jonathan Coggswell Farley
Farley acquired two lots on this site in 1817. Here he build the town's first frame store and first frame two-story building, his house. In Farley's store, an election was held January 3, 1820 to create Montgomery's first governing body. Farley and three others were named in an act of the Alabama General Assembly to conduct and manage this first election.
Farley was born in Ipswich, Massachusetts in 1798. About 1816, he sailed from Portland, Maine to the port of Mobile then proceeded to Ft. Jackson (Toulouse) to establish a trading post. Coming to Montgomery, he opened the town's second store. He served as foreman of the first Grand Jury and, later, moved to a plantation outside town near Cross Keys.
The town's first newspaper, The Montgomery Republican, also occupied his store.
[2000: North Hull Street @ Dexter Avenue, Montgomery, 32.37773 N 86.30356 W]
Montgomery's Slave Markets
The city's slave market was at the Artesian Basin (Court Square). Slaves of all ages were auctioned, along with land and livestock, standing in line to be inspected. Public posters advertised sales and included gender, approximate age, first name (slaves did not have last names), skill, price, complexion and owner's name. In the 1850s, able field hands brought $1,500; skilled artisans $3,000. In 1859, the city had seven auctioneers and four slave depots: one at Market Street (Dexter Avenue) and Lawrence, another at the corner of Perry and Monroe, and two on Market between Lawrence and McDonough.
First Emancipation Observance - 1866
Montgomery's first observance of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation was New Year's Day at Wilson's Grove on Mildred Street. A parade formed at Gilmer's Warehouse, Commerce Street. Invited were a brass band, the governor, legislators, aldermen, businessmen, benevolent societies, churches and fire engine companies. Peyton Finley, parade marshal, was the first black member of the State Board of Education. Speakers of the day included Holland Thompson, first black alderman and a state legislator, who advised "show by good conduct, industry, and fidelity, that the year 1866 was a year of jubilee, instead of insurrection." He also told the crowd to acquire land, homes, and education for their children.
[2001: Montgomery St. @ Commerce Street, Montgomery, 32.37758 N 86.30971 W]
Opened in October 1860 as the South moved closer to secession, the theatre was significant in the social, cultural and political life of the city. In the early months, John Wilkes Booth performed here, Bryant Minstrels introduced "Dixie," which was transcribed for the Montgomery Brass Band. Southern leaders Robert Toombs, Alexander Stephens and William L. Yancey addressed packed houses. Later the city's location on route between New Orleans and Atlanta brought performers Edwin Forrest, Joseph Jefferson, and leading theatrical troupes and opera companies to the stage which closed in 1907.
[1996: Perry Street @ Monroe Street, Montgomery, 32.37846 N 86.30756 W]
Greek Revival Home built 1851 by John H. Murphy, cotton broker and an incorporator and director of the Montgomery Water Works Company chartered 1854. Union Army Provost Marshal's Headquarters 1865. Elks Club 1902-1967. Restored by Montgomery Water Works and Sanitary Sewer Board, 1970.
[1970: 22 Bibb Street, Montgomery, 32.38001 N 86.30946 W]
Nat "King" Cole
Nathaniel Adams Cole, world famous jazz musician, was born at 1524 St. John Street on March 17, 1917. His father, Edward, a Baptist minister, moved his family to Chicago in the early 1920s. There, Cole began his career as a jazz pianist. He toured the vaudeville circuit with the "Shuffle Along Review." In 1939, he formed the original "King Cole Trio." In the 1940s, he started singing and recording ballads in a distinct style that attracted great multitudes to his concerts. His early hits included "Sweet Loraine," and "Sweet Georgia Brown." He died of lung cancer on February 15, 1965 in Santa Monica, California.
Nat "King" Cole
Nat "King" Cole's music career spanned three decades and a variety of styles. He first played the piano in dance halls, then created his famous jazz trio and developed a singing style that influenced the future of jazz, rhythm-and-blues, and popular music. In 1946, he became the first black artist to have a sponsored radio show and in 1956 hosted the first T.V. series. His records were on the charts for 23 years; he had more than 100 hits. He won a Grammy in 1959 and received the Grammy lifetime achievement award in 1989. His daughter won a Grammy in 1992 for "Unforgettable," her dubbed duet with her father.
[1995: St. John St., Montgomery]
The Oaks Plantation
House built ca. 1830s by Alexander Carter on small land holding. Increasing fortunes led to a 1780-acre diversified and innovative plantation. Oak trees planted on either side of front drive led to its name. During WWII, an auxiliary landing strip, called Mt. Meigs Field, was built on the land by Army Corp of Engineers, and was used for training by American, French, and British aviation cadets from Gunter Field, as well as by “Tuskegee Airmen” from Moton Field. Prominent families who owned The Oaks included those of Edward Pierce, E.T. Davis, William Nicrosi, Price McLemore, Tine Davis, Wayne Dawson.
Sponsored by East Montgomery County Historical Society
[2011: Marler Road @ Avenue of the Oaks near Waugh. (Off US 80 near Exit 16 on I-85 east of Montgomery.) 32.35722 N 86.04511 W]
Oak Park Montgomery's First Public Park
Streetcar and land developers opened Highland Park in 1886 at same time adjacent suburb with that name was developing. In mid-1890s, City purchased park and renamed it. Oak Park became popular with zoo, pools, pavilion and picnic areas. A segregated facility, the City closed it in 1957, but re-opened it in 1965 as integrated park and gardens. In 1968-69, City built W.A. Gayle Planetarium, operated by Troy University. For years, the well-loved Myers Pop Corn served thousands of happy customers who proved his slogan "By My Corn I Shall Be Known." Marcus B. Myers's stand was just outside the Oak Park gates on Forest Avenue; he was known throughout the neighborhood for his generosity and kindness to the children who were patients in nearby hospitals.
[2007: Corner of Forest Avenue and Park Street, Montgomery, 32.36874 N 86.28656 W]
Forest Avenue's Medical Facilities
With the growth of the Highland Park suburb in the 1890s, a medical community developed along Forest Avenue. In 1895, Dr. Isaac Watkins opened Highland Park Sanatorium in three frame houses in the 500 block. In early 1920s, Watkins sold to Dr. T. Brannon Hubbard who practiced in one and conducted a nursing school in another. Later, he built Hubbard Hospital adjacent to them. Dr. Hubbard closed his hospital in 1956, but continued to practice until 1968. In the 1930s, a Children's Hospital provided services by pediatrician Dr. C. Hilton Rice. Following World War II, in 1946, Dr. Frank Jackson and twelve other doctors founded Jackson Hospital that expanded into one of the largest in the area. In addition to the hospitals, hundreds of individual doctors have devoted themselves to the community, carrying out the medical traditions established here in the late 19th century.
Office of Dr. Luther Leonidas Hill
This early 20th-century building was office of Dr. L.L. Hill who, in 1902, performed first open heart surgery in the Western Hemisphere when he sutured a stab wound in a young boy's heart. A Montgomerian, Hill graduated in medicine from Jefferson Medical College and the University of the City of New York by the time he was 21. He then studied in London with the world renowned Dr. Joseph Lister. Hill practiced from 1884 until 1932, pioneering new ideas in antiseptic procedures in Alabama. He and a brother, Dr. R.S. Hill, founded Laura Hill Hospital named for their mother. L.L. Hill's son, Senator Lister Hill, introduced the Hill-Burton Act providing for hospitals across the nation.
Office Site of Dr. J. Marion Sims
"Father of Modern Gynecology"
On this site in 1840s stood small hospital of Dr. J. Marion Sims in which he made surgical history with his successful operations for urinary fistula in women. A South Carolinian, Sims studied at Charleston Medical School and Jefferson Medical College of Philadelphia. He practiced briefly in his native state before coming to Mt. Meigs (1835) and Montgomery (1840). He left this city and, in 1853, founded a famous Women's Hospital in New York, gaining world renown for his work in the field of surgery for women. Among his patients were the Empress Eugenie of France and other members of European royalty. His statue is on the grounds of Alabama's Capitol.
[1994: Washington Street @ South Perry Street, Montgomery, 32.37656 N ; 86.30735 W]
A County Older Than the State-Montgomery County-1816
Created by Mississippi Territorial Legislature from lands ceded by Creek Indian Nation in Treaty of Fort Jackson, 1814. Named for Major Lemuel Putnam Montgomery, killed at Horseshoe Bend, 1814, while leading charge on Indian fortifications. During Colonial times many Indians lived in this area which was claimed by Spanish Florida and French Louisiana, British Carolina, Georgia and West Florida, and Spanish West Florida. The City of Montgomery, incorporated 1819 by Alabama Territorial Legislature, was named for Maj. Gen. Richard Montgomery, hero of the American Colonial Army, killed at Quebec in 1775.
[1959: Montgomery County Courthouse, So. Lawrence St. @ Washington Ave., 3237616N 86.30627 W]
A Nation Divided
The Alabama State Capitol served as the symbol and meeting place for the government of the newly formed Confederate States of America for 4 months in early 1861. Growing controversy over slavery and states' rights, climaxed by Abraham Lincoln's election as U.S. president in Nov. 1860, prompted the secession of the 7 Southern states, including Alabama, by early Feb. 1861. On Feb. 4, delegates from 6 of these states convened in the Senate Chamber of the Capitol to organize a separate government. In the ensuing weeks, the assembly adopted a Constitution, established governmental departments, and elected a chief executive.
