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Affair at Madison Station
May 17, 1864


The largest engagement of the Civil War in Madison County was fought during a driving rainstorm here at the site of the railroad depot. Under the command of Col. Josiah Patterson, the Confederate forces (~1000 cavalry and a battery of artillery) crossed the Tennessee River near Triana and attacked a garrison of ~350 men of the 13th Illinois Infantry. Union forces fell back along the railroad toward Huntsville to Indian Creek. They counterattacked after being reinforced by infantry from Huntsville. Confederates were forced back across the river after burning equipment and cotton at the depot. Casualties were light on both sides.




Affair at Indian Creek Ford 
December 23, 1864


One of the last engagements between regular forces of the Civil War in Madison County occurred ~2 ½ miles east of this spot on a bitterly cold day. Union elements of the 10th - 13th Indiana Cavalries and the 2nd Tennessee Cavalry (US), under Lt. Col. W.F. Prosser, attacked a force of ~300 dismounted cavalry from Roddey's, Burtwell's, and Moreland's regiments, commanded by Col. J.R.B. Burtwell. The Union force made a mounted saber charge which resulted in disorganized Confederate retreat. Union losses were 1 killed and 3 wounded, while the Confederate loss was reported as several killed and 54 wounded and captured. 


Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University 
Normal, Alabama


Legislature approved 9 December 1873 "a normal school for the education of colored teachers" in Huntsville. Ex-slave William Hooper Councill founder and first president. Classes began May 1875 in a rented building; moved 1881 to first school-owned property on West Clinton Street. Land-grant funds received 1891 for training of Negroes in agriculture and mechanic arts enables school to enlarge and re-establish at present location. Evolved from a normal school to a University in ninety-four years. 
Former names 
1873 - Colored Normal School at Huntsville 
1885 - The Huntsville State Colored Normal and Industrial School 
1896 - The State Agricultural and Mechanical College for Negroes 
1919 - The State Agricultural and Mechanical Institute for Negroes 
1948 - Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical College 
1969 - University status achieved 
[1974: Clinton Ave. at Monroe St., Huntsville]


The Big Spring

This inexhaustible source of pure water was a marvel to Indian and frontiersman alike prior to the 19th century. John Hunt, an early settler, built a cabin near this site by 1805. The spring became a major attraction at the land sales of 1809, when LeRoy Pope outbid all others. By 1823, spring water was being pumped 96 feet through hollowed cedar logs to a reservoir on the town square. This was one of the earliest waterworks in the country.




The Big Spring 


In 1843, LeRoy Pope's son, William H. Pope, deeded the site to Huntsville for one dollar. Until 1957, the spring was the main source of fresh water for Huntsville's citizens, and for thirty years prior to 1950, revenue from the sale of water was the largest single source of income for the city's General Fund. A park/picnic ground was developed around the spring in 1898. Before that and for many years afterward, great crowds attended religious baptisms held below the small dam at the spring. 
[2001: Big Spring Park, Huntsville]


Buckhorn Tavern


Located in Section 18, Township 2, Range 2 East, this site was an early wayside stop for pioneer settlers as they traveled the road from Winchester, Tennessee into Madison County. The tavern predates the creation of the county, Dec. 13, 1808. 
During the Creek Indian War (1813-1814), the Deposit Road was created at this point and stretched southeastward through Cherokee lands to Fort Deposit near Gunter's Landing. This became the supply route for General Andrew Jackson's forces. His deputy, Colonel John Coffee, stored supplies opposite the tavern and camped his troops (Nov. 22-Dec. 8, 1813). 
By tradition, the tavern took its name "Buckhorn" in 1858 when William L. Fanning killed a buck near the site and presented its antlers to the innkeeper. The antlers are now displayed at Buckhorn High School. 
The original building was demolished in the early 1950s.




Buckhorn Tavern Skirmish


Buckhorn Tavern was the site of the skirmish on Oct. 12, 1863. Confederate General Phillip D. Roddey's Alabama Cavalry Brigade was moving south from New Market when it intercepted Union General Robert Mitchell's Cavalry Brigade, advancing northeast from Huntsville. A brisk firefight broke out, the opposing forces so close they could see each others' faces by the muzzle flashes. Both sides hesitated to advance in the approaching darkness and heavy rain. The Union troops camped for the night in the woods; the Confederates retired to New Market. The next morning, Rodney's Brigade rode on to Athens. The union cavalry did not pursue. 
[1996: Winchester Rd. at Maysville Rd., near New Market]


Buffalo Soldiers

After the Civil War, the future of African Americans in the United States Army was in doubt.  In July 1866, Congress passed legislation establishing two cavalry and four infantry regiments to be made up of African-American soldiers.  The mounted regiments (9th and 10th Cavalries) conducted campaigns against Native-American tribes on the Western Frontier, where they were nicknamed “Buffalo Soldiers” by Native Americans.  Their service also included subduing Mexican revolutionaries, outlaws, and rustlers, and building frontier outposts, roads, and telegraph lines.  In 1898, the Buffalo Soldiers were sent to Cuba to participate in the Spanish-American War.  They fought alongside Teddy Roosevelt in the charge up San Juan Hill.

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Buffalo Soldiers
Huntsville, AL

After the Buffalo Soldiers finished service in the Spanish-American War, one of the four regiments returned to the U.S., serving first in New York and then in Huntsville.  They were sent to Huntsville’s Monte Sano to escape the scourge of yellow fever and to recuperate from wounds and other diseases they brought back from the war.  After an incident between black and white soldiers, African-American and white troops were separated.  The Buffalo Soldiers were moved to what is now known as 10th Cavalry Hill, named by the residents of the area.


Calhoun House


On this site stood the Calhoun House, used as a Federal Courthouse, where desperado Frank James was tried and found not guilty, by jury trial, on April 25, 1884, for robbery of a government payroll near Muscle Shoals, Alabama. May 11, 1881. 
One of his defense attorneys was Huntsville's LeRoy Pope Walker, first Secretary of War of the Confederate States of America. 
[1979: Eustis Ave. at Greene St., Huntsville]


Central Presbyterian Church


This church which had its origins in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church was first mentioned at a meeting of the Presbytery on April 7, 1812. It became known as First Cumberland Presbyterian Church of Huntsville, Alabama. In 1828 the first building was constructed on Greene Street north of Holmes Street. In 1845 a second building, designed by George Steele, was erected at this site. The present building was begun in 1899. In 1906 this church became known as Central Presbyterian Church when united with the Presbyterian Church, USA. 
[2001: Randolph Ave., SE, Huntsville]


Camp Beaty / Brahan Spring Park


Brahan Spring Park, formerly Beaty’s Spring, was the site of Camp Beaty, the encampment of Andrew Jackson’s army of volunteers and militia after their celebrated non-stop march of “32 miles in 5 hours” from Fayetteville, Tennessee on October 11, 1813. The urgency of the forced march was in response to a threatened attack on the city of Huntsville by a war party of the Creek Nation. Jackson had previously dispatched Colonel John Coffee’s Second Regiment of Tennessee Volunteer Mounted Riflemen, including David Crockett, to scout the area and to restore confidence to the frontier. (Continued on other side)



Camp Beaty / Brahan Spring Park


(Continued from other side) The threatened attack never took place and the army, nearly 4000 strong, moved on to begin the campaign that became the Creek War of 1813-1814, part of the War of 1812. Camp Beaty served as a staging and supply area throughout the War with rent being paid to Captain Robert Beaty. Beaty had purchased this land from the Federal Government on August 28, 1809, and later sold it to John Brahan in 1819. The property changed hands numerous times until 1899 when Merrimack Manufacturing Company purchased the site. Merrimack’s successor, Huntsville Manufacturing Company, deeded the land to the City of Huntsville in 1951, to be used as a city park. [2012: Brahan Spring Park, Huntsville]


 Throughout much of the twentieth century, Church Street was the heart of a vibrant black community, filled with movement, color, and sound. Those who lived, worked, or visited there described it as "an experience." The area was a bustling community of families and businesses. There were restaurants, grocery stores, doctors’ offices, funeral homes, cab stands, churches, clothing stores, beauty shops, and insurance companies. The Princess Theatre, movie house for the black community, Madison County Fairgrounds, and the American Legion Wilson Jones Post 351 were there. Local black newspapers, the Huntsville Gazette, the Huntsville Weekly Review, and the Huntsville Mirror, were also at one time on Church Street. 

