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Welcome to the Historic Huntsville Foundation

We promote the preservation of historic sites, buildings, houses and neighborhoods in Huntsville and Madison County through education, public engagement, and advocacy. From the courthouse square to rural farmhouses, historic places make our community a better place to live, work, and play.

Introducing the Historic Huntsville Museum!

We are thrilled to announce the opening of the Historic Huntsville Museum in Harrison Brothers Hardware, a place where Huntsville’s past and future come together.

Originally founded in 1879, Harrison Brothers functioned as a crossroads of sorts, where people from across the Tennessee Valley purchased household goods and equipment needed for their home, farms and businesses. Within this store, the lives of farmers, mill workers, business owners, noted educators and civic activists intersected. Our museum shares both the history of the Harrison Brothers store and the lived experiences of those who patronized their business.


The National Park Service recently listed the Historic Huntsville Museum and the Harrison Brothers Building to the Reconstruction Era National Historic Network, an initiative that recognizes and connects historic sites and programs that share the history of freed men and women following the abolition of slavery. Our exhibition, “Brick by Brick: The Legacy of Henderson and Daniel Brandon” and our preservation of the Harrison Brothers building, constructed by Daniel Brandon, qualified us for listing to the Network. Henderson and Daniel Brandon established Huntsville’s most successful Black-owned business in the Reconstruction era.  We are only the second Alabama site listed to the Network. 

Justice for the Johnson


When Lou Bertha and Shelby Johnson sued the City of Huntsville in 1946 over a zoning dispute, they showed that it was possible for a Black business owner to fight City Hall in the Jim Crow South . . .and win… <learn more>


The Historic Huntsville Foundation has dedicated four historic markers recognizing Huntsville women who made history.

From the site of Alabama’s constitutional convention to the birthplace of the United States space program, Huntsville and Madison County has a history like no other. The richness and diversity of our historic resources reflects our community’s unique journey and places a special responsibility on us to preserve our historic places for future generations.

Our home has Alabama’s oldest homes and buildings, boasting ten National Register historic districts.   From the Greek Revival and Federal-style homes of the Twickenham Historic District to the neighborhoods of textile workers in the Dallas, Lincoln, Lowe and Merrimack Mill Villages to the space age subdivisions created for rocket scientists and engineers, Huntsville-Madison County has a history that must be seen to be believed.

Connect to History

Harrison Brothers Hardware

Historic Huntsville Foundation’s investment in Harrison Brothers Hardware preserved Alabama’s oldest hardware store and offers a destination shopping experience in downtown Huntsville.

Current Projects

Our energetic preservation mission leads us to protect the buildings and homes from Alabama’s early statehood period to the neighborhoods of America’s early rocket scientists and engineers.

The Historic Huntsville Foundation is grateful to the Alabama Humanities Alliance for their grant support.