Celebrating Walker County
by Jennifer Cohron
Jan 02, 2011 | 2230 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The “Wonderful World of Walker County” exhibit includes a Japaneese flag signed by soldiers who served with local soldier E.C. Black at the Battle of Okinawa. - (Photo by: Jennifer Cohron)
The “Wonderful World of Walker County” exhibit includes a Japaneese flag signed by soldiers who served with local soldier E.C. Black at the Battle of Okinawa. - (Photo by: Jennifer Cohron)
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The Bankhead House and Heritage Center is beginning the new year by celebrating the past.

The "Wonderful World of Walker County" exhibit opens Monday. The display includes hundreds of artifacts on loan from Pat Morrison and other local collectors.

Paul Kennedy, president of the Walker Area Community Foundation, said he is excited about the first in a year-long series of exhibits that have been scheduled at the Bankhead House.

"I am thrilled that the first show in the Heritage Center encompasses all of Walker County. I think there is something in here for everyone," Kennedy said.

The oldest artifacts date back to the Civil War. They include a soldier's whiskey flask, Confederate and Union canteens, Confederate money, carved clay pipe and a cavalry sword.

A roster for Troop "B" of First Alabama Cavalry, a Walker County group who served in the Spanish-American War, hangs in the foyer of the house. Will Bankhead is listed among the privates.

The most significant piece of World War II memorabilia in the exhibit is a Japanese flag signed by men who served with local soldier E.C. Black.

When Black's commanding officer was shot, he ran onto the battlefield and brought him to safety to get medical care. Almost immediately after returning to the fight, Black was fatally shot.

Those in his unit who survived the Battle of Okinawa captured the Japanese flag, signed it and sent it to Black's mother.

Local businesses and buildings, both past and present, are honored in the display. One case is filled with letterheads that date from 1873 through 1930.

Morrison has also brought his collection of postcards celebrating Walker County landmarks and a variety of old advertising materials.

The exhibit also includes a spittoon from the local court house that burned in 1933, a dollar bill that was printed by First National Bank of Jasper in 1929, bottles that were produced locally and a miner's light that was worn by Heman Drummond, founder of the Drummond Company.

Morrison, who serves as chairman of the Bankhead House and Heritage Center committee, said he is honored to be a part of the first exhibit.

"I want to promote Walker County," Morrison said.

The "Wonderful World of Walker County" is free to the public and will run during the month of January.

Other exhibits scheduled to be held at the Bankhead House and Heritage Center in the first half of 2011 are as follows:

* February -- "Happy 109th Birthday, Tallulah!"

* March -- Sybil Gibson art show

* April -- "Birds of a Feather"

* May -- Jasper City Schools student art show

* June, July and August -- "Journey Stories": a Smithsonian Institution exhibit