Helena: A Little Town With A Big History

Written by emily standige,
Sentinels Historical Research team 2017

Within the Shelby County Museum & Archives, there is a simple black and white snapshot of Helena, Alabama. The small city doesn’t look like much, but it played a big role in Birmingham’s steel industry.

A steel mill was opened by Burwell B. Lewis and Rufus W. Cobb. Rufus Cobb eventually was appointed the Governor of Alabama in 1878. Along with steel, Helena is also known for its coal mines. In fact, the newly built high school rests on top of what once was a mine.

Continue reading “Helena: A Little Town With A Big History”

A Roll Of The Dice

Written by Samantha pearce,
Sentinels Historical Research team 2017

History classes teach students about the Civil War and the battles that were fought during it, but what did the soldiers do when they were not fighting?

Sometimes they would write letters home or rest but a majority of their recreation was spent gambling and smoking. The most popular game among the soldiers was “chuck-a-luck” and  required six cards and two or three dice.  Continue reading “A Roll Of The Dice”

The House With A Whole Lot Of History

Written by Olivia Railey,
Sentinels Historical Research team 2017 Winner of $1,000 Scholarship

The Chancellor House is a home located in the city of Harpersville that has been registered as a part of the National Register of Historic Places by the United States Department of the Interior. Although the house is named after William Chancellor who owned the home from 1860-1908; a man named Mr. Fluker is the man who constructed the home. William Chancellor was originally from Scotland and came overseas with his dad at the age of twelve. The house is still in amazing condition and has been very well taken care of.

Continue reading “The House With A Whole Lot Of History”

19th Century Smartphone

Written by Samantha pearce,
Sentinels Historical Research team 2017

Today everyone has a phone. It can fit in a purse or pocket. It can be used in the home, car, store, and every place you could imagine. Currently the smart phone is the most popular but 100 years ago, another phone was the most desired: a Candlestick phone.

Continue reading “19th Century Smartphone”

From The Beginning To The End

Written by Olivia Railey,
Sentinels Historical Research team 2017 Winner of $1,000 Scholarship

While hunting for thriving farm lands along with an easy access to water resources the families of Kidd and Harper settled in Harpersville around the year 1815. Not long after, the town became full of many different shops from basic stores to blacksmiths. In the 1800s it was typical of wealthy families to be buried near their plantation. This held true in the small town of Harpersville until the Harpersville Garden of Memories was established. The Garden of Memories is one of the oldest cemeteries in Harpersville. It is the home after death for many major families of Harpersville including the Kidd family. The families of Borum and Darby, who used to own the house that is now the Harpersville Public Library, are also buried in the cemetery.

Continue reading “From The Beginning To The End”

A House With Many Jobs

Written by Olivia Railey,
Sentinels Historical Research team 2017 Winner of $1,000 Scholarship

Located at the edge of Harpersville, Alabama, in front of city hall, is a house no bigger than 500 square feet. By the townspeople of Harpersville, the house is know by the name the Darby House or the Darby-Borum House. The house was home for many- being know as a place for gathering by people in the Harpersville community.

Continue reading “A House With Many Jobs”

Shelby County Camera Club Creates Images That Tell A Story

Picking up where we left off last year, the museum once again opened its doors to members of the Shelby County Camera Club so that work could continue on the museum photography project.

Camera Club President Ted Vodde, veteran photographer Hank Siegel, and camera club member Penny Wegener went to work, this time focusing their attention on military items in the museum’s collection.

Continue reading “Shelby County Camera Club Creates Images That Tell A Story”