The Church Street Community Center, housed in the Binford Miller Building, was an activity center for black youth.  In 1951, the building also became the relocation site of the Dulcina DeBerry Library, Huntsville's first branch library for black residents. On Church Street, the Second Cumberland Presbyterian and First Missionary Baptist churches served as gathering places for civil rights activists during the 1960’s.  Two other houses of worship, St. John AME and Phillips Chapel CME, were also located on Church Street.

On Saturdays, blacks from throughout Madison County and surrounding communities came to Church Street for shopping, dining, visiting, and entertainment.  With the advent of urban renewal and integration in the late 1960's, families and the once-thriving black business community along Church Street began migrating away from the area.

 Sponsored by the Huntsville-Madison County Historical Society and the Huntsville-Madison County Bicentennial Committee
[Corner of Church and Holmes streets, Huntsville]


The Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville / Madison County
Established January 12, 1894


Organized to enhance the economic growth and well-being of the community in order to provide employment opportunities and a superior quality of life for local residents.

First known as the Huntsville Chamber of Commerce, the organization included Madison County in 1954 to more effectively promote the general prosperity of Huntsville / Madison County.




The Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville / Madison County
Established January 12, 1894


Between 1894 and 1916, the Chamber met at various locations. The Chamber's first official address of record was the Elk Building on Eustis Street, from 1916-1923. Later locations included the O.M. Hundley House, the Tennessee Valley Bank, the Russell Erskine Hotel, and the Hotel Twickenham. In 1965, the Chamber moved to 305 Church Street. It remained there until 1986 when the organization built this facility at 225 Church Street. 
[2006: Church St., Huntsville]


Chickasaw Old Fields


This place has been known by three names: Chickasaw Old Fields-1769. Cherokee Indians attacked Chickasaws who were invading their lands. After severe battle Chickasaws withdrew. Ditto's Landing-Early boat landing on Tennessee River established by John Ditto, Indian trader. Town of Whitesburg-Old river port, incorporated 1824 by James White, Abington, Va., "Salt King." 
[1961: U.S. Hwy 231 north of Tennessee River; marker missing 2008]


The Church of the Nativity, Episcopal


The Church of the Nativity congregation was organized December 17, 1842--the name chosen because of the approaching Christmas season. The Convention of the Diocese of Alabama, Protestant Episcopal Church, approved the congregation on February 16, 1843. The original brick church, erected in 1847, stood east of the present structure. 

The present church building, an outstanding example of Gothic Revival architecture, was designed by Frank Wills and Henry Dudley of New York. Erected at a cost of $37,500, it was dedicated Easter Eve, April 13, 1859, and consecrated January 29, 1860.


The Church of the Nativity, Episcopal


Bibb Chapel was consecrated in 1886 as a memorial to Wilson Carey Bibb. Ridley Hall, for parish functions, was completed in 1953 as a memorial to Dr. James L. Ridley. Joffrion Hall, dedicated in 1983 as an educational building, was named for the Rev. A. Emile Joffrion, ninth rector. 
For 150 years, Nativity was served by only ten rectors, two of whom became bishops. The Rev. Henry C. Lay, second rector, was consecrated Missionary Bishop of the Southwest (1859). The Rev. Randolph R. Clairborne, Jr., seventh rector, was consecrated Suffragan Bishop, Diocese of Alabama (1949) and became Bishop of Alabama (1953). 
[2001: Eustis Ave. at Greene St., Huntsville]


City of Madison


Established in 1856 as a shipping station on the Memphis and Charleston R.R., the town was plotted on land owned by James Clemens and incorporated by vote of its citizens in 1869. 

First officials included William R. Johnson, mayor; and five aldermen, William B. Dunn, first depot agent; Thomas J. Clay, first postmaster; George W. Martin, first merchant; James H. Bibb, planter; and Dr. George R. Sullivan. 

The community remained small until the growth of industries associated with Redstone Arsenal and the Jetport in the 1950's and 1960's transformed Madison intro a thriving city. 
[1989: Church St. at Front St., Madison]


Councill Training School 
(1919 - 1970)


In 1919, the first building was erected nearby with funds provided locally and supplemented with a Julius Rosenwald Foundation grant. Named for William H. Councill, Alabama A&M University founder, the three-room structure was built for black students in grades 1-6. Traditionally county black students were taught in churches and lodge halls. Many would continue their education at the University's Laboratory School. The second school was erected on this site in 1948. This structure accommodated 600 students, grades 1-12. The first class graduated in 1949. The principals were: Dr. Charles Orr (1948-53), Mr. J.H. Richards (1953-59), and Mr. A.G. Adams (1959-70).




Councill Training School
(1919 -1970)


In 1952, the school was accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Enrollment increased from 600 to 950; faculty from 22 to 32. Additional classrooms were constructed in 1958 and 1962. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 impacted the future of the school. As black students attended neighborhood schools due to integration, enrollment declined. In 1968, the school became a senior high school, limited to grades 10-12. The school closed in 1970 as full integration took effect. The land and property reverted to Alabama A&M University in 1971 to accommodate University needs. 
[2001: Huntsville]


Dallas Mills & Village 1892-1949


Chartered in 1890 by T.B. Dallas, Dallas Mills began operation in 1892 as Alabama's largest cotton mill, manufacturing sheeting. The mill village extended from Oakwood Ave. South to Dallas St. Employees were provided homes, medical care, churches, library, lodge building, YMCA, concerts, a kindergarten, and schools. The mill closed in 1949 and the village was incorporated into Huntsville in 1955.




Rison School 1921-1964


The school, named for mill general manager Archie L. Rison, was the hub of village social life. Cecil Fain, Rison High School principal for 32 years, taught "Discipline Comes From Within." The school, which served educational and social needs of Dallas village for four generations, was located on this site.
[1994: Oakwood Ave., at Lee High Dr., Huntsville]


Dallas (Optimist) Park 1928-1949


Built in 1928, Dallas Park served as the baseball field for the Dallas Mill teams coached by H.E. "Hub" Myhand, who came to Huntsville in 1927 as physical director for Dallas Manufacturing Co. Until the 1940s, he was Mr. Baseball in Huntsville. During these years, semi-pro baseball featuring local mill teams drew loyal crowds of up to 6,000 fans. In 1935, the Lincoln and Dallas Mill teams merged to form the Redcaps. The Huntsville Dr. Peppers (1937-1943), a women's semi-pro softball team coached by Cecil Fain, also played here.




