The Making Alabama: A Bicentennial Traveling Exhibit is touring the state until December 2019, which will be the 200th birthday for the state of Alabama. Blount County and Blountsville celebrate their 200th birthdays this year as well. The county was formed in February 1818 while the area was a territory, almost two full years before statehood.
The exhibit tells the story of the state, which in essence is the story of the people of Alabama, and takes the visitor through eight interactive stages. It starts with our prehistory and brings us up to the present and even a look at what might be on the horizon. One of the stated goals by the creators of the display is, “Through study of the past, we have a better understanding of how we arrived at this moment in time.”
Making Alabama is made possible through the work of the Alabama Humanities Foundation, the Alabama Bicentennial Commission and the Alabama Department of Archives and History with funding from the Legislature. In Blount County, the exhibition is sponsored by the museum and the historical society.
Blount County Probate Judge Chris Green attended the ribbon cutting and said, “The county is happy to be able to host this exhibit. I want to commend Amy [Rhudy], the volunteers at the historical society, and county administrator John Bullard for making this possible. I hope people will come out and I hope the exhibit gives them a sense of pride in our county. Blount County is special.”
“Blount County is celebrating its 200th anniversary now and we wanted to do something to celebrate as a county,” Bullard said. He pointed out the exhibit costs the county nothing monetarily, but does require staffing and hard work, which is provided by Rhudy and volunteers from the BCHS.
Laura Roberson, a member of the BCHS and a volunteer at the BCMM who has viewed much of the exhibit, said, “There’s a lot of good history here. If it’s been a long time since you’ve studied [Alabama] history, it’s a good update.”
Rhudy encourages educators to bring students and incorporate the exhibit into their lesson plans. A “Pastport Education Guide” for teachers to use in the classroom can be downloaded at www.alabama200.org. It is designed as a companion work for the exhibit and can be used for grades K-12. Other classroom tools are also available on the website. Rhudy says she already has four homeschool groups scheduled to attend.
Making Alabama will be on display at the Frank Green Building, 415 5th Ave E., in Oneonta through Sept. 27. Attendance is free. Hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. until 5 p.m., Saturday, 10 a.m. until 3 p.m., and Sunday, 1 p.m. until 4 p.m.
Contact Rhudy at 205-625-6905 to schedule a group attendance.