Arguably no Alabama courthouse is better known nor more frequently visited-especially by those not on legal business-than the Monroe County Courthouse, built in 1903. The fame that Harper Lee's novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, has brought to the building has attracted thousand of the novel's admirers to tour it.
As Alabama celebrates two hundred years of statehood, we pause and reflect on the history, people, and culture that make this state such a wonderful place to live. While most of the attention during the celebration is placed on major social, technological, and historical events and places, we must also consider the early development and pioneer spirit of our state as well as the enduring diversity and tranquil beauty of the natural landscape.
Although Catholicism’s presence in the South dates to the colonial era, by the nineteenth century Catholics were few and far between in most parts of the region, especially in rural areas, so much so that the church hierarchy sent priests to its southern parishes every few years to remind scattered parishioners of the importance of continued devotion. In the first half of the twentieth century, however, Catholics in the South began to evangelize, turning their attention to non-Catholics for conversion and recruiting a lay apostolate willing both to share its faith and to serve the poor and abandoned.
Have you ever wanted your house, or even your whole neighborhood, recognized for its unique, quaint character? Is there a landmark in your community, like an old school, that should be repurposed? Are you interested in preserving your town’s historic commercial core? Th e National Register of Historic Places (National Register) can be an invaluable first step in achieving any of these goals, but winding your way through the nomination process can be confusing and frustrating. It involves the completion of complex federal forms and coordination between you, often a consultant, and state and federal personnel—but persistence can ultimately pay off in a number of ways.
Around 1851, after Alabama's present-day capitol building was rebuilt from the burned ruins of the 1847 Stephen Decatur Button-designed edifice, the citizens of Montgomery wanted to have a city clock that everyone could see, hear, and tell time by. Montgomerians eyed the top of the capitol portico pediment as the perfect place for a clock, and they petitioned the state government for their request. In a joint resolution on February 9, 1852, the legislature approved the placement of a town clock on top of the capitol building downtown.
From the Vault
Read complete classic articles and departments featured in Alabama Heritage magazine in the past 35 years of publishing. You'll find in-depth features along with quirky and fun departments that cover the people, places, and events that make our state great!