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masthead edition

Cathy Adams

Cathy Adams


January 9, 2019

Refreshments At 6:00 Pm. Program At 7:00 Pm.

Cathy Adams,
"How A Man and His Mentor Shaped Birmingham: Robert Jemison Jr. and
W.P.G. Harding"


April 2019

Terrance Isom

"Chervis Isom, The Newspaper Boy"

Isom speaking on his days as a newspaper delivery boy in North Birmingham


To Preserve And

Bethlehem United Methodist church building and cemetery

n October 26, 2018, Ms. Hannah Carmon, the Alabama Registry & Cemetery Preservation Coordinator for the Alabama Historical Commission, notified Dr. Ed Stevenson and key church members that the Bethlehem United Methodist church building and cemetery in Hueytown became listed on the Alabama Registry of Landmarks and Heritage. Dr. Stevenson and the church had been working for months to get this recognition.

The Commission selects Alabama landmarks that are worthy of both recognition and preservation. Listing on the prestigious state register is an honorary designation imposing no benefits or restrictions on property owners.

Dr. Stevenson plans to explore further recognition on the national level. He has also discussed with the church’s representative Jeanette Peterson the possibility of placing one of our historic markers in an appropriate location close to Allison Bonnett Drive. The church members are in favor of that, and told Dr. Stevenson that they could and would pay for it.

For additional information on the other programs offered by the Alabama Historical Commission, visit their website at www.ahc.alabama.gov.




Dan Puckett

Dan Puckett

James L. Hahn

Harry Bradford

James H. Hard


Cathy Criss Adams
Leah Rawls Atkins
Thomas E. Badham
Jeanne B. Bradford
David Bright
Thomas N. Carruthers, Jr.
Walter Dean
George L. Jenkins
Judy S. Haise
Catherine Pittman Smith
Randall Pitts, Jr.
Mary Ellen West
Alice McSpadden Williams



Herb F. Griffin
Edward W. Stevenson, MD


J. Morgan Smith
Margaret D. Sizemore
Elmer C. Thuston, Jr.
Chriss Doss
Betsy Bancroft
Tillman W. Pugh
William A. Price
Thomas M. West, Jr.
Madge D. Jackson
Thad G. Long
Don G. Watkins
Fred M. Jackson, III
Thomas O. Caldwell, MD
Charles A. Speir
Craig Allen, Jr.
Edward W. Stevenson, MD
Jim Bennett
Alice McSpadden Williams
Thomas N. Carruthers


Tom Badham, Editor (thomase.badham@yahoo.com)
Jim LaRussa, Graphic Designer

Message from the President

Alice Williams

Alice McSpadden


very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year to everyone. I hope your holiday was blessed and that you are looking forward to 1919, the last year of Alabama’s Bicentennial Celebration. Vice President/Program Chair Dan Puckett has already lined up an entire year of stellar programs, so catch the schedule elsewhere in the Journal and mark your calendars.

First off, a HUGE thank you to everyone who had a hand in putting on the October meeting with Mary Badham. The venue was changed the day before in anticipation of a large crowd; extra food had to be ordered and tables brought in. The crowd far exceeded the Emmet O’Neal’s capacity as we had a great number of guests, but a number of new memberships were bought and lots of books sold. Mary was a delightful speaker and stayed long afterwards visiting and signing pictures and autographs. All in all, a huge success.

Secondly, an update on the Birmingham History Center Collection, now at Vulcan Park and Museum (VPM). In late October, a Collections Assessment for Preservation team (CAP) visited VPM to look at the collection and the facilities. They were absolutely blown away by the size of the collection in relation to its age, as well as by the very good state of its preservation. This gave the collection assessor time to work with the development staff on federal/national grants available that VPM and the collection are eligible to apply for. All of this is good news and a testament to those members of JCHA, past and present, who have worked long and hard in this arena, particularly past director, Jerry Desmond, for his diligence in documentation, preservation and storage.

Lastly, the January Meeting is our annual meeting where we will be electing new officers and board members. I will be stepping down as president, and there is an excellent slate of new officers proposed as well as board members. It has been a real honor and privilege to be your president and I deeply appreciate the support of all of the board members who have served with me. Your board is a very hard working board with a lot of new ideas for 1919; we are very lucky with that, so stay tuned. Most of all, I appreciate the support and kindnesses I have had from all of you during the years of my presidency, especially the chance to see a lot of you on a regular basis and to share our mutual fascination with our community and state histories. Hope to see you in January.