Dallas (Optimist) Park 1949


In 1949, the Optimist Club purchased Dallas Park from Dallas Mills, erected lights, and renamed it Optimist Park. The close of the cotton mills ended the mill-team era, though semi-pro baseball returned with Leroy McCollum's Huntsville Boosters (1950-53). The park, one of the few early ball parks open to all races, was used during the 1950s and 1960s for exhibition games by the Birmingham Black Barons and other Negro League teams. With the Park renovated and reopened (1994) by the City of Huntsville, baseball returned to Optimist Park, the self proclaimed "Friend of Youth." 
[1994: Oakwood Ave. at Andrew Jackson Way, Huntsville]


First Bank in Alabama-Merchants and Planters Bank of Huntsville


Housed on this site in brick building 44 ft X 54 ft-Chartered by Mississippi Territorial Legislature December 11, 1816-Commenced operations October 17, 1817, shortly thereafter made depository for Huntsville Federal Land Office funds-Charter voided by Proclamation of Governor Pickens on February 1, 1825-LeRoy Pope, first and only president. 
[1969: West Side Sq., Huntsville]


First Baptist Church, Huntsville, Ala.


Oldest Baptist Church (Missionary) in Alabama. Organized June 3, 1809 as the West Fork of Flint River Church. Presiding Clergy: John Canterbury, John McCutchen and John Nicholson. Renamed Enon Church and called John Canterbury as 1st pastor 1809. 1st meetinghouse completed 1813, 1 mile NE of Meridianville. 2nd meetinghouse completed 1825, 3 miles NE of Meridianville. Charter member of Flint River Baptist Association 1814. This historical marker erected 1983.



Hosted organizational meeting of Liberty Baptist Association November 1838. Built 3rd meetinghouse 1859-1869 at Clinton and Gallatin Sts. Pastor Eugene Strode led church to Huntsville 1861. Renamed First Baptist Church 1893. Dedicated new building 1895. Relocated to this site 1963. Completed new facilities with distinctive, modernistic architecture, and Christian symbolism 1966. 

Established seven missions of which several became churches. Charter member of Madison Baptist Association 1838. Member of Alabama Baptist State Convention. 
[1983: Governors Dr., Huntsville]


First Presbyterian Church


Huntsville, Alabama. Organized June 15, 1818 by the Rev. Gideon Blackburn, D.D. One of the state's oldest Presbyterian churches. This site was selected for the first church building, dedicated on Oct. 13, 1822. The second, and present, sanctuary was dedicated on May 18, 1860. Names of all ministers who have served this church are recorded on plaques in the sanctuary. This marker erected on 150th anniversary of organization. 
[1968: Gates Ave. at Lincoln St., Huntsville]


First United Methodist Church 
Huntsville, Alabama 
Methodism brought into area 1807


Methodist Society organized at Hunt's Spring prior to formation of Madison County, served 1808-1820 by Flint Circuit traveling ministers. First Church built 1821 NW corner Clinton and Gallatin Streets. Present site acquired 1832, church completed 1834, occupied and accidentally burned by Federals 1864. Cornerstone laid 1867 for present sanctuary, dedicated 1874. 
[1972: Greene St. at Randolph Ave., Huntsville]


Five Points Historic District
Established October 28, 1999


Part of the 1892 East Huntsville Addition created by local businessmen to revitalize Huntsville and attract industry in the post-Reconstruction period. Many streets recall those individuals - Pratt, Wellman, Ward, and Wells. Huntsville's first subdivision, made feasible by the construction of a streetcar line, allowed working people to live farther than walking distance from jobs and shopping. Although the historic district does not encompass all of the area known as Five Points, it illustrates over 100 years of vernacular domestic architecture. The district retains its 19th-century grid of broad parallel streets, narrow lots, and rear service alleys. Annexed into the city in 1925. 


Flint River Primitive Baptist Church


Alabama's oldest Baptist church was constituted by Elder John Nicholson on October 2, 1808 in the home of James Deaton in Killingsworth Cove. It was named "The Flint River Baptist Church of Christ." The original building was built circa 1809 on the bank of the Flint River ~ 1 mile east of this site. Circa 1885, the congregation relocated to a new site ~ 2 ½ miles east of the original location. Circa 1937, the present structure was built ~ 3 ½ miles west of the second site.



Flint River Primitive Baptist Church 


"Primitive" was added to the congregation's name after a division occurred within the Baptist family in the 1830's. Those congregations that embraced new church practices such as mission boards, Sunday Schools, and musical instruments in the church were called "New School" or "Missionary" Baptist. Flint River Baptist Church continued in the simplicity of New Testament worship, thus being called "Old School" or "Primitive" Baptist. 
[2002: Everett Rd., Huntsville]


Ford's Chapel United Methodist Church 
(Organized 1808)


The Western Conference, Oct. 1-7, 1808 in Williamson County, Tenn., sent James Gwinn to the "great bend" of the Tenn. River. Gwinn organized at the home of Richard and Betsy Ford, the first Methodist Society of the six in the Flint Circuit. This circuit, among others, was served for many years by circuit riders. First building was started in 1815. Building and 2½ acres of land deeded to church trustees in 1824 by the Fords. Present sanctuary, begun in 1870 on original foundation, has undergone several renovations and minor alterations. 
[1979: Ford's Chapel Rd., Harvest]


General Morgan


Birthplace of General Morgan the Rebel Raider. In this house John Hunt Morgan was born June 1, 1825. This dashing cavalry leader of the Confederacy was killed at Greeneville, Tenn., Sept. 4, 1864. This house, built in 1823, was the home, 1849-1949, of the heirs of Stephen Neal, Madison County's first Sheriff. 
[1955: Franklin St., Huntsville]


Glenwood Cemetery


Glenwood Cemetery replaced the original slave cemetery known as "Georgia," which had been established in 1818 and located north of the present Huntsville Hospital. Glenwood Cemetery was established in 1870 by the City of Huntsville following the purchase of 10 acres from Benjamin W. Blake estate, originally a part of the John Brahan Plantation. Additional land was added in 1875 from the W. W. Darwin family, resulting in the current configuration. Distinguished African Americans buried here include veterans of America's wars beginning with the Civil War, former slaves, accomplished artisans, professionals in many fields, clergymen, educators, entrepreneurs, politicians, and other leaders.



Early Community Leaders Buried Here Include: 
Henry C. Binford, Educator 
Daniel S. Brandon, Alderman 
William H. Gaston, Clergyman 
Charles Hendley, Jr., Editor, Huntsville Gazette 
C. C. Moore, Postman 
Burgess E. Scruggs, Physician 
[1996: Hall Ave. at Cemetery St., Huntsville]


Goldsmith-Schiffman Field


On January 25, 1934, Oscar Goldsmith, Lawrence B. Goldsmith, Annie Schiffman Goldsmith, Robert L. Schiffman, and Elsie Strauss Schiffman gave this property to the City of Huntsville for an athletic field. The gift was in memory of Betty Bernstein Goldsmith (wife of Oscar and mother of Lawrence) and Betty Herstein Schiffman (wife of Isaac and mother of other donors). The Civil Works Administration provided $6500 in materials and labor to construct the field, the first in Huntsville to accommodate night athletic games. The Acme Club raised funds for lighting through season ticket sales. Dedication exercises were held during the first night game on October 4, 1934, when 1000 fans saw Coach Milton Frank's Huntsville High team defeat Gadsden High. 
[1999: Ward Ave., Huntsville]


Green Academy


Chartered in 1812. Leading educational institution. Long prominent in training leaders of North Alabama. Occupied by Federal troops, 1862. Buildings burned, 1864. Site of city schools since 1882. Location used only for school purposes. 
[1955: Clinton Ave., Huntsville]


Hayden Cemetery


On August 19, 1887, Tranquilla J. Haden gave to the Poplar Ridge community 1.5 acres at this site for a cemetery later to be called Hayden. The site had been used as a cemetery since as early as 1858. The cemetery expanded to 5.1 acres through gifts and purchases from Horatio & Sallie Smith, Howard & Ada Smith, Carl & Betty Worley, and Bobby Connally. During the construction of Interstate 65 in 1968, remains from the Collier Cemetery in Limestone County were reinterred at Hayden. On June 4, 1985, a perpetual care organization was created with officers and trustees to ensure the cemetery continued to serve southeast Madison County. 