Cradle of the Confederacy
Jefferson Davis of Mississippi was inaugurated as president of the CSA provisional government on the State Capitol portico on Feb. 18, 1861. On Mar. 4, the first national flag of the Confederacy was hoisted over the Capitol itself. While government offices rented nearby quarters, the State Capitol continued to serve as the meeting place for the provisional Confederate Congress. Following the bombardment of Ft. Sumter and Lincoln's call for volunteers, 4 additional states seceded. In May 1861, the capitol was moved to Richmond, VA where it remained until April 1865.
[1996: S. Bainbridge St. @ Dexter Ave., Montgomery, 32.37745N 96.30145 W]
Born Feb. 17, 1779 in Prince Edward County, VA, nephew of John Scott, founder of Alabama Town which in 1819 joined New Philadelphia to become Montgomery. Reared in the Broad River area of northeast Georgia, he became an affluent planter, tanner and general trader. When Creeks lost much of their land in the 1814 Treaty of Ft. Jackson, "Alabama Fever," the lure of much very fertile land, caused many Broad River residents, among them Abner McGehee, to emigrate to Alabama. He bought a huge plantation in the area now known as Hope Hull, named for a Methodist preacher who brought his family into the Church in 1809.
Early Alabama Entrepreneur
McGehee was a very prosperous farmer and entrepreneur. In 1833 he built Planter's Hotel on Court Square and rebuilt it when it burned. He was a promoter of Alabama railroads, including the 76-mile line from Montgomery to West Point, GA, one of the first in the state when its construction began in 1836. Instrumental in starting the iron industry in Alabama, in 1830 he hired ironmonger Daniel Hillman to erect a forge in Roupes Valley, later known as Tannehill. A devout Methodist, he founded the Alabama Bible Society in 1851. His philanthropies were unexcelled in Alabama in his lifetime. He died on Feb. 19, 1855 and he is buried here.
[1997: Hope Hull, near exit 164 on I-65 south of Montgomery. From US 31, take Folmar Parkway through Interstate Industrial Park all the way to the cul-de-sac. Leave the roadway and follow two dirt and gravel ruts approx. ½ mile to the cemetery.
32.25718 N 86.37406 W ]
Born October 24, 1755 in Pennsylvania; settled 1783 in Georgia where he became a successful trader among the Cusseta Indians. First U.S. citizen to settle (1785) in what became Montgomery County. Living and marrying among the Creeks, he established a trading house for skins, furs, and medicinal barks two miles from Line Creek. Alabama historian A.J. Pickett visited him in Dudleyville in 1847. Fiercely independent to the end, he died and was buried there two years later.
Mordecai's Cotton Gin: Alabama's First
In 1785, Abram Mordecai, a Jewish veteran of the Revolutionary War, settled in this area which was still Indian country. On the Alabama River near here in 1802, he installed a cotton gin manufactured by Lyons & Barnett of Georgia. Until Indians burned his equipment, he ginned his own cotton and that of his Indian neighbors. His gin, the first in Alabama, was the forerunner of those that sprang up after the Territory was formed in 1817 and pioneers with "Alabama Fever" rushed to claim the fertile soil. The restored Old Alabama Town gin is typical of those operated until the early 20th century.
[1992: Old Alabama Town, 440 Columbus St., Montgomery, 32.38208 N 86.30329 W]
Alabama Department of Archives and History
In 1901, Alabama created the first state-funded, independent archival and historical agency in the United States. Its founding director, attorney Thomas McAdory Owen, combed the state to acquire and preserve both public and private materials that document Alabama’s past from the prehistoric period forward. The agency has since continued Owen’s mission, preserving the records that guarantee the rights of citizens and serve as the basis for educational programs for schools and the general public. Originally housed in the State Capitol, the agency moved to this building upon its completion in 1940. Generations of Alabamians and visitors from around the world have come here to explore the state’s rich history and its many contributions to the history of the nation.
Archives and War Memorial Building
A monumental structure to house the Department of Archives and History was envisioned at the close of World War I and again in a 1930 Olmsted Brothers plan for the Capitol Complex, but inadequate resources delayed its construction. In 1937, Marie Bankhead Owen, second director of the Archives, secured New Deal funds to build the central portion of a design by architect William T. Warren of Birmingham. The building opened to national acclaim in 1940 and was dedicated as the state’s World War I memorial. The addition of an east wing in 1974 and a west wing in 2005 fulfilled Warren’s vision for the complete structure. In 2014, the state dedicated an expanded and updated Museum of Alabama on the second floor.
[2015: 624 Washington Avenue, Montgomery]
Antioch Baptist Church
Mount Meigs, Alabama
Organized on June 5, 1818, the Antioch Baptist Church at Mt. Meigs was the first church of any denomination established in Montgomery County. Rev. James McLemore was its founder and first pastor. Antioch, like most churches in the county, had both white and black members before the Civil War and Reconstruction era. Antioch was officially incorporated in May of 1911 under a 9-man board of trustees. In 1919, the Antioch congregation built a new church building on land adjoining the Peoples Village School using material from the old church building; it was bricked and rededicated in 1980. In 1989, classrooms and a fellowship hall were added and a larger sanctuary with a capacity for 1,500 worshipers followed in 1999. The public road leading to the church is designated "Antioch Lane" in recognition of the role Antioch has played in the surrounding communities.
[2008: Gibbs Road N @ Antioch Lane near Georgia Washington School in Mt. Meigs community, 32.35479 N 86.10379 W ]
Augusta and the Old Augusta Cemetery
Augusta, home of Old Augusta Cemetery, was built on the site of a former Indian village, "Sawanogi," on high ground close to the Tallapoosa River. In 1824 a disastrous flood swept over the plateau, invading shops and residences. A year later a deadly form of malarial fever took half the population to their graves, killing the town as well. The cemetery, burial place for the Ross, Charles, and Taylor families, continued to be used until the early 20th century. The iron fence surrounding the cemetery formerly was erected around the state Capitol in Montgomery.
[2006: 9918 County Road 64 in the Cook Station community, 32.41202 N 86.13161W]
The Air Corps Tactical School moved to Maxwell in 1931. Brilliant young officers like Chennault, Eaker, Fairchild, Hansell, Kuter, LeMay, Quesada, and Vandenberg formulated the aerial strategies and tactics employed in World War II. In 1940, Maxwell became the home of HQ Southeast Air Corps Training Center responsible for pilot, navigator and bombardier training, producing over 100,000 aviation cadets. Air University was established in 1946 as the USAF professional military education center. Its programs annually affect over half the Air Force. Gunter Annex, east of Montgomery, is an important, integral element of Maxwell.
Maxwell Air Force Base
Military forces arrived in 1540 with Desoto at Indian village of Towassa. Here in 1910, the Wright brothers established the nation's first civilian flying school and made first recorded night flights. A repair and engine depot was established in 1918 for airplanes used for training in World War I. After the war, the 22nd Observation Squadron and 4th Photo Section assigned to the post made aerial photos of the Tennessee Valley, delivered first airmail to Montgomery, and in 1929 airdropped supplies for flood relief. The Base was named for Lt. William C. Maxwell of Atmore, AL, killed in a plane crash in the Philippines in 1920.
Alabama's First Capitols
On March 3, 1817, Congress designated the town of St. Stephens on the Tombigbee River north of Mobile as capital of the newly formed Alabama Territory. There in 1818, the territorial legislature named Huntsville as the temporary seat of government and Cahawba (near present-day Selma) as the first permanent capitol. The constitutional convention and legislature met in Huntsville and on December 14, 1819, Alabama was admitted into the Union. Meanwhile a suitable building was erected at Cahawba. Cahawba was prone to flooding which resulted in another change of locale in 1826-this time to Tuscaloosa. An elegant statehouse erected there served until 1846 when Montgomery became the capital of the state.
The Alabama State Capitol
Anticipating that Montgomery might some day be Alabama's capital, city founder Andrew Dexter in 1819 set aside "Goat Hill," at what was then the eastern edge of a small frontier town, as the locale for a future statehouse. The first capitol on this site was erected in 1846-47 after a design by Philadelphia architect Stephen Decatur Button. Burned only two years later in 1849, this Greek Revival-style structure was replaced by the present capitol, also in the Greek Revival-style, in 1850-51. Additions since that time include a large rear wing (1885), side wing (1908-1912), and another rear addition completed in 1992. In February 1861, delegates from seceding southern states convened in this building to organize the Confederate States of America. On March 25, 1965, the Selma-to-Montgomery civil rights march led by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. ended on the capitol steps.
