POSTCARDS FROM THE TRAVELING EXHIBITS
Historical "Streets" of North Alabama
as displayed through the Traveling Exhibits
S E E F U L L I T I N E R A R I E S
—Albany, also known as New Decatur, existed from 1887 to 1927. Located southwest of Old Decatur it was a manufacturing and transportation center following the Civil War. Albany and Decatur consolidated in 1927 because of the common need of a bridge over the Tennessee River. Today, it is a historic neighborhood in Decatur.
—Athens is the county seat of Limestone County. The city was incorporated in 1818, a year before Alabama became a state. In 1822, the town founders obtained a charter for the Athens Female Academy which evolved into Athens State University, the longest-operating institution of higher education in Alabama. This is a picture of businesses on the east side of the courthouse square in the early 1900s.
—Cullman is the seat of Cullman County. It was founded by Col. Johann Gottfried Cullmann who wanted to develop a colony specifically for immigrants. Cullman was incorporated in 1874 and is the site of St. Bernard (Benedictine) Abbey. This is a picture of a hotel/store in the early 1900s.
—Decatur is located in Morgan and Limestone counties along the Tennessee River. During the Civil War, most of the city was destroyed but the citizens immediately began rebuilding. In the late 1880s, Decatur began to expand once again. This is a typical picture of a downtown business district in the 1950s.
—Hamilton, the county seat of Marion County, was incorporated in 1896. It was first known as Toll Gate, named for a toll-gate on the old Military Road. The Military Road was built by volunteer soldiers returning home to Tennessee after the victory over the British at New Orleans. In 1883, the name of the community was changed to Hamilton to honor Captain A.J. Hamilton who donated 40 acres of his land to the community.
—Hartselle is located in Morgan County. It was established in 1870 with the arrival of the South and North Alabama Railroad. The business district was laid out alongside the railroad. In August 1916, Hartselle suffered a disastrous fire that destroyed all 21 buildings of the business district. This postcard is a color print of the reconstructed business district from the early 1920s.
—Huntsville is the county seat of Madison County. It was settled by John Hunt in 1805. It was known as Hunt’s Spring and Twickenham, but was named Huntsville in 1811 when it became the first incorporated town in Alabama. Its quick growth mainly came from the cotton and railroad industries. After the Civil War, Huntsville became a center for cotton textile mills. This was a typical scene around the courthouse in the early 1900s.
—Red Bay in Franklin County was founded in 1887 but not incorporated until 1907. It was named for the red clay and the bay trees. This is a picture of the Red Bay business district in the early 1950s when the population was about 1800 inhabitants.