Historic Viduta 
"Viduta"-derived from Spanish "vida" meaning "life"


In a time when yellow fever, malaria, and cholera threatened, Dr. Thomas Fearn and his brothers Robert and George were drawn by the cool air and medicinal springs to establish a small colony on the northern section of Monte Sano Mountain in 1827. In 1833 the town of Viduta was officially established. This area contains a variety of architectural styles dating from the late 1800's.




Hotel Monte Sano 
"Monte Sano"-Spanish for "Mountain of Health"


In 1887 the North Alabama Improvement Company, with the assistance of Michael and James O'Shaughnessy, built a 233-room hotel on Monte Sano Mountain. The hotel served as a health resort and haven for industrial giants including the Vanderbilts and Astors. Guests arrived via the Monte Sano Railway which ran up the mountain. The hotel ceased operations in 1900 and was later purchased by the Garth family for their summer residence. It was demolished for salvage in 1944. All that remains of the hotel is the brick chimney on Old Chimney Road. 
[1997: Monte Sano Blvd. at Old Chimney Rd., Huntsville]


Hotel Monte Sano
"Monte Sano" - Spanish for "Mountain of Health"


Site of Hotel Monte Sano, built in 1887 by the North Alabama Improvement Company with the assistance of Michael and James O'Shaughnessy. The 233-room hotel opened on June 1, 1887 and served as a health resort and haven for famous visitors including Helen Keller, the Vanderbilts, and the Astors. Guests arrived via the "Tally Ho" stagecoach or the Monte Sano Railway, which served the mountain community. The hotel closed in 1900, and the W.W. Garth family later purchased it for their summer retreat. It was demolished for salvage in 1944. All that remains of the hotel is the brick chimney. 


Howard Weeden Home


Built 1819 by H. C. Bradford, this home was later owned by John Read, John McKinley, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court (1837-1852), Bartley M. Lowe, M. C. Betts and Marie Howard Weeden (1847-1905) whose poetry and paintings preserve nineteenth century Southern culture. 
Marked by D.A.R. 1910; H.A.B.S. 1935 
National Register of Historic Places, 1973 
[1996: Gates Ave., Huntsville]




City was scene of these "firsts" in Alabama: 1811 first town incorporated 1812 first Masonic Lodge chartered 1816 first bank incorporated 1819 first state constitution drafted 1819 first Governor inaugurated 1819 first session of state legislature held 1824 first cotton mill erected.
[1953: Big Spring Park]


Huntsville Female Seminary


The Alabama legislature authorized the Seminary on January 15, 1831. A board of trustees owned stock in the enterprise. It replaced the Huntsville Female Academy organized in 1830. The new teaching staff, hired by Trustee James G. Birney, were disciples of Catharine Beecher of the Hartford Female Seminary in Connecticut. They offered a more highly structured and advanced curriculum than most Southern female colleges. This approach proved very popular with students. In September 1836, the Trustees purchased the land on which the school operated. In 1854, George Steele designed a new Gothic facade for the building.




Huntsville Female Seminary


The Seminary closed in 1862, but the building was used as a hospital for smallpox victims during the Civil War. The Seminary reopened in 1867 with the Rev. Henry R. Smith as principal. He was a Presbyterian minister, which may account for the long-held but unsubstantiated belief that the Seminary operated under the auspices of the Presbyterian Church. The Seminary closed in 1875. Between 1875 and 1910, the structure was used for a variety of educational institutions. It was razed by A.M. Booth in 1912. Elements of the original building were used in the present structure built by Mr. Booth as his residence.


Indian Creek Canal


Northern terminus Indian Creek Canal-First canal in Alabama-Incorporated 1820-Completed 1831-This canal was constructed to the Tennessee River to facilitate the transportation of cotton to market. Developers were: Thomas Fearn, LeRoy Pope, Stephen S. Ewing, Henry Cook, and Samuel Hazard. 
[1965: Big Spring Park, Huntsville]


Initial Survey Point


In 1809, Major Thomas Freeman, Deputy U.S. Surveyor, established a marker here on the state line and began surveying south toward the middle of the state. This line, known as the Huntsville Meridian, is the reference for all property surveys in North Alabama. The Initial Point, now in the middle of the highway, was reset in 1977 by the Alabama Society of Professional Land Surveyors.
[1977: Hwy 231/431 south of Tennessee line]


John Williams Walker (1783-1823)


President of Alabama's First Constitutional Convention 1819 and Alabama's first U.S. Senator 1818-22. Walker County in northwest Alabama, created 1823, named in his honor. Four of his sons, Percy Walker, John James Walker, LeRoy Pope Walker, and Richard Wilde Walker, were prominent in Alabama politics.
[1966: Hwy 231/431 near Meridianville; now missing]


Joseph J. Bradley School 


The School, named for Joseph J. Bradley, Sr., was built in 1919 on the site of the first mill-sponsored school. Under the leadership of Edward Foyl DuBose, Principal (1921-1967), and with the mill's financial support, the school grew from 6 grades to 12 and served as a social and recreational center for the entire community. In 1951, the mill owners made a gift of the school to the county school system and, in 1956, it became part of the city school system. The elementary school continued operating until it was closed in 1967.




Merrimack Mfg. Co. & Village 


In 1899, construction started on Merrimack Mill and village. The mill began operation in 1900. A second mill building, added in 1903, made it one of the largest in the South. Under Joseph J. Bradley, Sr., managing agent (1905-1922), the village grew to 279 houses, a hospital, school, company store, and other small businesses. In 1920, the steam-operated mills converted to electricity. Lowenstein fabrics bought the mill (1946), changed its name to Huntsville Mfg. Co., and the village became Huntsville Park. The mill continued to operate until 1989 and in 1992, Huntsville's last operating textile mill was torn down.
[1995: Triana Blvd., Huntsville]


Lincoln School and Village


In 1918 William Lincoln Barrell of Lowell, Ma. purchased Abingdon Mill and transformed it into a large textile center of all concrete construction named Lincoln Mill Village. Phillip Peeler served as its superintendent from 1934-1953. 

Built in 1929 this school became the central core of community life until 1956 when Lincoln Village was annexed to the city of Huntsville. Edward W. Anderson served as its principal for 27 years. Many graduates became local and state leaders. 