[1995: Dexter Ave. @ S. Bainbridge St., Montgomery, 32.37788 N 86.30119 W]
Alabama State University
The Early Years
Founded in 1867, the Lincoln School in Marion, Alabama became the first state-assisted normal school for African Americans in 1874. The school prospered in that location for 13 years, training teachers, preachers, and scholars. Following a racial incident in Marion in 1887 the main building was burned down and the school was moved to Montgomery where it would become the State Normal School for Colored Students. The state reneged on its promise to support the school after the move to Montgomery and suspended its funding for three years, during which period the college held classes in churches and survived largely because of contributions from the black community and northern philanthropies.
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For three years, the American Missionary Association (AMA) teachers, President William Burns Paterson (1849-1915), his wife, Margaret (1853-1904), and his deputy, John Beverly (1858-1924), kept the school going. After state funding was restored in 1890, Tatum St. and nearby Hall St. became “faculty row.” There, Paterson built a house, a greenhouse, and Rosemont Gardens, which would contribute to the support of the school and his family. Beverly, who would be the school’s next president, also built his house on Tatum St. AMA teachers from NY, MA, and VT boarded on the street.
[2009: Intersection of Hall St. and Tatum St., Montgomery, 32.36773 N 86.29153 W]
Alabama State University
Founded 1866 as the Abraham Lincoln Normal School in Marion, Alabama by nine former slaves. Operated from 1868 until 1874 by the American Missionary Association. The school began to receive state funding in 1874, making it the first state-assisted normal school and university for blacks in Alabama. Moving from Marion to Montgomery in 1887, the school's classes initially were held in black churches. The institution had several name changes, finally becoming Alabama State University in 1969.
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William Burns Paterson (1850-1915) was 17 years old in 1867 when he arrived in New York from Tullibody, Scotland. By 1871, he had built a one-room schoolhouse called Tullibody Academy for Negroes in Greensboro, Alabama. He married the missionary teacher Margaret Flack in 1879. Together, they created a model school of its type. In 1887, the campus moved to Montgomery where the first Tullibody Hall was built in 1890. A brick building replaced the frame structure in 1906. Tullibody Fine Arts Center stands on the site of the earlier building.
[1995: 742 S. Jackson St., Montgomery, 32.36681 N 86.29609 W]
Bertha Pleasant Williams
First black employee of Montgomery library system, Bertha Pleasant Williams received a high school degree in Fairfield, AL in 1939, a degree from Alabama State College (now ASU) in 1943, and, in 1949, a BLS degree from Atlanta University. Her first job was elementary teacher at Snow Hill Institute, teaching all subjects. Upon Montgomery’s funding a public library for blacks in 1948, Williams came as librarian, receiving special recognition “so that adults and children of Afro-American communities can have their first use of Public Library Services.” For twelve years served in this capacity, and in 1960, when new branch library opened on Cleveland Avenue, she became the Head Librarian, working there for over nine years. Upon leaving city library, she moved to Alabama State University Library for seven years and as Head of the Rare Book Collection and archives for another seven. In 1993, Alabama State University recognized her fifty years of contributions to library service and education with a special Golden Graduation Diploma. Bertha Williams served as President of Montgomery Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. between 1954-1956 as she continued as Head Librarian of the Union Street Library for Coloreds. The Alabama Library Association also honored Bertha Williams.
Sponsored by the Fortitude Foundation-Montgomery Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
Rosa Parks Branch Library
Second public library for blacks in City of Montgomery, this building opened in 1960 as Montgomery Branch Library on Cleveland Avenue. Designed by architect James Miller Davis, it served the black population at a time the main facility on High Street prohibited their patronage. Planned to contain 15,000 volumes, this structure has meeting rooms and areas for adults, teen-agers and children. Judge Frank Johnson ordered desegregation of Montgomery libraries in 1962. The first public library for blacks opened in 1948 in two rooms of the Community House of City Federation of Negro Women’s Clubs on South Union Street. Librarian Bertha Williams, the first black employee of the city library system, led that branch for its twelve years of operation and became head librarian of this one upon its opening. Change of name to Rosa Parks Branch came with re-naming of Cleveland Avenue for heroine of Bus Boycott.
Sponsored by the Fortitude Foundation-Montgomery Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. [2012: 1276 Rosa L. Parks Ave., Montgomery]
The Bethel Cemetery
Bethel Cemetery was constituted Feb 13, 1819 and located on Federal Rd. Bethel Church was 1 of 4 churches in the Alabama Baptist Association which was formed on Dec. 13, 1819. On July 22, 1837, the church became the object of a major split in Baptist life. In Oct., Missionary Brethren were excluded from the church and the split became final. A marker memorializing the division between the Primitive and Missionary Baptists was placed in the cemetery by the Montgomery Baptist W.M.U. on Nov. 4, 1923. Pintlala Baptist Church acquired the cemetery in 1998.
[2000: US 31 south of Montgomery in the Pintlala Community, 32.18596 N 86.36351 W]
Bethel Missionary Baptist Church
Organized in 1967 as the Second Colored Baptist Church, congregation later changed named to Bethel Missionary Baptist. First building in 1908. Rev. E.W. Pickett then conducted services in "Love and Charity Hall" until second structure built in 1912 in same neighborhood but different site. In 1943, church remodeled under leadership of Rev. H.H. Hubbard. During the ministry of Rev. Edward Martin, the members, having outgrown the old building, built present edifice. Congregation has taken active role in social ministry, contributing to the well-being of the community. Cornerstone reflects its philosophy: "Home of Amazing Grace and Headquarters of the Holy Ghost."
[2000: Corner of Mobile Street and Clio Street, Montgomery, 36.36322 N 86.32565 W]
Beulah Baptist Church
Beulah Baptist Church was organized in the home of Monday and Dora Duvall, on the corner of Hull and Winnie Streets. Rev. William (Billy) Jenkins served as the pastor when the first church building was erected on Norton Street. Beulah served as the first classroom for the Alabama Colored People's University, which later became State Normal College, then Alabama State University. During the Church's centennial celebration, the University's president, Dr. Levi Watkins, who was a member of Beulah, hailed the contribution. Beulah also was the home church for Nat King Cole's family.
Beulah's edifice served as a gathering place for many civic, political, and spiritual meetings, including a mass meeting on January 23, 1956 which affirmed support for the on-going bus boycott. Beulah has housed the Boys and Girls Club, and several church congregations and hosted the Alabama Baptist and Southeast Antioch District Conventions. The Montgomery community has benefitted from Beulah's clothes closet, meals-on-wheels, and other health and welfare programs.
[2006: 3703 Rosa L. Parks Ave., Montgomery, 32.33837 N 86.31614 W]
Bibb Street Methodist Protestant Church
Established in 1832, it is among the oldest churches in the City of Montgomery. The church burned in 1834. A new building was erected and dedicated on October 30, 1842. The Rev. Wm. W. Hill of Greensboro, Conference president, preached the Dedicated Sermon on I Corinthians 13. The first pastor, Dr. A. A. Lipscomb, in 1856 became the first president of Tuskegee Female College (later becoming Huntingdon College). In 1859 he became Chancellor of the University of Georgia. With no bishops or presiding elders, The Methodist Protestant Church was known as "A Church without a Bishop in a land without a King."
Capitol Heights United Methodist Church
In 1924 the church moved to its present location at 2000 Winona Avenue in Capitol Heights. Under the leadership of Rev. T. C. Casaday the Capitol Heights Church became the largest church in the Alabama Conference of the Methodist Protestant Church. April 1939, in Kansas City, MO, three branches of Methodist Churches united to form The Methodist Church. The last meeting of The Alabama Conference of the Methodist Protestant Church was held at the Capitol Heights Church in October 1939. To this day the Capitol Heights United Methodist Church continues to serve God though significant mission and ministry.
Birth of Montgomery Bus Boycott
Boycott Planned & Publicized Here at ASU's Councill Hall
On Dec. 1, 1955, at Alabama State College (now Alabama State University) in a basement room in Councill Hall, the Montgomery Bus Boycott was planned and publicized after the arrest that day of Rosa Parks, who refused to give up her seat to a white person on a segregated city bus. Following Parks’ arrest, Alabama State College took action. Jo Ann Robinson, a faculty member, authored the text of a flyer calling for blacks to boycott segregated city buses and, joined by others, responded to Parks’ arrest by mimeographing thousands of flyers here calling for a one-day boycott of the buses to start the following Monday, Dec. 5. Assisted by members of the Women's Political Council (WPC), they distributed them throughout the city’s black community in hopes of ending segregation on city buses.
Sponsored by the Kenneth Mullinax Foundation
Birth of Montgomery Bus Boycott
Boycott Planned & Publicized Here at ASU's Councill Hall
Robinson was perhaps the person most instrumental in planning and publicizing the 1955 Boycott, proposing the idea to the WPC more than a year before it was implemented. She was assisted by WPC members who included Thelma Glass, Irene West, Mary Fair Burks & others; and advised by activist E.D. Nixon & attorney Fred Gray (ASU alumnus ’51) who was also eager to challenge the segregated bus law. Because of the spark that was lit here, news of the planned protest received widespread publicity & on Dec. 5, the Boycott was successful with over 90% of the city’s black citizens staying off the buses. The city’s black leaders extended the Boycott into a long-term campaign that lasted from Dec. 5, 1955 until Dec. 20, 1956, with widespread black support. It was successful when the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed Browder v. Gayle, which struck down laws requiring segregated seating on public buses. This was the seminal birth of the modern American Civil Rights Movement.
