Shelby County Museum

and Archives

Nestled in the picturesque town of Columbiana, Alabama, just a short drive from Birmingham lies a hidden gem for history enthusiasts—the Shelby County Museum & Archives.

Shelby County Museum and Archives

Housed within the historic walls of the Old 1854 Courthouse, this remarkable institution offers a captivating journey through time and a treasure trove of meticulously preserved artifacts and information.

History In Itself

The Old Shelby County Courthouse itself is a testament to architectural brilliance. Built in 1854, it stands as a magnificent example of Jeffersonian Architecture, showcasing the elegance and grandeur of the era. Recognized for its historical significance, the National Register of Historic Places designated the courthouse a historic landmark in 1974. Stepping inside its hallowed halls feels like stepping back in time, immersing visitors in the rich heritage of Shelby County.

Shelby County’s History Remembered

Operated by the Shelby County Historical Society, Inc., the museum and archives serve as a repository of knowledge, preserving the region’s collective memory. The archives house a highly respected collection of research materials, including books, microfilm, and U.S. Federal Census Records dating all the way back to 1790. Here, researchers and history enthusiasts can delve into the past, exploring the stories of Shelby County’s families, communities, schools, and churches. The archives offer a wealth of information, making it an invaluable resource for those seeking to unravel the threads of their own ancestry.

Bringing History To Life

The Shelby County Museum & Archives is more than just a repository of books and records—it’s a living museum that brings history to life. As you wander through its exhibits, you’ll come face to face with the visual remnants of the past. Vintage photographs, carefully curated, transport you to bygone eras, allowing you to witness the evolution of the region. From the Indian Era to the challenges and triumphs of World War II, the museum’s collection of artifacts offers a tangible connection to the people and events that shaped Shelby County’s history.

What To See At The Shelby County Museum & Archives

Among the many fascinating items on display is the bell from the Alabama, a renowned railroad engine that once traversed the region. This iconic artifact stands as a symbol of progress and transportation during its time, offering a glimpse into the transformative power of the railroad industry. Another notable exhibit is the contents of the cornerstone from the 1906 Courthouse, unveiled to the public in 2006. This glimpse into the past encapsulates the spirit of preservation that the museum embodies, ensuring that the legacy of Shelby County endures for generations to come.

Visit The Shelby County Museum & Archives

Whether you’re a history buff or simply curious about the stories that have shaped the community, make sure to plan a visit to the Shelby County Museum & Archives. A visit is a must for anyone passionate about history and heritage. The drive from Birmingham is well worth it, as the experience promises to be enriching and enlightening. Best of all, admission to the museum is completely free, allowing everyone to discover Shelby County’s vibrant past.

Immerse yourself in the captivating history of the region, marvel at the carefully preserved artifacts, and embark on a journey of exploration through time. Get ready to discover more about the history of Shelby County, Alabama!