The mill stopped operation in 1957 and burned in 1980.
[1985: Meridian St., Huntsville]


Madison County


Made a county in 1808 by order of Governor of Mississippi Territory. Area ceded 1805, 1806 by Cherokees, Chickasaws. This was the first land in Alabama ceded by these great civilized tribes.
[1953: Courthouse Sq., Huntsville]


Maple Hill Cemetery


Established 1818 by the city of Huntsville, Maple Hill Cemetery has become the final resting place of many citizens of this community. Here lie brave men who served in the major wars of our nation, many public servants, and many citizens whose good works may have been known only to God. Scrolls in Cemetery Reception Hall bear the names of some outstanding people. Governors of Alabama who lie buried in this cemetery: Thomas Bibb, 1784-1839, Governor 1820-21-Clement Comer Clay, 1789-1866, Governor 1835-37-Reuben Chapman, 1799-1882, Governor 1847-49-Robert Miller Patton, 1809-1885, Governor 1865-68-David Peter Lewis, 1820-1884, Governor 1872-74.
[1962: Wells Ave. at Maple Hill Dr., Huntsville]


Mount Paran Campground and Cemetery

New Market, Alabama 

"A holy place: symbol of eternity, strength, and stability within the wilderness." 
One of the earliest known Cumberland Presbyterian campgrounds in Madison County, Mount Paran Cemetery is the resting place for many of the county's pioneer settlers, with the earliest surviving grave stone dated 1826. Originally this six acre site was bequeathed to Mount Paran Presbyterian Church of New Market in 1842 by Samuel Davis. A division within the congregation in 1906 resulted in the dissolution of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church at New Market in 1914, and some of its members joined neighboring congregations. With the decline of its use, Mount Paran Cemetery became known as "Graveyard Hill." 
Today Mount Paran Cemetery comprises 3.77 acres; approximately 400 grave sites may be found of which 135 have markers remaining. Revolutionary War veterans Samuel Davis and Moses Poor are buried here, along with their families, as well as those of Issac Criner and John Miller. Records indicate the burial of a number of early pioneers, farmers, servants, merchants, physicians, educators, ministers, public officials, veterans of major wars, and those whose good works may be known only to God.
[1989: Winchester Rd., New Market]


Mt. Zion Primitive Baptist Church


The Mt. Zion Primitive Baptist Church was established in 1878 beneath a weeping willow tree in Triana, Alabama under the leadership of Elder Eli Patton. On June 20, 1905 the present site was purchased in the New Haven community and a new sanctuary was erected. The third sanctuary was completed on July 27, 1997. Renovation of the older structure was completed in September of 2000.

Sponsored by the Madison African-American Alliance Group
[2005: Wall-Triana Hwy, Huntsville]


New Market Presbyterian Church


Mary Miller deeded land in 1849 to serve both Methodist and Cumberland Presbyterian congregations. The original building burned and the Methodists in 1882 sold their interest in a second building. This second church destroyed by a tornado in 1884. Present building erected in 1888. In 1906 the Cumberland Presbyterians left to form a new church, and the remaining members affiliated with the First Presbyterian Church, USA; N.J. Powers, Minister. National Register of Historic Places, 1988.
[1996: New Market Rd.]


Oak Place


George Gilliam Steele, one of Huntsville's preeminent architects, designed and built Oak Place as his country residence circa 1840 on 320 acres. An outstanding example of Early Greek Revival architecture, it was unique for the period with its split-level style, English basement, sliding pocket doors, and other unusual architectural features. Oak Place was occupied by Union troops during the Civil War and served as headquarters for General Joe Wheeler when a military camp was established in Huntsville during the Spanish-American War. Purchased by the East Huntsville Baptist Church in 1960 and renovated in 1980. 
Historic American Building Survey (HABS) - 1934 
National Register of Historic Places - 1974
[2002: Huntsville]


Oakwood College 
Founded 1896


Oakwood College, which began as an industrial school, was founded by the Seventh-day Adventist Church in 1896 to educate African Americans in the South. The school was erected on 380 acres purchased during the previous year for $6,700. Additional property secured in 1918 nearly tripled its land holdings. The school underwent several name changes over its history: 
1896: Oakwood Industrial School 
1904: Oakwood Manual Training School 
1917: Oakwood Junior College 
1943: Oakwood College 
In 1958, Oakwood was granted full accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Oakwood prepares students from across America and many nations to serve the world in a variety of positions and careers, reflecting its motto, "Today's College for Tomorrow's Leaders." 
On this site, too, stood the Peter Blow Plantation which counted Dred Scott among its slaves in 1819. In 1857, Scott captured national attention by virtue of his appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court for his freedom in Missouri after sojourning in the free state of Illinois.
[1996: Sparkman Dr. at Adventist Dr., Huntsville]


Old Town Historic District


Designated by the City of Huntsville, Alabama, on December 12, 1974, as a Huntsville historic district, it contains houses dating from 1828 onward with the majority dating from 1880 to 1929. 
Approximate boundaries: East Clinton Avenue north to Walker Avenue; Lincoln Street east to Andrew Jackson Way. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, July 18, 1978.
[1994: Holmes Ave. at Lincoln St., Huntsville]


Original Site of Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University


Legislature approved 9 December 1873 "a normal school for the education of colored teachers" in Huntsville. Ex-slave William Cooper Councill founder and first president. Classes began May 1875 with sixty-one pupils and two teachers; held in rented buildings until moved 1881 to this site-the first school-owned property. Land-grant funds received 1891 for training of Negroes in agriculture and mechanic arts enabled school to enlarge and re-locate on present campus north of the city.




Former names 
1873 - Colored Normal School at Huntsville 
1885 - The Huntsville State Colored Normal and Industrial School 
1896 - The State Agricultural and Mechanical College for Negroes 
1919 - The State Agricultural and Mechanical Institute for Negroes 
1948 - Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical College 
1969 - University status achieved 
[1974: Normal]



Original Site of Enon Baptist Church


Approximately one-half mile north of here is the original site of the oldest Baptist Church (Missionary) in Alabama. This congregation was organized on June 3, 1809 as the West Fork of Flint River Church and renamed Enon Church shortly thereafter. John Canterbury was called as the first pastor on August 5, 1809. This group became a charter member of Flint River Baptist Association in 1814. Services were held in members' homes until a log meetinghouse was completed in 1813. This building served until 1825 when a brick church was constructed three miles northeast of Meridianville. In 1861 under the leadership of Pastor Eugene Strode, the congregation moved to Huntsville. The Enon Baptist Church was renamed First Baptist Church of Huntsville in 1895.
[1997: Meridianville]


Original Site of Lakeside United Methodist Church 1866-1968


The Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church purchased this property in 1866, and the congregation erected a frame building with a brick basement in 1867. The Rev. Howell Echols was the first pastor. In 1886, a brick building, constructed from dismantled materials from the original Episcopal Church of the Nativity, was dedicated. The property was sold during urban renewal in the 1960's, and the congregation moved to 3738 Meridian Street in 1968. The building on this site was destroyed by fire, and many items, including church records, stained glass windows, cornerstones, and a chandelier, were lost. 