Sponsored by the Kenneth Mullinax Foundation
[2015: Alabama State University Campus, Montgomery]
Brewer Memorial Church
Brewer Church began in 1898 with 10 members in a one-room structure at its current location in Cecil, AL. Construction of the sanctuary occurred a few years later. Brewer Church was named for its first pastor, George Evans Brewer, a former State Senator and commander of the 46th AL Regiment in the Confederate Army. Rev. Brewer was also instrumental in establishing the Talladega School for the Deaf and Blind and Bryce Hospital in Tuscaloosa. After 1968, the church sat silent for many years due to an aging & declining membership. In 2008, local families revived the church and its cemetery, with blessings from the Montgomery Baptist Assoc.
Sponsored by East Montgomery County Historical Society [2012: Cecil]
Brigadier General Richard Montgomery
Born in Ireland in 1738. British Army officer during the French and Indian War and in West Indies campaign. Settled in New York state in 1772, sided with colonists in the Revolutionary War, and commissioned as a Brigadier General in the Continental Army. Led the American invasion of Canada, taking Montreal before being killed at the battle of Quebec on New Year's Eve 1775.
Naming the City of Montgomery
Montgomery named for Richard Montgomery, first American general killed in the Revolutionary War. In 1819, the Alabama Legislature combined New Philadelphia and East Alabama to form Montgomery. Walter B. Lucas, later of Lucas' Tavern in Line Creek, suggested the name to Andrew Dexter prompted by fanfare occasioned by the return of the General's body from Canada to New York City for burial in June of 1818.
[1992: Court Square, Montgomery, 32.37729 N 86.30931 W]
Catoma Street Church of Christ
Churches of Christ in America grew from movement to return to Apostolic Christianity. This congregation organized 1881 under the leadership of educator and minister J.M. Barnes who had earlier founded churches, the Strata Academy, and Highland Home College south of Montgomery. Worshipers met first in Court House then in small church on Herron Street. This building purchased for $7,500 in 1901 as Jewish congregation prepared for move to new Clayton Street temple. "Eye of God" window in auditorium painted for Kahl Montgomery by Annie J. Smith, later a founding member of this church.
Jewish citizens organized in 1846; Kahl (Congregation) Montgomery chartered April 12, 1852. New Orleans philanthropist Judah Touro willed $2,000 as nucleus for temple building fund. Property acquired 1858. Philadelphia architect John Stewart designed Romanesque Revival edifice. Interior followed traditional plan with separate seating for men and women. Ark, which contained Torah Scroll, remains visible. Building dedicated 1862; named Beth-Or (House of Light) 1874. Members worshiped here until building of Clayton Street Temple in 1902. Congregation moved to Narrow Lane Road in 1961.
[1993: 100 Catoma Street, Montgomery, 32.37442 N 86.31139 W]
The Capitol City Guards
1885 - 1905
In July 1885, the state Adjutant General authorized the organization of a black infantry company known as the Capitol City Guards. Joseph L. Ligon was elected captain. Over the next 20 years, the Capitol City Guards were a source of tremendous civic pride in the African-American community. They participated in formal inspections, drills, and encampments, as well as in Emancipation Day parades and annual commencement exercises at Tuskegee Institute. Drill meetings were held at Dorsette Hall at 216 Dexter Avenue.
At the outbreak of the Spanish-American War in 1898, the Capitol City Guards, commanded by Capt. Abraham Calvin Caffey, helped form Co. A, Third Alabama Volunteer Regiment. Although Alabama's black regiment never saw foreign duty, it remained in service longer than any other volunteer unit in the state.
The Capitol City Guards was the only black militia unit remaining in service in Alabama after the Spanish-American War, remaining on detached service until it was disbanded in 1905. After the demise of the Capitol City Guards, over 60 years would pass before Alabama would again admit African Americans into its National Guard.
[2001: 244 Dexter Avenue, Montgomery, 32.37441 N 86.30566 W]
Rosenwald schools, built from 1912-1932, were conceived by Booker T. Washington and philanthropist Julius Rosenwald, President of Sears, Roebuck, to educate black children in the rural South. The Cecil school was built in 1924-25 on five acres of land as a two-teacher type at a cost of $3,850. Rosenwald funds, local donations and hands-on-work by black and white community members helped to build the school. After 1954, the U.S. Supreme Court’s educational desegregation ruling rendered Rosenwald schools obsolete. Many Rosenwald schools, once the pride of their communities, have been neglected, abandoned or demolished.
Sponsored by the East Montgomery County Historical Society
Chantilly Plantation was purchased in 1832 at public outcry by Dr. Thomas Burge Taylor of Columbia, SC as a wedding gift for his bride, Harriott Pinkney Raoul. John Ashurst, its original owner, had moved further west. Harriott, a French woman, chose the name Chantilly after Chantilly, France. She was responsible for enlarging the home and landscaping the grounds in the 1830s. Chantilly supplied many goods to other area plantations. Dr. and Mrs. Taylor had no children, so Chantilly passed to his sister’s children, the Charles, who lived at Rose Hill. Chantilly has descended to Dr. Taylor’s heirs for eight generations.
Sponsored by the East Montgomery County Historical Society
[2015: Mt. Meigs]
City of St. Jude
Founded by Father Harold Purcell in the 1930s, the City of St. Jude included church, school, medical facilities, social center and rectory. Its mission was to provide spiritual, educational, social and health services for Montgomery's black citizens. Distinguished for its Romanesque architecture and landscaping, site was designed by architects William Calham and Joseph Maschi. Leading the way in nondiscriminatory health care, the institution helped organize the county's first prenatal care program, school of practical nursing and first drug and alcohol treatment center in the state. In 1953 it provided primary polio treatment. Hospital closed, 1985; church and school continue to serve the community in the spirit as that of its founder.
The Selma to Montgomery March They Camped Here
On March 24,1965, more than 25,000 marchers seeking voter rights and protected by St. Jude Thaddeus, the patron saint of hopeless causes and champion of impossible causes, rested overnight on the grounds. Public facilities were closed to freedom seekers. Father Paul J. Mullaney, director, The City of St. Jude, opened parish facilities for marchers. Joining them were celebrities including Harry Belafonte, Sammy Davis, Jr., Leonard Bernstein, Mahalia Jackson, Shelly Winters and other supporters. The next morning marchers continued on to state capitol to further cause of voter registration.
[1997: 2062 West Fairview Avenue, Montgomery, 32.35159 N 86.32711 W]
Civil War-Barnes School
In April 1865, the Union Army command made this house its headquarters. Mrs. Pickett hid her silver on an inside ledge of cupola. Later, former Confederate Generals Hood, Bragg, and Walker visited here. In 1906, Professor Elly Barnes bought the house for use as a private school for boys, which rapidly achieved fame for its quality. The Barnes School closed in 1942. In 1996, the house was rescued from demolition with the help of the Alabama Historical Commission and moved to its present location by the Montgomery County Historical Society.
John P. Figh, a native of Maryland, built this, the oldest surviving brick dwelling in Montgomery, ca 1837, at the corner of Clayton and South Court Streets. Figh was one of the chief contractors for the construction of the Alabama State Capitol. He also served as city alderman. In 1858, Figh sold his house to Alabama's first historian, Albert James Pickett, from North Carolina. Although Pickett died just before moving into the house, his family lived here for more than 50 years.
[1997: 512 S. Court Street, Montgomery, 32.37087 N 86.30891 W]
On this site stood
The First White House of the Confederacy
William Sayre built his townhouse here between 1832 and 1835. On February 21, 1861, the provisional Confederate Congress leased it for the Executive Residence. President Jefferson Davis and his family lived here before the CSA capital moved to Richmond.
The White House Association saved the house, moved it next to the Capitol, restored it, dedicated it as a museum, and gave it to the people of Alabama on June 3, 1921.
Sponsored by the White House Association of Alabama
[2012: 301 Bibb Street, Montgomery]
Educator, Businessman, Lawmaker
Born a slave in Wetumpka in 1833, Elijah Cook became a leader in Montgomery's African American community. Credited with helping to establish the city's first school for blacks in the basement of the Old Ship AME Zion Church in 1865, he also selected the site for Swayne College (later Booker T. Washington School) that opened in 1868. In 1887, he assisted in posting the $10,000 surety bond to relocate the Lincoln School of Marion (later Alabama State University) to Montgomery. After serving in the legislature from 1874 to 1876, he opened an undertaking firm across from city hall in the early 1880s.
Sponsored by the City of Montgomery
[2011: City Hall: North Perry St. @ Madison Ave., Montgomery, 32.37951 N 86.30747 W]
City of Montgomery v. Rosa Parks
The trial for seamstress Rosa M. Parks was held on Monday, 5 December, in the Recorder’s Court of the City of Montgomery. (The room was later the site of meetings of the city council.) The trial began at 9:00 and continued for about 30 minutes. Parks and her attorney were accompanied by Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., Rev. Ralph D. Abernathy, E. D. Nixon, and hundreds of interested blacks. Judge John B. Scott found Parks guilty of disorderly conduct and fined her $14. She lost on appeal on 22 February 1956, but the Parks case of 1955 ignited a one-day boycott of the city buses that eventually led to the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Under Browder v. Gayle, the boycott ended on 20 December 1956.
