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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

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This Month in Jefferson County History

October 1, 1993: Dr. J. Claude Bennett assumed office as the fourth president of UAB.

October 2, 1894: The Birmingham Medical College opened for its first term with Dr. William H. Johnston as dean. The College was located in the old Lunsford Hotel, a five-story building at 209-211 21st Street North. The college had a three-year course of study.

October 14, 1995: The UAB football team won its first game against an NCAA Division I-A opponent, beating North Texas 19‑14.

October 16, 1917: Serving aboard the USS Cassin, Kelly Ingram, a local firefighter, becomes the first American serviceman killed in action during World War I. In 1918 the Navy named a destroyer after Ingram, marking the first time an enlisted man had a ship named in his honor. Congress later awarded Ingram the Medal of Honor and the city of Birmingham named Ingram Park after the Pratt City hero.

October 26, 1967: The UAB student newspaper, Kaleidoscope, was first published. J. Pat Cather was the first editor.

October 28, 1901: Ullman School, opened. It was founded as a grammar school but became a high school in 1937. The building is the oldest structure remaining on the UAB campus.

October 28, 2009: A federal jury convicted Birmingham Mayor Larry Langford on charges of accepting bribes in exchange for funneling $7.1 million in bond business to an investment banker.

October 30, 1979: In a run-off, Richard Arrington is elected as the first black mayor of Birmingham. Arrington served in that post for nearly twenty years, until his resignation in July 1999.

ABOUT US

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Jefferson County Historical Association meeting

Recent meeting of the Jefferson County Historical Association

The Jefferson County Historical Association is dedicated to preserving and publicizing local history through regular meetings, publications and events. Founded in 1975 to promote historical preservation efforts, the society has grown to over 300 members.

It meets four times a year to hear outstanding speakers, plan programs and projects and discuss items of mutual interest. The society is governed by a 16-member board of directors chaired by the JCHA president. Several committees are at work on projects including media outreach, publications, awards and historical markers.

The JCHA newsletter is mailed to members and is also available on this site.

Formerly known as the Birmingham-Jefferson Historical Society, the organization changed its name in 2010 to better reflect its mission to the metropolitan area.

Josiah Morris

Josiah Morris–an early founder of Birmingham

Jefferson County, founded in 1819 and named for the fourth U.S. president Thomas Jefferson, grew rapidly in the early 1880s to become the largest county in Alabama. It is the location of 35 municipalities including Birmingham, Alabama’s largest city.

While the original immigrants, mostly veterans from the War of 1812, had agricultural pursuits in mind their attention quickly shifted to the area’s immense mineral wealth which gave rise to the iron and steel industry. By 1910, Alabama, largely because of the mines and mills in and around Birmingham, ranked third in the nation in iron ore mining and fourth in pig iron production. It also became a major steel producer.

Southern Railway train Sunnyland

Southern Railway train "Sunnyland" leaving Birmingham, 1948

Today, Birmingham, founded six years after the Civil War ended, is the South’s leading industrial center.

Since 1992, the JCHA has erected 20 historical markers throughout Jefferson County, the most of any local historical society. The 30" x 42" cast aluminum markers cost about $2,200 each with funding coming from interested parties.

Tom West, chairman of the Marker Committee and the innovator of the program, refers to the signs as "a history book on a pole." Persons wishing to suggest a subject and location for a historical marker should contact Mr. West at 205-871-5365. A review committee consists of two society members and an interested third party.

Ensley mill 1909

Ensley Steel Mill circa 1909

Downtown Birmingham Today

Interior, General Waiting Room, Terminal Station in Birmingham.
This structure, built in 1909, was torn down in 1969.

Downtown Birmingham Today

Terminal Station circa 1950's