For more than a century at this site, Lakeside provided educational, political, and cultural leaders for Huntsville. The first city-supported school for blacks was located in the basement (1867-1890), with Henry C. Binford, Charles Hendley, Jr., and Thomas Cooper as principals. Six of the nine black Aldermen in Huntsville from 1880-1905 were members of the church: Thomas Townsend, Nelson Hendley, David and Daniel Brandon, Dr. Burgess E. Scruggs, and Henry C. Binford . Mary Binford Johnson began the Annual Harvest Cultural Festival in 1901 in the basement and the first public library for blacks was opened there in 1940 by Dulcina DeBerry.
[1997: Jefferson St., Huntsville]


Passenger Depot

Huntsville, Alabama 
Built 1860 

Memphis and Charleston Railroad Company Eastern Division Headquarters in this passenger depot, adjoining yards and shops captured by Union Army April 11, 1862. Vital east-west Confederate rail link severed; C.S.A. soldiers imprisoned here. Depot later used by Federals as base for gathering supplies for Western Theater military operations. After Civil War returned to M. & C. R.R. Co.; acquired by Southern Railway System 1898; since 1971 preserved by City of Huntsville. 
National Register of Historic Places 1971 
[1978: Church St., Huntsville]


Poplar Ridge School


Poplar Ridge School had its beginning in 1858 as a one-room log building. The existing late Classical Revival frame building was built circa 1875. A late Victorian façade was subsequently added. At one time the school had an enrollment of 100 students. It remained active until 1941, when it was consolidated with New Hope High School. The schoolhouse has also been used as a community center and voting place.
Alabama Register of Landmarks and Heritage - 1990
[2003: Poplar Ridge Rd., New Hope]


The Public Inn


Constructed circa 1818 by John Adams at the NE corner of Madison St. and Williams Ave. Operated as an inn and boarding house by William E. Phillips from 1819-21; believed to have housed some delegates to the nearby Alabama Constitutional Convention in 1819. Original structure probably enlarged by an 1832 addition. The Inn was rolled on logs to this site in1926, and an addition was built on the rear in 1927. One of the few surviving Federal-period frame structures in Huntsville. 
National Register of Historic Places - 1980
[2002: Huntsville]


Randolph Street Church of Christ


Organized as a Christian Church, this is the original congregation of what is now the church of Christ in Huntsville. A gospel meeting was held in the Courthouse in 1883, conducted by James A. Harding, evangelist and founder of Harding College and David Lipscomb College. This meeting marked the beginning of the church in this community and resulted in the donation of $1,800 for the purchase of the lot. In late 1886, 100,000 bricks were delivered to this site and construction began. The first gospel meeting was held in November 1889, at which time many new members were added to the church. In 1900, members began to refer to themselves as the church of Christ. 
[2007: Huntsville]


Saint Bartley Primitive Baptist Church 
Located here 1872-1964

Oldest Negro congregation in Alabama. 

Organized 1829 by William Harris, a slave, who was minister more than 50 years. Original church, called Huntsville African Baptist, stood 4 blocks south in Old Georgia Graveyard. In 1870, this church and 3 others formed Indian Creek Primitive Baptist Association. Congregation occupied brick church on this site 1872-1964. In 1965, moved to new building 3020 Belafonte Ave., N.W. Present name honors Bartley Harris, saintly second minister. Other pastors: Felix Jordan, Eli Patton, Richard Moore, Amos Robinson. 
Marker erected in 150th anniversary year.
[1970: Williams Ave., Huntsville]


Saint Mary's Church of the Visitation


Missionaries served Catholics in Huntsville until 1861, when Father Jeremiah F. Trecy was sent by Bishop John Quinlan to organize this parish. Cornerstone for the building was laid in October 1861. Due to the Civil War the church was not completed until 1872. It was dedicated October 1877. 
This parish helped to form three other parishes, parochial schools, and charitable organizations in the community. National Register of Historic Places 1981.
[1983: Jefferson St., Huntsville]


Schiffman Building 
Birthplace of Tallulah Bankhead


This was the original site for a building erected by John Brahan before 1817 known as No. 1& No. 2 Cheapside. Erected circa 1845, the present structure is surviving south third of a Federal-style building. In 1895, the Southern Savings and Loan Association acquired the property, and commissioned Architect George W. Thompson of Nashville, Tennessee to transform the building into Huntsville's only surviving example of Richardsonian Romanesque architecture. Isaac Schiffman purchased the property in 1905. His family's businesses have continued here since that date. The building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.




Tallulah Bankhead (1902-1968) 
Alabama's Best-Known Actress


Tallulah Bankhead was the toast of the London theater in the 1920's, and nationally renowned for her dramatic roles in "The Little Foxes" (1939), "The Skin of Our Teeth" (1942), the movie "Lifeboat" (1944), and as emcee of "The Big Show" (NBC Radio, 1950-52). She was born in Huntsville on January 31, 1902, in an apartment of the Schiffman building. Her father, then Huntsville City Attorney, was Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. A ravishing beauty in her youth, Tallulah was known for her uninhibited exuberance, deep sultry voice, and for calling everyone "Dahling." She appeared in 56 plays, 19 movies, and scores of radio and television productions during her 50-year career. She is buried in the churchyard of St. Paul's, Kent County, Maryland.
[199: East Side Square, Huntsville]


Shiloh United Methodist Church 
(Organized 1808)


In October, 1808, the Western Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church sent James Gwinn, a circuit rider, to the "great bend" of the Tennessee River to formalize existing Methodist Societies. He organized the Flint Circuit to serve frontier settlers in southern Tennessee and Madison County, Mississippi Territory. The first meetings of the Shiloh Methodist Episcopal Church were held in a private home. In late 1819 legislation was enacted which permitted churches to own land and, in 1820, a one-half-acre plot of land known as Shiloh was purchased. An adjoining one-acre plot was added in 1876 to construct a new church. That building burned in the mid 1890's. Its replacement was destroyed by fire in 1931. The present edifice was then constructed. Shiloh remained a schoolfor the community until 1917.
[1998: Ryland Pike, Ryland]


Site of Alabama's First Constitutional Convention


Here, on July 5, 1819, forty-four delegates from twenty-two counties in the Alabama Territory met to frame a State Constitution which was accepted and signed August 2, 1819. Convention leadership was furnished by two Huntsvillians, John Williams Walker, president, and Clement Comer Clay, chairman of a committee appointed to draft the document.
[1965: Franklin and Gates Streets, Huntsville]


Site of Cabaniss Cotton Spinning Factory


One mile east of here stood the first known Cotton Spinning Factory in Alabama, erected by Charles Cabaniss in 1817-18.
[1967: Hwy 231/431 near Fisk; missing]


Site of Ditto's Landing and Town of Whitesburg


In 1807 pioneer James Ditto began operating a ferry with landings on both sides of the Tennessee River. Early settlers landed here in order to reach their lands in Madison County.

James White, Salt King of Abingdon, Va., established a thriving port at this location, incorporated as Whitesburg on Dec. 23, 1824.

Throughout the 19th century this port remained an important cotton shipping center. With the advent of railroads water transportation declined and the town soon disappeared. Its post office closed in 1905.
[1985: Boat Dock Rd. at W. Eugene Morgan Rd.]


Site of Huntsville Inn


A three-story brick building erected before 1817--Here, President Jamesm Monroe was honored at a public dinner on June 2, 1819, while on a three-day visit to the Alabama Territory--Here, also, the First Alabama Legislature convened on October 25, 1819, while Huntsville was the first Capital.
[1965: East Side Square, Huntsville]


Site of Huntsville Slave Cemetery


On September 3, 1818, the Huntsville City Commissioners purchased two acres of land from LeRoy Pope Walker for a "burying ground" for slaves. This cemetery was located within the NE quarter of Section 1, Township 4, Range 1 West of the Base Meridian. It was affectionately known as "Georgia" within the black community. The cemetery continued to be used from 1818 until 1870 when Glenwood Cemetery was designated as the city's burial ground for African Americans. No known records have survived. 
[1998: Huntsville]


Site of Quick Airplane Construction and Flight


On this site, inventor and early aviation pioneer William LaFayette Quick and his sons designed and built the first airplane to be flown in the State of Alabama. Construction began in 1900. Awaiting an engine, it took nearly eight years to complete. Quick's "Flying Machine" was among the first monoplanes to be flown in the United States when it went airborne on its first and only flight in April, 1908, in a pasture 1/2 mile northwest of here, across the Flint River. Restored, it is now on display at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center.