Sponsored by the City of Montgomery
Brigadier General Birkett Davenport Fry, CSA
Born Virginia; educated at VMI and West Point; fought in Mexico; practiced law in California; married Alabamian whose family owned the Tallassee cotton mill; served as general in Walker's ill-fated filibustering in Nicaragua; then returned to manage Tallassee mill. Colonel of the 13th Alabama Infantry in 1861; wounded in four different battles including Gettysburg where he commanded a brigade; promoted to Brigadier General May 1864. Following the War, he lived in Cuba, Florida, Alabama, and Virginia. President of Richmond cotton mill until his death there in 1891. Body returned to Montgomery to be buried beside his wife.
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Colonel B.D. Fry at Battle of Gettysburg
July 1, 1863; Fry placed in command of Archer's Brigade of Alabama and Tennessee troops following Archer's capture. His brigade was on the right of Pettigrew's Division and to the left of Pickett's, the brigade of direction for the assault across the field on July 3. Bravely leading his brigade up Cemetery Ridge under galling artillery and small-arms fire, he was wounded in the shoulder and thigh before being captured by the Federals. His troops reached the stone wall where his regimental color bearer stabbed an enemy soldier with his flag staff. Paroled in '64 and promoted, he served until War's end.
[1994: 829 Columbus Street, Montgomery, 32.38541 N 86.29262 W]
Old Oakwood Cemetery
The city cemetery was begun by donations of land from Andrew Dexter in 1817 and from General John Scott in 1818. Dexter and Scott had founded separate villages which combined to form Montgomery in 1819. The early part of the graveyard was known as Scott's Free Burying Ground. The cemetery was open to all of Montgomery's people. Many of the soldiers and prominent statesmen who shaped history as well as ordinary citizens, hanged felons, and unknowns rest in Old Oakwood. Nearly 140 acres in size, the cemetery has no more slots for sale.
Old Oakwood Cemetery
Oakwood Cemetery, consisting of Scotts's Free Burying Ground, Plats 1, 2, 3, and 4, and the old Catholic and Jewish cemeteries, is filled with the history of this City, State, and area. Those who pioneered the wilderness, made the early decisions, formed our government, promulgated our laws, bore arms when necessary, and experienced the hardships and successes of our growth rest here. Having passed the torch of progress to us, many of those who were a living and integral part of our own history and heritage have at last found safe harbor in Old Oakwood.
[1994: Columbus St. inside old gate of cemetery, Montgomery, 32.38262 N 86.29709 W]
Percy Lavon Julian
Scientist and Humanitarian
Born on the west side of Holt Street, April 11, 1899, Percy Lavon Julian entered Depauw University in 1916; graduated in chemistry with Phi Beta Kappa honors. Earned master's from Harvard, Ph.D. at the University of Vienna. His studies led to a synthetic drug for glaucoma. Experiments with soybean oils resulted in Compound S, an affordable synthetic form of cortisone for arthritis treatment. Julian's work included developments in production of artificial hormones and a foam for fighting fires onboard ships. Dedicated to relieving human suffering, he held over 130 patents at his death in April 1975. The U.S. issued a postage stamp in his honor in 1992.
[1995: 904 South Holt Street, Montgomery, 32.36479 N 86.32076 W]
Railroad building and amusement park development flourished in the post-bellum South. In 1880s, Western Railroad of Alabama opened Pickett Springs on site of William Harris's plantation, "Forest Farm;" Harris's daughter, Sarah, married A. J. Pickett, Alabama's first historian, and they had their home here until Pickett's death in 1858. Pickett Springs occupied portion of land as community of Chisolm developed nearby. During World War I Champ Sheridan, infantry training ground, supplanted the old park. During 1920s, West Boylston Manufacturing opened large cotton mill and a residential village in the vicinity.
"The Best Public Resort"
In September 1886, Montgomery Advertiser noted Pickett Springs as the "best public resort." Located four miles north of Montgomery, park offered entertainment and relaxation for citizens who traveled out by train until 1902 when street railway service started. Included in the area were a dance pavilion, refreshment stand, bowling alley, shooting gallery, carousel, flying swing, billiard parlor, scenic car and roller coaster. During summers of early 20th century, Salvation Army conducted fresh-air camps for indigent people. By World War I, Pickett Springs had lost much of its aura as automobiles and movies offered their diversions.
[1999: 2746 Alabama River Parkway, Montgomery, 32.43.0067 N 86.27565 W]
Pike Road School
Montgomery County's first school to consolidate rural, one-room school houses into grades one through twelve opened November 11, 1918. The school was built by the Montgomery County Board of Education on 30 acres of land at a cost of $40,000 with monies loaned and donated by families from surrounding settlements. Hailed by the U.S. Commissioner of Education when it was featured in the Alabama Exhibit at the 1926 Sesquicentennial International Exposition in Philadelphia, the school subsequently attracted foreign educators from Europe and South America interested in observing the system. The last graduating class was in 1945; the school remained a junior high school until its closing in May 1970.
[County Road 85 (Pike Road) @ Flynn Road, 32.28468 N 86.10258 W]
Pintlala Grange Hall
The National Grange of the Patrons of Husbandry was organized in 1867 to provide economic, social and cultural improvements for farmers and their families. Pintlala's Grange Hall was erected circa 1875 on land adjacent to this marker. By the 1890s the popularity of the Grange began to wane. On July 21-23, 1891 the last meeting of the Alabama Granges took place in Pintlala. The Federal Land Bank was organized as the National Farm Loan Association of Pintlala on August 17, 1917. Grange Hall was the site of their regular meetings.
Grange Hall School
From circa 1880 to 1922 school was held in one room of Grange Hall for seven months a year. Pintlala School was built and opened in 1923 and the Board of Education purchased the Grange property. The building was used for home economics classes and, from 1931 to 1952, served as home for Pintlala School caretakers. Over the years it was site of community dances, a meeting place for Boy and Girl Scouts, and the Pintlala Baptist Church (1960). Vacant and deteriorating, the building was given to the Landmarks Foundation and moved in 1978 to Old Alabama Town, Montgomery, Alabama.
[2003: County Road 24 just west of US Hwy 31, Pintlala, 32.17616 N 86.36958 W]
Opened in 1923 to consolidate a number of one-, two-, and three-teacher institutions in southwestern Montgomery County including Hope Hull, LeGrand, Mt. Carmel, Grange Hall, Snowdoun, Bethlehem, Fleta, Sankey, and Tabernacle. W.F. Feagin served as County School Superintendent during the planning phase, succeeded by Dr. A.F. Harmon by the time the school opened.
Board of Education members in 1923 were Jesse B. Hearin (Chairman), P.M. McIntyre, Simon Gassenheimer, Dr. William Tankersley, and J.M. Hobbie. 80-acre site purchased through contributions of local citizens. Original principal Ben. S. Copeland succeeded in 1926 by Lee R. Scarborough, who served for forty years. Junior High School discontinued in 1970. Visited by President George Bush in 1991 and 1992. School placed on the Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage on April 14, 1992. Marker erected through generosity of alumni and efforts of Pintlala Historical Association.
[1994: 223 County Road 24 west of US Hwy 31, Pintlala, 32.17638 N 86.37149 W]
Pisgah Primitive Baptist Church
Constituted on August 27, 1842 on this site with six charter members including Moses and Sarah Rushton, Susannah Rushton, William and Emily Miley, and James Gardner. First structure built of logs by master carpenter Jesse Yon on land given by Moses Rushton, who moved to Montgomery County from Orangeburg District S.C.
Present Colonial Revival building completed in 1931. Architect was Frank W. Lockwood and landscape architect was Graham M. Rushton.
[1815 Gardner Road (County Road 258) in southeast Montgomery County, 31.99571 N 86.11779 W]
The E.L. Posey Parking Lot
This site, known as “Posey’s Parking Lot,” served the black community as one of two major transportation centers during the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Mrs. Rosa Parks’s December 1, 1955 arrest following her refusal to surrender her seat at the order of the white bus driver sparked protests against segregation on the Montgomery City Bus Lines. After city authorities outlawed the use of black taxis as an alternative form of transportation for boycotters, the parking lot, operated by local black business owners, Eddie L. and Dorothy Posey, served as a transportation hub in the midst of the city’s black business district. Over 200 sedans and station wagons, dubbed “rolling churches” since many were owned and operated by African-American churches, shuttled some 2,000 black passengers daily over more than a year to work and to shop. On November 13, 1956, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a lower federal court decision in Browder vs. Gayle, declaring segregation in city bus seating unconstitutional. Integrated bus service began on December 21, 1956. This parking lot continued to operate until 1967.
