Meet Gracie Sproull: Our New Falcon Scholar From The University Of Montevallo

My name is Lauren Grace Sproull (aka Gracie) and I am the current Falcon Scholar for the Shelby County Museum & Archives! I was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama and I am a junior at the University of Montevallo studying History. When I graduate from Montevallo, I plan on pursuing a graduate degree with a focus in archives and preservation.

History is a passion of mine and it has always fascinated me. I can remember exploring my family’s home in Birmingham and discovering my great grandfather’s blueprints to the home in an old built-in drawer in the dining room. This document fascinated me, and only sparked my curiosity for the hidden treasures which lay “forgotten”. I was fortunate enough to have a grandfather with a passion for our family history, and he made resources for researching ours available to me at a young age and would tell me stories of family we would have never known without his time spent collecting these precious memories and histories.

Through archival work, the histories of not just individual families, but us all can be preserved and admired for years to come. Here at the Shelby County Museum & Archives, I feel like I, and all of the volunteers, are helping so many people connect back to their roots through every document scanned or photographed. Helping people connect to their family or their home’s past is such a personal, powerful thing that I feel honored to be a part of.

I encourage anyone who has the time to come out and volunteer to do so! I may not be from Columbiana or Shelby County, but I am glad to be here and learn about its history and help the community have this resource available to anyone and everyone.

Historical Cemetery Walking Tour To Take Place October 29th

With crisp, cool breezes and the sound of leaves crunching under your feet, the Columbiana City Cemetery will be the place to be on October 29, 2016 for the first ever Historical Cemetery Walking Tour.

The tour is a fundraiser for the Shelby County Museum & Archives. As executive director for the museum, I envision the tour as a way to celebrate our history as a county.  Many of the county’s most influential people are buried in the Columbiana City Cemetery since the city has long been a center of influence as the county seat.

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So Many Marriage Records, So Little Time

Visitors to the Shelby County Museum & Archives often say that they could spend days and days going through all the records we have.  Truly, we are so fortunate to have such a well curated collection.

Perhaps the most popular (and frequently used) collection is our Shelby County Marriage Records dating from 1824 to October 1981.  Genealogists come from near and far to look at these records.

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Digitizing Project Underway at Shelby County Museum & Archives

Behind the walls of the Shelby County Museum & Archives in Columbiana rests a treasure trove of information about the people and events that shaped Shelby County.

The museum, which is maintained by the Shelby County Historical Society, houses a large and rare collection of research materials that bring genealogists from near and far to research their family’s Shelby County roots.

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“Do you have Prince Albert in a can?”

The question “Do you have Prince Albert in a Can?” has been the basis for practical jokes since the tobacco product hit the market in 1907. “Prince Albert” tobacco was produced by R.J. Reynolds Company and was their 2nd highest money maker in the 1930s.

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Medicine in the Good Ole’ Days

Fig Flavored Ex-Lax.  Citrate of Magnesia. Cream of Tartar lozenges.  Medicine has come a long way since the time you could find these remedies on the shelf of your local drug store.

The Shelby County Museum & Archives has a great collection of vintage medicine bottles and treatments.  Some claim to cure rheumatism.  Others promise relief to ailments we don’t wish to discuss! Continue reading “Medicine in the Good Ole’ Days”

Welcome to the Shelby County Museum & Archives

Just a short drive from Birmingham, the Shelby County Museum & Archives is located in the Old Shelby County Courthouse in the charming town of Columbiana, AL.   Built in 1854, the Old Shelby County Court House is a distinctive example of Jeffersonian Architecture and was designated a historic landmark in 1974 by the National Register of Historic Places. Within the walls of the courthouse, a world of information and artifacts has been meticulously preserved. Continue reading “Welcome to the Shelby County Museum & Archives”