Site of Quick Airplane Construction and Flight 


Quick's mid-wing monoplane was made of wood harvested on the homeplace and cut in his sawmill and metal forged in his blacksmith shop. The design included an upright pilot posiiton, fuselage-mounted engine, direct-drive propeller, three-wheel landing gear, and steerable tail wheel. On its only flight it sustained damage to its right wing and gear upon landing. Quick learned from this experience and designed an "Improved Flying Machine" which he patented in 1912. It included other unique features such as retractable landing gear, folding wings, ornithopter method of thrust propulsion, wing warp, and pitch control.




2 miles NW on old Limestone Road during a skirmish August 5, 1862, Federal General Robert L. McCook was killed by men of Capt. Frank Gurley's Confederate unit. In retaliation, the Federal forces burned and pillaged the area.
[1965: Winchester Rd., Plevna]


Superconductivity Discovery


A graduate student from The University of Alabama in Huntsville achieved a major advance in science at this site on January 29, 1987. He discovered that a material composed of Yttrium, Barium, Copper, and Oxygen would superconduct – show no electrical resistance -- at 93 degrees Kelvin. The discovery changed how electrical power was transmitted and used. 
Sponsored by The University of Alabama in Huntsville [2012: UAH Campus, Huntsville]



Temple B'nai Sholom


Huntsville's first Jewish citizens arrived during the 1840's. Congregation B'nai Sholom ("Sons of Peace") was founded July 30, 1876 by 32 families.

They affiliated in 1877 with the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, the Reform Movement. Construction of the Temple began in 1898, and it was dedicated on November 26, 1899. Chairman of the Building Committee was Isaac Schiffman. Architecture is primarily of the Romanesque Revival style, with influences of the Renaissance Revival in the west front gable. The Temple was designed by architect R.H. Hunt of Chattanooga. Extensive restoration was completed in 1994. Temple B'nai Sholom is the oldest synagogue in Alabama in continuous use.
[1997: Clinton Ave. at Lincoln St., Huntsville]


The LeRoy Pope Mansion, 1814


During the original Madison County Land Sales of 1809, LeRoy Pope of Petersburg, GA, secured among other purchases a majority of Section 36, Township 3, Range 1 West, the site of the future town of Twickenham, as Huntsville was originally known. Pope created Poplar Grove Plantation on this site and erected his home in 1814 in time to entertain Gen. Andrew Jackson on his return from the Battle of Horseshoe Bend. The residence was among the earliest brick structures in Alabama. Inherited by his son, William H. Pope, the mansion was sold in 1848 to Dr. Charles Hays Patton, who commissioned George Steele to add the handsome Classical Revival portico. Nearby during the Civil War, Federal forces built an earthen breastwork to defend the eastern approaches to the city.
[1998: Echols Ave. at Adams St., Huntsville]


Town of Gurley 


Located on land owned by John Gurley, pioneer settler, and named for him. His son, Capt. Frank B. Gurley, became a Confederate hero as a member of the 4th Ala. Cavalry.

The settlement that developed around the water tank on Memphis and Charleston R.R. ws known as Gurley's Tank.

Post office established in 1866 as Gurleysville and town incorporated as Gurley in 1891.
Madison County High School located here in 1907.

Last hometown of Senator and Mrs. C.C. Clay, Jr.
[1986: Hwy 72 at Third St., Gurley]


Town of New Market

Settled by Pioneers early as 1806 
Voting precinct established 1827 
Town incorporated 1837 

George Smith, major landowner of town site, build first log house and established mercantile business, 1814. John Miller excavated millrace, erected gristmill and sawmill, 1819. William Hayter, first Postmaster, 1827-1839. 

Town became a thriving commercial center for a prosperous agricultural community, once known as "The Watercress Capital of the World;" greatly respected for development of religious and educational endeavors, and furnishing political leadership in local and state governments.
[1989: Winchester Rd.]




6 mi. south-Incorporated November 13, 1819-Located on the Tennessee River at the southern terminus of Indian Creek Canal, Triana was a thriving port through which cotton and other produce of Madison County moved to market, prior to establishment of railroads in North Alabama. In 1819, designated one of first six voting precincts in the county.
[1967: missing]


Triana, Alabama


Originally called "The Prairie" by the Chickasaw Indians who settled here, Triana was incorporated November 13, 1819 as the second town in Madison County. The community purportedly was named after Rodrigo de Triana, the crewman who first sighted land while sailing with Christopher Columbus on his first voyage to the Americas. Located on the Tennessee River at the terminus of Indian Creek Canal, Triana was a thriving port through which cotton and other Madison County produce moved to market prior to the building of railroads in North Alabama. Triana was rejuvenated when rechartered July 13, 1964.
[2004: Record St. at 6th St., Triana]


Trough Springs


Well known spring in the 1800's where travelers watered horses and livestock before crossing Monte Sano on Big Cove Pike. In late 1863, Captain Lemuel Mead's Partisan Rangers attacked railroads, wagon trains, and forage parties behind enemy lines in North Alabama and Tennessee. On March 11, 1865, they reorganized as a regiment with the 25th Alabama Cavalry Battalion under Milus E. "Bushwhacker" Johnston. On May 11, 1865, Lt. Colonel Johnston surrendered the combined command to Union Army Colonel William Given at Trough Springs. Heavy rains forced a move into Huntsville to complete the parole process. The springs are located one mile southeast on the Trough Springs Trail.


Twickenham Historic District


Designated by the city of Huntsville, Alabama, March 23, 1972. This district is a living museum of American architectural styles dating from 1814. It encompasses about one-half of the original town of Twickenham, Huntsville's first official name. Approximate boundaries: North, Randolph Avenue; East, California Street; South, Lowe Avenue; West, Franklin Street. National Historical Register 1973. 
[1973: Huntsville]


Vienna (New Hope)


Originally known as Cloud's Town, this community was incorporated in 1832 as Vienna. It prospered as a market town before the Civil War. On May 29, 1864, the 12th Indiana Cavalry, commanded by Lt. Col. Alfred Reed, seized the town. They built a stockade and named it for General Peter J. Osterhaus. The hit-and-run tactics of Confederate Col. Lemuel Mead and Lt. Col. Milus E. (Bushwhacker) Johnston caused Union officers to retaliate by burning Vienna to the ground on December 15, 1864. Only the Masonic Lodge and the Post Office/Tavern remained. By 1883, Vienna was back to its pre-war size and was reincorporated as New Hope.
[2001: New Hope]

Walnut Grove
Cumberland Presbyterian Church


On July 19, 1847, Christopher and Mary Harless Sears deeded two acres (with meeting house, brush-arbor, and camp-stand) to the Elders of the Walnut Grove Society of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church for one penny. The Union Army burned the original church in 1862. A walnut tree with scars from the fire still bears walnuts. A ring used to tether horses during services has grown into the tree and is still visible. The original bell, hand-dug well, and pre-Civil War cemetery also remain.



Walnut Grove
Cumberland Presbyterian Church


The present church was erected after the Civil War. The pews were replaced circa 1926, and Sunday School rooms were added in 1956. In 1992 the tongue-and-grove walls were restored. Membership records include the Smith, Buford, Scroggins, Haden, Woody, Douglas, Overton, and Nichols families.