[2010: McDonough St. between Dexter & Monroe, Montgomery, 32.37835 N 86.30514 W]
Major K.F. Schumann commanded this depot during most of the war. It had a capacity of 5,000 animals with 14 corrals and 14 packing chutes at the railroad platform. About 300 officers and men were in the permanent party and a blacksmith school trained 100 farriers. Troops were quartered south of the railroad and the animals kept to the north. The Remount Depot closed June 1919. The railroad stop here was called Keyton Station.
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During World War I, in the summer of 1917 the U.S. Army opened a remount depot here to buy horses and mules for Camp Sheridan's 27,000-man 37th Division from Ohio. Despite the introduction of motor transport to war, an infantry division still needed nearly 4,000 horses and 2,700 mules as draft, riding and pack animals to pull 40-wagon trains, guns and field ambulances in 1918. This post occupied 160 acres alongside the Central of Georgia R.R. on the highest elevation within 20 miles of Montgomery.
[1996: 2460 East Fifth Street, Montgomery, 32.36098 N 86.27332 W]
Built early 1850's by Samuel Farrow Rice, state legislator and Chief Justice, Alabama Supreme Court. Sold in late 1860's to attorney Henry Churchill Semple, whose family occupied home until 1954 when sold to John Haardt, a realtor.
Sold to State 1970. Entered National Register of Historic Places 1972. Offices of the Alabama Historical Commission since 1974. Lurleen Burns Wallace Museum since 1975.
Rosa Louise McCauley Parks
A Lady of Courage
Born in Tuskegee, AL on February 4, 1913, to James McCauley, a carpenter, and Leona Edwards, a teacher. Moved with mother and brother to Pine Level, AL after parents' separation. Enrolled in Mrs. White's School for Girls at age 11 and received her high school diploma from Alabama State Teachers College Laboratory High School. Married Montgomery barber Raymond Parks in 1932; both became active in the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), which Mrs. Parks served as local chapter secretary. Family relocated to Detroit, MI in 1957 as result of hostility received after her courageous refusal to give up her bus seat. In 1988, the "Mother of the Civil Rights Movement" was inducted as an honorary member into Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, the oldest African American sorority in the nation. Rosa Parks was the sole class of 2008 inductee into the Alabama Women's Hall of Fame.
Sponsored by Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated during its Centennial Salute
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The Bus Stop
The Montgomery Bus Boycott
At the stop on this site on December 1, 1955, Mrs. Rosa Parks boarded the bus which would transport her name into history. Returning home after a long day working as a seamstress for Montgomery Fair department store, she refused the bus driver's order to give up her seat to boarding whites. Her arrest, conviction, and fine launched the Montgomery Bus Boycott. The Boycott began December 5, the day of Parks's trial, as a protest by African-Americans for unequal treatment they received on the bus line. Refusing to ride the buses, they maintained the Boycott until the U.S. Supreme Court ordered integration of public transportation one year later. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. led the Boycott, the beginning of the modern Civil Rights Movement.
Sponsored by Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated during its Centennial Salute
[2008: Court Square @ First Alabama Plaza, Montgomery, 32.37758 N 86.30906 W ]
Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott
On December 1, 1955, Rosa Louise McCauley Parks was arrested on this site for refusing the order of city bus driver J. F. Blake to vacate her seat under the segregation laws of the Jim Crow era. She was taken to police headquarters at City Hall for booking, then to the municipal jail on Ripley Street. Civil rights leader E. D. Nixon, accompanied by attorney Clifford Durr, soon arrived to post her bail. Parks’s arrest galvanized black leaders to organize a boycott of the bus system for December 5, the date she was to appear in Municipal Court. Her conviction and the success of the one-day bus protest inspired the creation of the Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA) to continue what came to be known as the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott
The 382-day boycott was the first sustained mass demonstration against segregation in the U.S. and launched the 20th-century civil rights movement. It also thrust Martin Luther King Jr., the elected leader of the MIA, into national prominence. The boycott ended after a lawsuit filed by Mrs. Parks’s attorney, Fred D. Gray, ultimately led the federal courts to declare segregated bus seating unconstitutional. Mrs. Parks went on to become a national heroine, but in the aftermath of the boycott she and her husband were denied employment in Montgomery. They moved to Detroit, where she lived out her life. She died October 24, 2005, universally honored for her courage and activism.
[2015: 252 Montgomery Street, Montgomery]
The Hon. Rufus A. Lewis
1906 - 1999
Lewis began an earnest voting rights drive in the early 1940s. Credited with registering 4 generations of Montgomery voters, he established Citizenship Schools that tutored prospective black voters to fill out the literacy test, a barrier before the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Lewis opened, in1952, the "Citizens' Club," a night club for African Americans who were registered voters and who helped others to become voters. Lewis was a graduate of Fisk University and served as football coach at Alabama State University. In 1958, he became a partner in the Ross-Clayton Funeral Home business. He was one of the founders and first Montgomery Chapter president of the Alabama Democratic Conference, the oldest continuing black political organization in the state. Lewis was elected to the Alabama state legislature in 1974, but resigned in 1976, when U.S. President Jimmy Carter appointed him to serve as a U.S. Marshal, the first black marshal for the Middle District in Alabama.
[2001: Corner of Boliver Street and Dericote Street, Montgomery, 32.37154 N 86.29717 W]
Saint John's Episcopal Church
Present building erected 1855 under rectorship of Nicholas Hamner Cobbs, first Bishop of Alabama. Primary convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the Confederate States of America was held here, July 3-6, 1861. Charles Minnegerode Beckwith, fourth Bishop of Alabama, consecrated here, December 17, 1902.
[1973: 113 Madison Ave, Montgomery, 32.37995 N 86.30738 W]
The Selma-to-Montgomery March ended here on March 25, 1965, when 25,000 civil rights marchers arrived at the Alabama State Capitol to demand the right to vote for African Americans. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil rights leaders addressed the marchers and the nation, culminating a series of demonstrations that began in Selma on March 7 – “Bloody Sunday” – when some 600 peaceful protesters were savagely beaten by lawmen as they tried to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge.
Sponsored by the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Kenneth Mullinax Foundation and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Alpha Upsilon Lambda Chapter
In January 1965, activists led by Dr. King launched a series of voter registration drives and demonstrations to secure the right of black citizens to register and vote in Alabama elections – a constitutional right impeded by Gov. George Wallace and other officials. They were met with state-sponsored terrorism. On the night of February 18 in Marion, amid a melee that began when police started clubbing peaceful protesters, a state trooper shot and killed a young black man, Jimmie Lee Jackson. Infuriated by Jackson’s murder, leaders of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference called upon residents of Alabama’s Black Belt counties to peacefully march on the Alabama Capitol to demand voting reforms. Less than five months after the last of the three marches, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act of 1965 into law. [2012: Capitol Grounds, Montgomery]
Only surviving residence of former Mayor E. B. Joseph. The Italianate cottage was built c. 1855 by Pickett Chauncy Smith, a merchant in ante-bellum Montgomery, and father-in-law of E. B. Joseph, who occupied the house from 1880 to 1885. Joseph served on the City Council for six years and was Mayor from 1899-1903. He helped develop Highland Park, Montgomery's first suburb, and was president of Montgomery's streetcar system, the first electric system in the United States. From 1913 to 1921 the house was occupied by Judge Asa Evans Stratton. Restored 1984.
[1984: 302 Alabama Street, Montgomery, 32.37414 N 86.30456 W]
South Jackson Street
Long a home to African-American professionals, politicians, and businessmen, South Jackson Street is in the heart of Centennial Hill, a neighborhood which developed in the 1870s. One block north at #309 is the house where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. lived during the Bus Boycott; #341 was the home of John W. Jones, Lowndes County senator in the Reconstruction legislature. Building on NE corner is former Ben Moore Hotel, site of many Civil Rights meetings and activities. Alabama State University at south end of street.
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Victor Hugo Tulane
Almost penniless, Tulane came from Elmore County in 1880s, opening a grocery store on SE corner of High and Ripley in 1905 (National Register of Historic Places). While living at 430 South Union, he was cashier at the African-American-owned Penny Savings Bank, as well as a druggist. Served as Chairman of the Board of Old Ship AME Zion Church, member of Board of Trustees of Tuskegee Institute and of Swayne School, and first African-American honorary member of the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce. Died 1931: city honored business leader by naming Victor Tulane Court in his memory, 1951.
[1992: South Jackson Street @ High Street, Montgomery, 32.37218 N 86.29639 W ]
Montgomery's first military flying installation was established 200 yards south of this spot in November of 1917. The facility was named for Captain Ralph L. Taylor, who was killed in an airplane crash at Mineola Field, New York in August of 1917. The primary flying school here included 16 hangers, repair shops, warehouses, quarters, a hospital, and nearly 200 JN-4 and DH-4 aircraft on its 800 acres. One hundred and thirty-nine fledgling pilots completed the eight-week course and some served in France during the First World War. Taylor Field closed in April of 1919 and reopened as Gunter Auxiliary Air Field No. 5 during World War II. It was closed again in July of 1946.
Erected by the Montgomery Chapter of the Air Force Association and Founders Flight, Order of Daedalians.
