Historic Huntsville Museum
The Historic Huntsville Museum, located within the iconic Harrison Brothers Hardware building, has made its mark on the national stage. Recognizing the city's Reconstruction leaders, the museum has recently earned a spot on the esteemed Reconstruction Era National Historic Network, announced by the National Park Service.
This prestigious inclusion connects the Historic Huntsville Museum, Harrison Brothers Hardware, and the City of Huntsville to a federally funded program promoting heritage tourism across the United States. Among 101 historic sites listed on the network, the Historic Huntsville Museum stands out as only the second site in Alabama to gain this honor. Notably, it has become the first historic site in North Alabama to be affiliated with the National Park Service.
The Historic Huntsville Museum, situated within the Harrison Brothers Hardware building, is a dedicated space showcasing the rich history of Huntsville. Owned and operated by the Foundation, Harrison Brothers serves as the backdrop for the museum's informative exhibitions.
Managed by the National Park Service, the Reconstruction Era National Historic Network unites sites across the nation that offer education, interpretation, and research related to the critical period of Reconstruction. During this time, four million formerly enslaved Americans could exercise their rights as citizens following the abolition of slavery.
In the words of HHF Executive Director Donna Castellano, "This is the first of many steps needed to recognize the freed men and women whose commitment to family, education, and equality transformed our city, state, and nation."
If you're eager to explore the Historic Huntsville Museum and its captivating exhibitions, you can find it within Harrison Brothers Hardware at 124 Southside Square, Huntsville, AL 35801. The museum is open from Monday through Saturday, 10 AM to 5 PM. Don't miss the chance to delve into the history and culture of Huntsville at this remarkable establishment.
About the “Brick by Brick” Exhibition:
The newest member of the Reconstruction Era National Historic Network, the Historic Huntsville Museum, situated within the Harrison Brothers Hardware building, houses a permanent exhibition “Brick by Brick: The Legacy of Henderson and Daniel Brandon.” “Brick by Brick: The Legacy of Henderson and Daniel Brandon" shares the story of one family’s path from enslavement to freedom. Their masonry firm constructed some of Huntsville’s most iconic buildings. By piecing together newspaper articles, public documents, and scant primary source materials, the exhibition shows how this family weathered the transition from Reconstruction to Jim Crow, building a business that provided economic independence for themselves and other Black families.
The “Brick by Brick” Exhibition opened in February 2023 and will remain a dedicated piece of Huntsville history within the museum.
In addition to the permanent exhibition in Harrison Brothers, the “Brick by Brick” exhibition will travel to locations across Madison and Morgan County. The Madison Branch of the HMCPL will debut a Brandon exhibition on Sunday, November 5, 2023. The exhibition will travel to the campuses of Alabama A&M and UAH, the Morgan County Archives, and the Triana Branch of the HMCPL in 2024.