William Hooper Councill 
High School Site, 1892-1966

The first public school for African-Americans in the city of Huntsville was named for the founder of the Alabama A&M University. The site, selected by a committee headed by the Rev. W.E. Gaston, was donated by the Davis-Lowe family. 

Founded in 1867 in the basement of Lakeside Methodist Episcopal Church on Jefferson Street, the school was moved to a frame building on this site in 1892. The first diplomas were granted in 1912. A brick structure replaced the original building in 1927. 

The school was closed due to integration, graduating its last class in 1966. 
[1993: St. Clair Ave., Huntsville]



The Jones-Perkins cemetery marks the final resting place of several generations of the family who owned and farmed the surrounding countryside from 1820 through 1868. While only a few headstones remain, the site contains numerous unmarked graves.


Until its demolition in the 1950s, the main house of the Avalon Plantation stood a few hundred yards southeast of this cemetery. Established in 1820 by Revolutionary War veteran Lewellen Jones, Avalon grew to be among the largest plantations in Madison County. By 1860, 106 enslaved persons worked the land and lived in 35 houses on the plantation.

Avalon was briefly occupied by Union troops in 1862. In 1867, after several descendants died, the family sold the estate to women’s suffragists Priscilla and James Drake. Thereafter, the Drakes sold parcels of the former plantation to the emancipated Jones slaves. After only a few years of ownership, the Drakes sold the plantation and house to the Crawford family. Their descendants sold the land to the Huntsville Board of Education in 1956. The Board of Education transferred ownership to the state with the land ultimately becoming The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) in 1966.

Sponsored by the UAH Department of History and the University Archives.

[To be located on the UAH campus, near Union Grove.]

Edmonton Heights Historic District 

Established June 6, 2021


Platted in 1958, Edmonton Heights is among Huntsville’s earliest planned suburbs designed for African Americans. Its development illustrates the combined effects of post-war growth and racial discrimination in federal and local housing policy upon the African American community. Edmonton Heights provided housing for some residents displaced by the city’s Urban Renewal program, known as the Heart of Huntsville. The architecture is predominantly intact post-World War II era housing stock. It is thought to be the most well-preserved of the African American neighborhoods established by Folmar and Flinn, one of the twentieth-century South’s largest speculative building companies. Teachers at Councill High School and Alabama A&M University, nurses at Huntsville Hospital, workers at Redstone Arsenal, brick masons, cab drivers, preachers, cooks, and janitors were among its early residents. In March 1962, Edmonton Heights hosted civil rights leaders Dr. Ralph Abernathy and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Denied accommodations in the city’s hotels because of segregation, the two men spent the night at the home of Fellowship Presbyterian Church’s founding pastor Rev. Ezekiel Bell, formerly located at 101 Whitney Avenue NE. The district was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2021. 

[100 Wilkenson Drive, Northeast, Huntsville]




Ratified in 1920, the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Consti- tution guaranteed women the right to vote. The Twickenham Town Chapter, NSDAR honors the history of Huntsville’s pioneer suffrag- ists, who met here at the home of Alberta Chapman Taylor (1853- 1912).

A daughter of Alabama Gov. Reuben Chapman, Taylor became active in the women’s suffrage debate in the 1890s while living in Colorado. There, she came to know national suffrage leaders, including Susan B. Anthony and Carrie Chapman Catt. Returning to Huntsville in 1894, Taylor helped form the city’s Women’s Equal Suffrage Association, among the first such groups in the state. The group later joined with others under the banner of the Alabama Woman Suffrage Association. The following year, she arranged for


Anthony and Catt to add Huntsville as part of their southern lecture tour. Taylor presided over the state association’s convention in 1900. She died in 1912, before women secured the vote.

Joining Taylor in the cause were her sisters Julia Chapman Clanton (1845-1910) and Ellelee Chapman Humes (1865-1920). Humes served as founding vice-president of Huntsville’s suffrage association and as vice-president of the state association in 1916. A founding member of the Twickenham Town Chapter, NSDAR, Humes died two months before ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment.

Virginia Tunstall Clay-Clopton (1825-1915) was president of Huntsville’s Women’s Equal Suffrage Association from its founding until her death. She served as president of the state association from 1896-1900. Virginia Clay (1862-1911) and her sister, Susanna W. Clay (1858-1928), were editors of the Huntsville Democrat. Through this publication they encouraged the cause of women’s suffrage, writing supportive articles, editorials, and advertising meetings.

In 1901, Clay-Clopton, Alberta Chapman Taylor, Julia Chapman Clanton, Ellelee Chapman Humes, were among more than two dozen Madison County women who petitioned the delegates of the state constitutional convention to extend the vote to propertied women.

In 1913, although in her eighties, Virginia Tunstall Clay-Clopton served as president of the Huntsville chapter of the newly formed Alabama Equal Suffrage Association. In 1915, that organization forced the first vote in the Alabama legislature on the topic of women’s suffrage.

Although few of Huntsville’s pioneer suffragists lived long enough to vote themselves, their efforts on behalf of the cause helped make “votes for women” a constitutional guarantee. In commemoration of the centennial of ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment to the

U.S. Constitution, the Twickenham Town Chapter, NSDAR honors their commitment.

[416 McClung Avenue]

McThornmor Acres Historic District

Established February 9, 2022


McThornmor Acres was incorporated on April 7, 1956, by Vance J. Thornton, S. O. McDonald, James D. Thornton, Carl A. Morring Jr., and Allen M. Northington. “McThornmor Acres” is a unique blending of the surnames of these men. Platted in 1956 and completed in 1969, McThornmor Acres is the largest subdivision in an area located west of Huntsville that was annexed into the city in 1955. The neighborhood was also the first area developed following that annexation. The planning and development of McThornmor Acres typified the post-World War II expansion of Huntsville that was brought on by the development of the aerospace industry in Huntsville, including the Ordnance Rocket Center at Redstone Arsenal. Constructed in response to a rapidly growing demand for housing, it is an excellent local example of a mid-1950s residential subdivision. Most of the earliest residents of the neighborhood were professionals associated with Huntsville’s burgeoning space and missile programs and were employed by the arsenal, other government facilities, or related private companies nearby. McThornmor Acres Historic District was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2022.  
[Corner of Holmes Avenue and Woodall Lane, Huntsville]




In 1865, a congregation that evolved from the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, organized near this site to become the second oldest African American church in Huntsville. In 1870, its members affili- ated with the Colored Methodist Episcopal Church of America, a newly formed denomination for freedmen.

Early worship services were held in members’ homes and public buildings in “The Grove,” later moving to West Clinton Street. In 1908, church trustees purchased an existing white frame building on Church Street, naming it Rison Chapel for the bank and family who financed the purchase. This edifice was destroyed by fire in 1916.

Using funds supplied by Bishop Charles H. Phillips, Pastor W. D. Avery and his brick masonry students from Alabama A&M College rebuilt the church on the same Church Street site. In 1922, the church was renamed Phillips Chapel Colored Methodist Episcopal Church in the benefactor’s honor. After the denomination changed its name from “Colored” to “Christian,” the congregation changed its name to Phillips Christian Methodist Episcopal Church.

The congregation moved to this site (Davis Circle) in 1973 as a result of the city’s urban renewal efforts along Church Street. The congregation later moved to 2185 Winchester Road.

Sponsored by Huntsville-Madison County Historical Society

[100 Orange Drive, NW, Huntsville]

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