[1993: 2154 Ray Thorington Road, Pike Road, AL, 32.30974 N 86.11699 W]
Greek Revival Architecture-built in 1848 by Berry Owens. On April 11, 1865, Federal Troops, known as "Wilson's Raiders," approached the city. Lacking means of defense, city officials agreed to surrender the city. From the front portico of this house was read the order of Gen. James H. Wilson, USA, placing the first Capital of the Confederacy under martial law on April 12, 1865. This house, typical of many homes of the period, was home successively of the Owens, Ware, Walker, Graham, and Teague families. Since 1955 it has served as headquarters of the Alabama State Chamber of Commerce and is open to the public.
[1960: 468 South Perry Street, Montgomery, 32.37211 N 86.30735 W]
This 2.8-mile road connecting U.S. highways 331 and 31 first appeared on Montgomery County road maps in 1928. Land for the road was deeded to Montgomery County in September 1926 by local landowners from the Teague, Bellingrath and Matthews families. The road took the Teague name from brothers William Martin and Robert S., prominent pioneers in county agriculture and commerce. Teague Road's name was changed in January 2004 when Hyundai automotive built its 1,720-acre plant on the road.
[2004: 2 Dexter Avenue, Montgomery, 32.37733 N 86.30872 W]
Telegram Which Began War Between the States
Montgomery, April 11, 1861
General Beauregard, Charleston:
Do not desire needlessly to bombard Fort Sumter. If Major Anderson will state time at which, as indicated by him, he will evacuate, and agree that in the meantime he will not use his guns against us unless ours should be employed against Fort Sumter, you are thus authorized to avoid the effusion of blood. If this or its equivalent be refused, reduce the fort as your judgement decides to be most practicable.
L. P. Walker
Sec. of War, C.S.A.
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Built in 1841 by John Gindrat to house the Montgomery branch of the Bank of St. Mary's. In 1854 was willed to his daughter, Mary Elizabeth, wife of Joseph Winter.
On April 11, 1861, Confederate Secretary of War Leroy Pope Walker sent telegram from second floor offices of Southern Telegraph Company to Charleston authorizing Confederate General P. G. T. Beauregard to fire on Fort Sumter. Subsequent bombardment was first military action of War Between the States.
Building placed on National Register of Historic Places 1972, and restored in 1978.
[1981: 2 Dexter Avenue, Montgomery, 32.37733 N 86.30872 W]
The Federal Road
The 1803 Louisiana Purchase acquired 828,000 sq. mi. for the U.S., doubling its size. The Federal Road was built to provide a shorter route from Washington to New Orleans and the new territory. The Treaty of 1805 with the Creeks authorized traversing their lands. Entering Alabama at Ft. Mitchell near Columbus, GA, it came through Mt. Meigs, to Pintlala, Ft. Deposit, Burnt Corn, Ft. Stoddert, then Mobile. The 1814 Treaty of Ft. Jackson made much fertile Creek land available to grow cotton; this lure, "Alabama Fever," drew many thousands of settlers to central Alabama. In 1860, spans were still in use, but the Road was gone.
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Manac’s Tavern, located near here and nearby Pinchona Creek, was the oldest stand on the Federal Road . Samuel Manac, the proprietor, in 1701 went with Alexander McGillivray to the U.S. capitol in NYC and met George Washington to conclude a peace treaty for the Creek Nation, the U.S. ’s first treaty with a foreign power. He married Red Eagle’s sister, Elizabeth. Aaron Burr stayed here in 1807. In 1822 Sam’s son, David Moniac, became the first Indian and first Alabamian to graduate from West Point . In 1836, in the Second Seminole War, Maj. Moniac was killed at Wahoo Swamp leading a unit of Creek militia against the braves of Osceola, who was his wife’s cousin.
[1997: Federal Road @ Cloverfield Rd. (County Road 24 @ County Road 055, Pintlala Community) Hope Hull, 32.17651 N 86.38688 W]
"The Old Reliables"
Inactive from 1962 to 1966, the 9th Infantry Division again was tapped for active service in Vietnam. The Division trained at Fort Riley, Kansas, and deployed to Vietnam in 1967. There the 9th fought with distinction in 8 campaigns as part of the Riverine Force. The Division left Vietnam in the summer of 1969 and was inactive for 3 years. In 1972 the "Old Reliables" were reactivated at Fort Lewis, Washington, where they tested new organizational concepts and equipment until deactivated in 1992. During combat in 16 campaigns in two wars, 13 soldiers of the Division were awarded the Medal of Honor.
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9th Infantry Division
The 9th Division was organized on July 18, 1918 at Camp Sheridan for service in World War I. When the war ended, November 11, 1918, deployment of the Division to France was canceled and it was demobilized on February 15, 1919. Reactivated on August 1, 1940, 9th Infantry Division soldiers fought valiantly in 8 crucial World War II campaigns in North Africa, Sicily, France, Belgium, and Germany. After a short inactivation, the 9th returned to the active force on July 15, 1947 as a training division at Fort Dix, New Jersey, and later served under NATO in Germany and at Fort Carson, Colorado, as a combat unit.
[1993: 3 Johnson Ave., Montgomery (Off Lower Wetumpka Rd.), 32.42656 N 86.28289 W]
Named for Union general and Freedmen's Bureau agent Wager Swayne, Swayne College was dedicated 21 April 1869. The Bureau appropriated $10,000 for the building, and the local black community purchased 3.5 acres for the site. Future officeholder Elijah Cook submitted the winning location of Union and Grove Streets. The building stood three stories high and was constructed by Henry Duncan with ventilation by Isaac Frazier. George Stanley Pope became the first principal of the school with occupancy in October 1868, and Fisk alumnus Charles Duncan became the first black principal. The American Missionary Association operated the school, and its high standards mirrored the influence of the local Congregationalist church. Swayne contained desks, blackboards, maps, and an organ costing $200. With tuition free to local students, it offered coursework in the alphabet, reading and spelling, advanced reading, arithmetic, geography, and writing. Closing in 1937, Swayne College paved the way for black education in Montgomery and was succeeded by Booker T. Washington School.
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Booker T. Washington School
Named for one of the nation's premier educators, Booker T. Washington School began through the efforts of an expanding Swayne College. Its large enrollment forced Swayne officials in 1916 to erect a new building, which they named for the great educator. An even larger enrollment propelled officials in 1925 to add a junior high department with the same name. Three years later, the Montgomery Industrial School, which had been sold to the city, became a part of the junior high department and the site of the first high school. In May 1940, 88 students became the first graduates, and, in 1948, the old Swayne building was demolished to make way for the new $250,000 high school at Union and Grove Streets. A dedication program was held on 3 April 1949, and an auditorium-gymnasium was added in 1954. Only two principals - Prof. J.A. Edwards, who resigned in May 1942, and former basketball coach and teacher, C.T. Smiley, who assumed his duties in September 1942 - served the school. The school's nickname was Yellow Jackets and its colors blue and gold. It was known for its excellent faculty, students, school spirit, marching band, and athletic teams.
[2003: 632 S. Union St., Montgomery, 32.36968 N 86.29997 W]
401 Madison Avenue
Built in Tuskegee, Alabama, a small market town and education center, the house reflects prosperity, changing tastes and optimism of the 1850s. Judge Thomas S. Tate incorporated three distinct styles in the construction of his home. Columns indicate lasting interest in Greek Revival, decorative brackets and ventilator covers denote the Italianate, while the side porches sport fanciful steamboat Gothic latticed arches. Front column capitals are classical Temple of Wind while rear columns depict vernacular, regional ideas. Interior shows environmental concerns with transverse halls to catch any summer breeze, and small rooms easily heated by fireplaces in winter.
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Chamber of Commerce Visitor Information Center
House occupied from 1880s for next hundred years by W.P. Thompson and his family. In 1980, bank acquired property, sold house to Georgian who carefully dismantled it with hopes of restoring it as his home. Unable to do so, in 1987 he sold elements to Landmarks Foundation which reerected the house on this site, with support and encouragement of the Montgomery mayor and with grant from Montgomery Kiwanis Club. Meticulous care given restoration, including remoulding ornate plaster, graining, marbleizing and furnishing parlors. Landmarks Board and local architect carried out project. Chamber of Commerce opened Visitor Information Center in 1991.
Union Station & Riverfont Park
Transportation center of Montgomery located in this area for many years. First steamboat, the "Harriet," landed nearby 1821. City wharf constructed at landing place 1823.
First railroad, Montgomery & West Point R.R., developed ca. 1840. By 1900 most major railroads in Central Alabama had connections here.
Union Station and Tunnel connection to river landing built 1897. Because decline in river traffic, Tunnel closed 1930. With development of Riverfront Park 1970's, Tunnel reopened. Ramp reopened 1981.
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Lower Commerce Street
Commerce Street, once heart of Montgomery's business life, leads from Alabama River to center of city. In early days commercial buildings and residences lined street. By 1880's merchants had built elaborate warehouses and area became principle wholesale district for Central Alabama. Changes in transportation and marketing brought decline to area. In 1970's revitalization began with restoration of old buildings.
