Welcome to the Historic Huntsville Foundation
We promote the preservation of historic sites, buildings, houses and neighborhoods in Huntsville and Madison County, Alabama. 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.
We are pleased to present the “Harrison Brothers: House and Home – From Traditional to Modern” exhibition, which highlights the furnishing and household goods sold by the Harrisons from 1900-1960. Using original sample books and furniture catalogs, this exhibition shows the evolution of Huntsville from the Watercress Capital of the World to the Rocket City through changing tastes in wall coverings, upholstery fabrics, and furniture styles. This exhibition is a collaborative project with the University of Alabama-Huntsville Archives, Special Collections & Digital Initiatives and HHF. This exhibition is displayed on the c. 1900 original business desk used by the Harrisons, a wonderful example of how we’ve incorporated Harrison family artifacts into the Historic Huntsville Museum.
The Historic Huntsville Museum is FREE and open to the public from 10AM to 5 PM, Monday through Saturday, in Harrison Brothers Hardware, a project of the Historic Huntsville Foundation. Harrison Brother is located at 124 Southside Square on Huntsville’s historic courthouse square, where we’ve been since 1897.
If you would like to schedule a tour of the exhibition for your school, civic, or community group, please contact our Executive Director Donna Castellano at Donna@historichuntsville.org.
Our “Brick by Brick: The Legacy of Henderson and Daniel Brandon” exhibition celebrates the history of Henderson and Daniel Brandon, founders of Huntsville’s most successful Black-owned business in the Reconstruction era. Our exhibition brings long overdue recognition to a masonry firm who constructed some of Huntsville’s most iconic buildings.
“Brick by Brick” is the featured exhibition in the newly debuted Historic Huntsville Museum, a project of the Historic Huntsville Foundation. This FREE exhibition is located in Harrison Brothers Hardware. Along with being Alabama’s oldest operating hardware store, a top tourist designation, and home of the Harrison Brothers Gallery, our nonprofit gift shop specializing in local and regional art, the Harrison Brothers building is the best preserved example of Daniel Brandon’s work.
We are honored that the National Park Service selected “Brick by Brick” for inclusion in the Reconstruction Era National History Network, a program that highlights the history of freed men and women following the abolition of slavery.
Just the Facts
124 Southside Square
Monday – Friday, 10 AM to 5 PM or by appointment
Contact Donna@historichuntsville.org for more information.
Where to Park?
A few options! Free, one hour parking around the courthouse square and downtown streets from 9 AM to 5 PM. ALL PARKING IS FREE AFTER 5:00 PM AND ON SATURDAY AND SUNDAY.
THIS IS A FREE EVENT
The Historic Huntsville Foundation has dedicated four historic markers recognizing Huntsville women who made history.
The site of Alice Boarman Baldridge’s former Adams Street home now features a historic marker honoring her life and legacy. As a suffragist, elected official, civic activist, and attorney, Alice broke new ground for Huntsville and Alabama women. Before women could vote, Alice won a seat on the Madison County Board of Education in 1916. When most […]
The former residence of Dr. Frances Cabaniss Roberts on Randolph Avenue recognizes the contributions of a woman who changed the way we think about Alabama, its historical resources, and their preservation. Dr. Frances Roberts was the first woman to earn a Ph.D. in History from the University of Alabama. She helped found the University of […]
William Hooper Councill Memorial Park is the site for this historic marker recognizing the first Black women allowed to vote in Madison County, following the ratification of the 19th amendment. Provisions in Alabama’s 1901 Constitution limited the numbers of Black and poor white Alabamians who could qualify to vote, but these six brave Black women […]
The William G. Pomeroy Foundation donated this distinctly purple marker recognizing the YMCA Building on Greene Street. The site was recognized for its affiliation with two important events in our national suffrage history. In 1912, the YMCA Building was the site of a meeting reconvening the Huntsville Equal Suffrage Association. In 1914, the Huntsville Equal […]
LEARN MORE from Executive Director Donna Castellano how HHF is documenting the lives and contributions of Huntsville’s history makers.
Color Me, Huntsville: Places Where Huntsville Women Made History
Our latest publication introduces kids of all ages to Huntsville women who CHANGED history! Among the women showcased by artist Christina Wegman and historian Donna Castellano are suffragists Mary Binford, Celia Love, and Ellelee Chapman Humes. Also learn the stories of:
- Nurse Johnnie Lou Jean Dent, who established the Triana Health Clinic, and singlehandedly integrated Madison County’s health clinics.
- Alice Baldridge, the first woman elected to public office in Madison County, in 1916—four years before women had the right to vote!
- Dora Fackler Lowery, Huntsville suffragist and mother of Civil Rights legend the Rev. Dr. Joseph Lowery.
- AND learn how women’s suffrage history happened at Lakeside Methodist Church and the Greene Street YMCA.
Also available at Harrison Brothers Hardware, 124 Southside Square, Huntsville, Alabama 35801
Hunstville History Specials! Order Online!
Color Me, Huntsville Coloing Books – 3 Books for $30 + tax and FREE Shipping
Color Me, Huntsville coloring books combine art, reading and history to give kids of all ages an educational activity that are standards aligned with social studies and reading curriculum requirements for elementary school children. Featuring the original artwork of artists Carole Foret, Christina Green and Christina Wegman, Color Me, Huntsville will fuel the creativity of your child’s imaginations.
Through the Garden Gate – $30 + tax and FREE Shipping
Spring is the perfect time of year to be inspired by Through the Garden Gate!
Through the Garden Gate: The Garden of Historic Huntsville is a full-color, beautifully photographed coffee-table book that offers a tour of twenty-seven private gardens in Huntsville’s most exclusive historic districts.
HHF’s Educational Projects Sow the Seeds of Historic Preservation
Color Me, Huntsville
Kids of all ages are drawn to Color Me, Huntsville, three coloring books with original sketches by artists Carole Foret, Christina Green, and Christina Wegman depicting Huntsville-Madison County’s most historic buildings and sites. Created by the Historic Huntsville Foundation for the Alabama Bicentennial, Color Me, Huntsville brings Huntsville-Madison County’s history to life.Order Books Online
Finding Huntsville: A Kid-Friendly Field Guide to Huntsville’s Historic Architecture
Use our nifty FREE Finding Huntsville field guide and activity book to explore the architecture on Huntsville’s historic courthouse square. You can trace Huntsville’s evolution from a cotton town to a space age city through the buildings on three city blocks, which contain examples from Greek Revival style (First National Bank Building) to International style (the Madison County courthouse) and everything in between!
Footsteps to Statehood: A Walking Tour Through History
On tree-lined streets adjacent to Huntsville’s courthouse square is a collection of Alabama’s oldest houses that tell a story about Alabama’s journey to statehood. HHF’s Footsteps to Statehood brochure and walking tour traces Huntsville’s role in Alabama’s statehood through nine historic houses in the Twickenham Historic District built from 1814-1819.
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.
The Historic Huntsville Foundation is grateful to the Alabama Humanities Alliance for their grant support.