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ABOUT OUR NEXT MEETING –THURSDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2019

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Join us Thursday, October 10 For a Very Special Guest: Bill Finch.
TOPIC: Alabama: Cultures of Diversity

Bill Finch

Bill Finch

Longleaf, Far as the Eye Can See.

Longleaf, Far as the
Eye Can See.

Bill is chief conservation consultant for the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation, and Senior Fellow for the Ocean Foundation’s Gulf of Mexico programs. He and Beth Maynor Finch put together Longleaf, Far as the Eye Can See, a University of North Carolina Press book now in its third printing.

Alabama’s distinctive cultures have always grown out of the state’s extraordinary landscape and its biodiversity. You can’t explain why Alabama supported the nation’s two largest cities shortly before Columbus discovered this continent – unless you appreciate the landscape that created those communities. You won’t understand why Andrew Jackson chose to crush First Nations across Eastern North America by eliminating them from Alabama. You wouldn’t understand why the Black Belt counties were among the ten richest counties in the country in 1859, and among the very poorest a century later.

Alabama’s cultural future – and likely much of Eastern North America – depends on redeveloping an awareness of our biological riches. That’s why it’s important to preserve all of the state’s rich cultural and historical legacy alongside its rich biodiversity. And from Mobile, up through the Alabama Basin and the Cahaba, and into the Tennessee Valley, we’re developing some unique conservation concepts that celebrate the diversity of Alabama’s people even as we preserve its unusual biodiversity.

 

JCHA MARKER PROGRAM

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Edgewood Lake sign

Historical Marker Locations

  • Independent Presbyterian Church
  • The Little Theatre
  • The Alabama Theatre
  • Shades Valley High School (original site)
  • Mountain Brook
  • Homewood
  • Rosedale
  • Hollywood
  • Edgewood
  • Briarwood Presbyterian Church
  • Will Franke/Early Mountain Brook Village
  • St. Vincent's Hospital
  • Oldest House in Shades Valley/Irondale Furnace Commissary
  • Union Hill Cemetery/Union Hill Methodist Episcopal Church/Union Hill School
  • Lane Park
  • Birmingham Water Works Company/Cahaba Pumping Station
  • Irondale Furnace/Wallace S. McElwain
  • The Old Mill/Robert Jemison, Jr.
  • Brock's Gap/The South & North Railroad Cut/Gateway to Birmingham
  • Canterbury United Methodist Church
  • Edgewood Lake

ABOUT US

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Jefferson County Historical Association meeting

Recent meeting of the Jefferson County Historical Association

The Jefferson County Historical Association (JCHA) is dedicated to preserving, educating and publicizing local history through quarterly meetings, the Jefferson Journal newsletter and social media, as well as promoting historical preservation efforts.

Originally founded as the Birmingham Historical Society in 1942, the Society was reorganized in 1975 as the Birmingham-Jefferson County Historical Society and was later re-named the Jefferson County Historical Association in 2011.

Since 1992, the JCHA has erected over 20 historical markers throughout Jefferson County, and sells over 10 books and publications written by local authors, including former Alabama Secretary of State Jim Bennett.

In 2003, the JCHA formed the Birmingham History Center to preserve the region’s fascinating history through a collection of historical artifacts and memorabilia. In January 2018, Vulcan Park & Museum announced a partnership with the Birmingham History Center, ensuring the continued preservation and sharing of our unique history and stories.

Josiah Morris

Josiah Morris–an early founder of Birmingham

For anyone who has a recommendation for a historical marker in Jefferson County, please contact the JCHA to place for consideration and review. Email:

Jefferson County Alabama–a Brief History.

With the founding of the state of Alabama, Jefferson County was also established in December 1821 and is the most populous county in Alabama. Most of the original immigrants were veterans from the War of 1812. With agricultural pursuits in mind, their attention quickly shifted to the area’s immense mineral wealth which gave rise to the iron and steel industry.

Birmingham was founded in 1871 six years after the Civil War ended during the post-Civil War Reconstruction era through the merger of three pre-existing farm towns, most notably Elyton. The new city was named for Birmingham, England, the UK's 2nd largest city and, at the time, a major industrial city.

Southern Railway train Sunnyland

Sloss Furnaces National Historic Landmark

The Alabama city emerged as a primary industrial center of the southern United States based on mining, the new iron and steel industry and rail transport through the end of the 1960s. Birmingham’s growth from 1881 through 1920 earned it nicknames such as "The Magic City" and "The Pittsburgh of the South."

The economy diversified in the latter half of the 20th century: Banking, telecommunications, transportation, electrical power transmission, medical care, college education and insurance have become major economic activities. Birmingham ranks as one of the largest banking centers in the U.S. Also, it is among the most important business centers in the Southeast.