[1981: In median near 234 South Commerce St., Montgomery, 32.38079 N 86.31239 W]
Sherman W. White, Jr. (1919 - 1943)
First Lieutenant, 99th Fighter Squadron
Sherman, Sr. and Nettie White lived at this address on W. Jeff Davis Ave. Both teachers, they taught their children Sherman Jr., Willa, James, and Samson to love their country and value education. Willa, James, and Samson would graduate from college. Sherman, Jr. left school at the U. of Chicago to enlist as an Army Air Forces aviation cadet at Tuskegee, Alabama. At Tuskegee were trained the first African-American military aviators in the history of the U.S. Armed Forces. In the third class at Tuskegee, White graduated in May 1942 as a 2d. lieutenant, allowing him to make the payments on his parents' house.
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Sherman W. White, Jr. (1919 - 1943)
First Lieutenant, 99th Fighter Squadron
White joined the 99th Fighter Squadron at Tuskegee, the U.S. Armed Forces' first all-black tactical air unit. Willa (WAC) and James White (QM Corps) served in the Army in WW II. Samson later was in the Army in the Korean War. Lt. Sherman White and the 99th moved to North Africa for combat. On July 2, 1943, escorting bombers over the Mediterranean, 99th P-40 fighters intercepted attacking German fighters. While protecting the bombers, the 99th had two of its P-40s shot down into the sea. White was one of the U.S. Armed Forces' first two black aviators killed in action.
[2004: 690 West Jeff Davis Ave., Montgomery, 32.36617 N 86.31954 W]
MG J.H. Wilson's Cavalry Corps raised U.S. flag over Alabama's and the Confederacy's first capital on 4/12/65, 3 days after Lee's surrender at Appomattox. Wilson had defeated LTG N.B. Forrest's depleted and outnumbered troops at the Confederate arsenal city of Selma. Before fleeing Montgomery, BG D.W. Adams, CSA ordered 85,000 bales of cotton and 40,000 bushels of corn set afire to deny them to the Federals. But for the wind's change and heroic volunteer firefighters, the city would have burned. Wilson left Montgomery for Columbus, GA on Friday, 4/14/65, the day Lincoln was shot by Booth at Ford's Theater in Washington.
[1996: Dexter Ave. @ S. Bainbridge St., Montgomery, 32.37752 N 86.30116 W]
The Buckeye Division
World War I
Camp Sheridan was the site for the August 1917 organization of the Buckeye Division, made up the Ohio National Guardsmen who previously had been serving on the Mexican Border. After training, the 37th went to France in June 1918, fighting in the Lorraine, Ypres-Lys, and Meuse-Argonne Campaigns. It took 5,387 casualties and won a Medal of Honor before returning to the U.S. in March 1919 to be demobilized.
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The Buckeye Division
World War II
The Buckeye Division was inducted into federal service in October 1940. Trained at Camp Shelby, Mississippi and Camp Indiantown Gap, Pennsylvania, it was deployed to the Pacific in May 1942 where it sustained 5,960 casualties in the Northern Solomons and Luzon Campaigns. Seven soldiers won the Medal of Honor, including Private Roger Young of the Infantry's ballad. The Division returned to the U.S. for demobilization in November 1945.
The Division lineage descended to the 37th Infantry Brigade of the Ohio National Guard.
[1992: 3 Johnson Ave., Montgomery (Off Lower Wetumpka Rd.), 32.42657 N 86.28321 W]
167th Infantry (4th Alabama)
An Alabama regiment was formed in 1836 to defend Fort Foster in Florida. Same unit, designated the 1st Volunteers ten years later, served in Mexican War . Mustered again May 4, 1861 as the 4th Alabama Infantry Regiment, it fought in every major battle in the Eastern Theater of the Civil War. The 4th distinguished itself in Battle of Manassas, the first major battle of the war when it plugged gap in Confederate lines beside Brig. Gen. T.J. Jackson's brigade and repulsed several Union regiments. In that fight, Jackson acquired the name "Stonewall."
The 4th Alabama Infantry trained here in 1916 at Vandiver Park, later named Camp Sheridan, for Mexican Border service. Designated the 167th Infantry Regiment in 1917, it returned from the Border to train here, then fought in France during WWI with Douglas MacArthur's brigade in the 42nd "Rainbow" Division. The 167th was at the front longer than any other U.S. regiment. In 1923, assigned to the 31st Inf. "Dixie" Division. Activated November 1940, Pacific Theater of WWII. The Division was called up for the Korean War in January of 1951.
[1992: 3 Johnson Ave., Montgomery (Off Lower Wetumpka Rd.), 32.42657 N 86.282301 W]
Rev. Richard C. Boone, 1937 - 2013
Born on July 7, 1937, in Calhoun, Alabama, Richard C. Boone devoted his life to the causes of civil and human rights. He joined the Air Force at the age of sixteen and following his service received a degree in political science and history from Alabama State University (ASU) and a master’s degree from Phillips Theological Seminary in Atlanta, Georgia. In the early 1960s, Boone joined Rev. Martin Luther King’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and was designated as a field secretary for Montgomery and the surrounding region. In Selma, he worked alongside King and movement strategists Amelia Boynton Robinson, Diane Nash, and Revs. James Bevel, James Orange, and Ralph David Abernathy, advocating for the right to vote. In the spring of 1965, the SCLC tasked Boone with coordinating student support at ASU for the Selma to Montgomery march. On the morning of March 24, 1965, as 25,000 marchers crossed into Montgomery County, Rev. Boone and 800 students joined them for the final day’s journey. They arrived at the steps of the Alabama State Capitol the following day, culminating a series of demonstrations begun on March 7, “Bloody Sunday,” when some 600 peaceful protesters were beaten back by lawmen as they tried to cross Selma’s Edmund Pettus Bridge. Boone’s work with the SCLC also took him to New York, Philadelphia, and Chicago. When the SCLC decided to shift its focus away from Montgomery in the late 1960s, Rev. Boone, with the help of Roosevelt Barnett, Jimmy Boone, Marjorie D. Johnson, and Henry Gosha, organized the Alabama Action Committee (AAC). Through AAC, Boone championed the economic rights of African Americans in the region as part of the War on Poverty. Rev. Boone, along with Roosevelt Barnett and Idessa Williams, led the initiative to establish a food stamp program. The Board of Revenue approved the project after Boone’s first presentation of the plan on August 27, 1967. The Montgomery County Commission approved the program on October 6, 1967. In 1979, Boone returned to active military service, working as a chaplain with the rank of Major. Rev. Boone and his wife returned to Montgomery where he continued his life’s work as an advocate for civil and human rights until he died on October 10, 2013. In 2015, during the fiftieth anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery march, the State of Alabama renamed in his honor a portion of West Fairview Blvd., where Boone and the ASU students joined in the march. In 2017, the City of Montgomery, Montgomery County, and the State of Alabama celebrated July 7 as “Rev. Richard C. Boone Day.”
Ross-Clayton Funeral Home Inc., Founded 1918
One of Montgomery’s oldest African American-owned businesses, Ross-Clayton Funeral Home was founded in 1918, as a partnership between insurance agent Robert Ambers Ross and a colleague. A partnership was later formed with William and Frazzie Clayton. The company incorporated in 1929. Its first location was along Monroe Street. In 1939, it relocated to South Union Street. The funeral home has occupied this Adams Avenue site since 1958. In 1936, founding president Robert A. Ross named his son, David Calloway Ross, Sr., as his successor. Robert A. Ross died in 1945. A graduate of Worsham Mortuary College, David Calloway Ross, Sr. served as funeral director and embalmer until 1978. He died in 1987 and was succeeded in the business by his son. William and Frazzie Clayton both died in the 1940s and were succeeded by Jule Clayton Lewis, who served from 1947-1958, leaving spouse Rufus A. Lewis, as successor. He died in 1999. The present edifice was completed in 2011. A multigenerational business with deep community ties, Ross-Clayton Funeral Home continues to serve the Montgomery River Region.
[1412 Adams Ave, Montgomery]
St. Paul A. M. E. Church
By the turn of the twentieth century, African Americans were gathering on Hardaway Street in a brush arbor to worship. In 1907, they incorporated what is now known as St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church, with Rev. Felix Strum serving as the first pastor, Rev. W. W. Frazier as presiding elder, and Bishop L. J. Chopin as presiding prelate. Among the founding members were Phillip William, Oliver Jones, Lewis Fulson, Dock Henry, Eugene Jackson, and Verlin Jones. The church was destroyed by fire in 1933 and for a time met in Tullibody Auditorium at the nearby State Teachers College (now Alabama State University). In 1934, a new church was built at the corner of Hall and Payne streets. Rosa Parks was an active member of the church in the 1950s, serving as a Sunday School teacher and Deaconess; Rev. Henry A. Duncombe Sr. served as pastor and Rev. Lucius Fortson was presiding elder. On December 1, 1955, Parks refused to give up her seat on a city bus to a white passenger, a brave act of defiance which launched the Montgomery bus boycott and the modern civil rights movement. The church relocated to this location in 1998. A funeral service for Rosa Parks was held here on October 30, 2005. Blessed throughout its history, St. Paul A. M. E. Church has carried out its mission with a spirit of love even in turbulent times.
[706 East Patton Avenue, Montgomery]