Shelby Sentinels Learn Lessons On Local History

As several students from area high schools recently learned, history is all around us, even in places you might never suspect.

That was the lesson learned November 5th, when students participating in the Shelby Sentinel Ambassador Program took a field trip to some out-of-the-way locations in Harpersville and Vincent.

Fred Olive, President of the Shelby County Historical Society, Inc., joined forces with fellow board members David Nolen and Albert “Peter” Datcher, Jr., in an effort to expose the Sentinels to parts of Shelby County that don’t often receive the attention they deserve.

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First Historical Cemetery Walking Tour A Great Success

f2There is a lot to be learned from visiting a cemetery.  On October 29th, a valuable lesson in history was provided to participants of the Historical Cemetery Walking Tour at Columbiana City Cemetery.

The cemetery tour, which was a fundraiser for the Shelby County Museum & Archives, attracted over 220 visitors.  The evening began with a trolley ride from the Columbiana Senior Center.  As groups arrived at their destination, they were greeted by tour guides who provided background on the history of the cemetery, then led each group along a path that featured nine graves highlighted on this year’s tour.

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Historical Cemetery Walking Tour On October 29th Is A History Lesson For All

Anyone who has recently bumped into Bonnie Atchison in Columbiana may have noticed a difference in the way she speaks.  Don’t worry, she will eventually return to her normal voice, but from now until October 29th Atchison will be practicing the distinctive way her late friend Jeannette Niven spoke.

Atchison, along with local actors and students from the Calera High School Drama Department, will be participating in the Historical Cemetery Walking Tour at the Columbiana City Cemetery. During the tour, actors will portray a selection of early residents interred at the cemetery.

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 the history of Shelby County. Because Columbiana has long been a center of influence as the county seat, many of the county’s most influential people from long ago are buried there.

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High Praise For Cemetery Tour Received from Alabama Cemetery Preservation Alliance, Inc.

Ted Urquhart, President of the Alabama Cemetery Preservation Alliance, Inc., wrote the following letter to Columbiana Mayor Stancil Handley regarding the Historical Cemetery Walking Tour on October 29th. How wonderful it is to see this level of support and enthusiasm from such a highly respected authority!

Dear Mayor Handley,

I am told that you good folks are planning an evening tour of the Columbiana City Cemetery at the end of October. As President of the Alabama Cemetery Preservation Alliance, I can assure you that this is a great effort and service to undertake. In my travels around this and other states I have had occasion to witness the benefits of such tours. They bring awareness to the people in the community about the importance of remembering, reflecting and recalling the significance of those in the past who have contributed to the history of the area. There is no better way to involve people in honoring those who came before us than with a well-prepared tour of their final resting places. I further understand that young people from a local high school will be researching the lives of and contributions made by several early residents now interred in the cemetery and will be in costume portraying those individuals during the evening – Outstanding! This will serve to enhance their awareness of important historical moments and events and, hopefully, carry this “preserve the past for the future” theme forward into their adult lives.

I wanted to express my appreciation for the thoughtful preparation that is going into your tour on October 29th. I wish you absolute success and stand ready to contribute my experiences in any effective way I can. Again, thank you for what you are doing.

Ted Urquhart
President
Alabama Cemetery Preservation Alliance, Inc. (ACPA)

Tickets for the event can be purchased in Columbiana at Busy Hands Gallery or at the Shelby County Museum & Archives.  Or, you can click here to purchase online!

 

The Honorable Alphonzo Sterrett To Be Among Those Honored During Historical Cemetery Tour

“We doubt whether any lawyer in the State ever enjoyed a better reputation for promptness, faithfulness and uprightness in his profession. Endowed by nature with a good mind and evenly balanced judgment, and having closely applied himself, he stood high in his profession because of his legal learning.”

These are just a few of the words used to describe Judge Sterrett after his death in 1876.

Judge Alphonzo Sterrett (1810-1876) served as probate judge for Shelby County from 1833-1834 and in the state legislature from 1834-1835 and in 1853.

Born in 1810 in Kentucky, Sterrett arrived in Columbiana in 1832, and quickly earned a reputation as a wise and prudent man.

To learn more about Judge Sterrett, click on the image below and purchase tickets to the upcoming Historical Cemetery Walking Tour on October 29th, or purchase them at Busy Hands Gallery or the Shelby County Museum & Archives.

Be inspired by the stories of the people who have gone before us, and the legacy they left for Shelby County.

 

Shelby Sentinels Applications Now Available

The applications for the Shelby Sentinel Ambassador program are available, and the deadline to turn them in is Monday, September 19th.  11th grade students from any Shelby County High School are eligible to apply.  Homeschooled students are encouraged to apply, as well.

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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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