— Alice McSpadden Williams, President

Birmingham a Century Ago in 1918

The average life expectancy for men was 47 years.
Fuel for cars was sold in drug stores only.
Only 14 percent of the homes had a bathtub.
Only 8 percent of the homes had a telephone.
The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph.
The tallest structure in the world was the Eifel Tower.


Birmingham Terminal from 5th Avenue 1957 Ed Dismukes

Birmingham Terminal from 5th Avenue 1957 Ed Dismukes.

Vulcan Park to host Terminal Station exhibit
for Alabama Bicentennial


early a half century has passed since Birmingham’s Terminal Station was razed for a failed real estate development, leaving only a vacant lot as a sad reminder of the once "great temple of travel." Fifty years later, the loss of such a significant part of Birmingham’s historical heritage is still felt as keenly as if it happened only yesterday.

While nothing will ever heal the scar left on Birmingham’s architectural landscape by the station’s removal, after a half century it would seem fitting that Terminal Station should be recognized for its singular importance to Birmingham’s history and development.

With that goal in mind, railroad historian and author Marvin Clemons approached JCHA president Alice Williams with a proposal for an exhibit commemorating the 50th anniversary of the station’s removal in 2019. Alice and the board were quick to lend their support for an exhibit at Vulcan Park & Museum. By a happy coincidence, Vulcan was in the process of selecting an exhibit honoring Alabama’s Bicentennial, and the Terminal Station proposal was enthusiastically received by Vulcan CEO Darlene Negrotto and endorsed by Vulcan’s exhibit committee.

Entitled "Terminal Station: Birmingham’s Great Temple of Travel," the exhibit will open in Vulcan’s Linn-Henley Gallery on May 17 and run through December 2019. The multimedia presentation will encapsulate the history of the station under four main themes focused on the station’s architecture, its social and cultural history, its impact on local historic preservation, and its contribution to the "golden age" of rail travel.

The centerpiece of the exhibit will be an 8-foot, custom-built scale model of Terminal Station, complete with models of passenger trains that operated through Birmingham. Donated by Alabama Power Company, the station model is the creation of railroad model craftsman Gene Clements.

In advance of the main exhibit, a "tickler" exhibit has been placed in the lobby of UAB’s Kirklin Clinic. On display are several artifacts from the station, including a section of colored leaded glass from the station’s dome, architectural drawings, and other artifacts representing the "golden age" of passenger rail travel.

Under the direction of Jennifer Watts, Vulcan’s director of museum programs, a steering committee including JCHA board members George Jenkins and Jim Hahn has been formed to bring together ideas and funding support for the exhibit. The committee is networking to locate available artifacts for the exhibit, with a number of prized items already identified. Any JCHA members who own or have access to any station artifacts are asked to contact George or Jim.

A variety of collaborative events will be held throughout the exhibit, including book signings, historical presentations, panel discussions, and children’s educational activities. More details will be reported in the next newsletter as they develop.

Vulcan Statue

Shadow Tiger Update:
Winner of Military History Gold Medal Award

gold medal in the Military Writers Society of AmericaT

illy McDonald and coauthor Barb Evenson won the gold medal in the Military Writers Society of America conference in the category of military history for the Shadow Tiger.

Two books were awarded gold medals in the military history category. They had 3 reviewers score all the books and an average was taken to award medals.

In the first picture second row is Adam Grigg (Barb’s son who handled photo’s) and Chris Bull (her husband who did maps and research of flying the hump. His father was CNAC pilot Giford Bull). In the front row is Nancy McDonald (the first editor and now is chief of staff), Billy McDonald, and Barb Evenson (coauthors of the book).

In the second row is Adam Grigg Evenson and Chris Bull. In the front row is Nancy McDonald, Billy McDonald, and Barb Evenson.

In the second row is Adam Grigg Evenson and Chris Bull. In the front row is Nancy McDonald, Billy McDonald, and Barb Evenson.

Front Cover of the The Shadow Tiger.

Front Cover of the The Shadow Tiger.

Coauthors: Billy McDonald and Barb Evenson.

Coauthors: Billy McDonald and Barb Evenson.



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