The Making Alabama Bicentennial Traveling Exhibit opened at the historic Moulton Middle School gym Monday.
A special ceremony was held at 10 a.m. for the opening day of the exhibit, which will remain open to the public until Saturday, July 27. Admission is free for all ages.
The exhibit presented by The Alabama Humanities Foundation features interactive displays commemorating key events in Alabama history.
Each of the 67 counties in Alabama will have hosted the traveling exhibit by December this year, and each county is encouraged to incorporate exhibits and displays of their own to highlight historic events specific to their communities.
Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Craig Johnston, who also organized the layout for Lawrence County’s exhibit, said more than 10 additional displays unique to the county have been added to the state traveling exhibit.
“We are the only county to have done anything like this,” Johnston said. “Visitors will not only experience the history of Alabama but also the events that helped shape Lawrence County.”
Local exhibits include displays from the Jesse Owens Museum, the Courtland Heritage Museum and Historic downtown Courtland, Pond Spring, Wild South, the Lawrence County Archives, Oakville Indian Mounds and Education Center, Old Bethel Baptist Church, Hazlewood School, the Lawrence County History and Preservation Society and more.
The displays are made up of historic artifacts, storyboards, antique photographs and interactive kiosks that help retell the histories of Alabama and the histories of Lawrence County.
Archivist Wendy Hazle contributed a timeline of Lawrence County—a county older than the state of Alabama—beginning with the year 1800.
“It’s wonderful to see how many Lawrence County communities and organizations participated. The opening ceremony was well attended,” Hazle said. “I hope everyone in Lawrence County will take the time to visit. So many of our family, friends, and neighbors worked hard to make this happen, and it really shows what we can do when we come together.”
Lawrence County exhibits highlight the Lawrence County Courthouse, Pine Torch Church, Bankhead National Park, Doublehead Resort, Jesse Owens, General Joe Wheeler, Oakville’s 2,000-year-old Indian Mounds, and much more.
Panels that travel across the state in the exhibit highlight key eras in Alabama history beginning with territorial conflict that started in the 1700s, our state’s transformation from wild frontier to its admittance into the Union as the 22nd state, highlighting events before and after the civil war up to the civil rights movement of the 1960s and ending with a panel that expresses hope for Alabama’s future.
Each panel is accompanied by an interactive touch screen, encouraging visitors to delve deeper into the events, people and places that helped shape the state over the last 200 years.
“It’s a wonderful way to embrace Alabama’s rich history and culture coupled with a great flavor of all things Lawrence County,” District 4 Commissioner Bobby Burch, who attended the exhibits opening ceremony on Monday, said. “It’s a great opportunity for families to spend time with one another, and you can view the exhibit at your own leisure.”
The exhibit will be open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sundays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. until July 27.
For more information about the Making Alabama Bicentennial Exhibit, visit www.makingalabama.org.