Exhibit features rich history of Walker County

The Walker County, Alabama Bicentennial Traveling Exhibit to highlight the many cities and towns in Walker County is now on display at the Jasper Civic Center and will eventually be displayed across the county. The exhibit is part of the Alabama 200 celebration to recognize the state’s 200th birthday in 2017, 2018 and 2019. A committee of 14 Walker County leaders has worked over the past several months to make the exhibit a reality, and it was their desire to find a way to highlight the rich history of Walker County. After Walker Area Community Foundation Director Pam Fikes wrote a grant for the exhibit — which was awarded by the Alabama Bicentennial Commission in the amount of $5,000 — Walker College Foundation Executive Director Holly Trawick designed the exhibit, which features banners to tell about many of the municipalities in Walker County through a series of old photographs and informative text. “It’s postcards and photos of people and places that aren’t here anymore,” Trawick said. Fikes added, “It’s also from a time the towns were all independently active, productive and successful. A lot of people don’t realize the towns used to be thriving.” Trawick said historian Pat Morrison provided the majority of images and information for the project, along with fellow historians Rodger Starnes and Rick Watson. Mayors and city clerks from each town also helped provide information for the project. Other Alabama 200 events will occur through 2018 and 2019 in Walker County, including the 25th season of Read Alabama next month in Jasper, a display of the Wade Hall Traveling Post Card Exhibit in April 2019 and a Making Alabama Traveling Exhibit at the Bankhead House in October 2019. The Bankhead House is also recognized as part of the Alabama 200 celebration. More details about each event will be provided later in the Daily Mountain Eagle. Chamber of Commerce of Walker County President Linda Lewis said she is appreciative of the committee that organized the Walker County exhibit, including Trawick for designing the display and Fikes for securing a grant to make it a reality.

Paul Davis of Quality Graphics printed the banners displayed in the exhibit. A miniature of the exhibit is also available and will eventually be on display in the town of Kansas. “I think this is an exciting time, and I think all the municipalities in our county will be excited to showcase this in our communities,” Lewis said. The exhibit will be at the Jasper Civic Center on 19th Street E. through February and at other locations as follows: March, City of Sumiton; April, Town of Parrish; May, City of Dora; June, Town of Nauvoo; July, Town of Sipsey; August, City of Cordova; September, City of Carbon Hill; October, Town of Oakman; November, Town of Eldridge; and December, Jasper Public Library. Specific locations for the display will be announced at a future date. In 2019, the display will spend the year at the Townley Community Center. Each city and town will also be presented with postcards to give visitors at the exhibit, and postcards will feature the history of each municipality, specifically. The postcards will list area attractions and things to do in the town or city as well. “I hope people get excited about it,” Trawick said. Members of the Walker County Bicentennial Planning Committee include Walker College Foundation Executive Director Holly Trawick, Chamber of Commerce of Walker County President Linda Lewis, East Walker Chamber of Commerce’s Chee-Vee Whitfield, Walker Area Community Foundation’s Pam Fikes, Mimi Hudson of the Bankhead House and Heritage Center, Tana Collins of Bevill State Community College, Walker County Arts Alliance President Pam Callahan, Jasper Main Street Executive Director Mike Putman, Kathy Chambless of the City of Jasper, Cheryl Ganey (formerly with the Walker County Commission), Pick Deason of the Walker County Genealogical Society and historians Pat Morrison, Rodger Starnes and Rick Watson. For more about the Alabama 200 celebrations, visit www.alabama200. org.