Montevallo Downtown "Over the Years" opened August 10 and closed October 20. Curated by Becky Bolton Crisswell, the exhibit is a collection of historic photos of Montevallo, some dating back to the nineteenth century. These photos, many of them privately owned, had never before been brought together in one place to be seen by the public.
Members of the Montevallo Historical Commission as well as audience respondents provided commentary on the photos on Sunday, October 3, 2010 at 2 p. m. in the meeting room of Parnell Memorial Library.
This program and the reception following were held in conjunction with the Annual Meeting of the Montevallo Arts Council.
The curator wishes to thank the many people who assisted her as she acquired photos and information, particularly Carey Heatherly, Archivist at Carmichael Library at the University of Montevallo, and members of the Montevallo Historical Commission members, including Catherine Legg, John Lott, Henry Emfinger, H. G. McGaughy, Marshall Goggins, Melinda Nix, Rusty Nix, and Bruce McClanahan. She is especially grateful for the generosity of Henry and Rose Emfinger, owners of the Aldrich Coal Mine Museum.
Photos Awaken Memories
Spend a pleasurable morning or afternoon thinking of, or remembering, Montevallo — the way it used to be.
Visit the new exhibit at Parnell Memorial Library Gallery. It is an amazing collection of historic photographs called Montevallo Downtown “Over the Years.” The showing is a Montevallo Arts Council project and a part of the statewide celebration of 2010 as the Year of Small Towns and Downtowns. The gallery will be open during regular library hours until Oct. 20.
Many of the rare photos are supported by text explaining the subject’s location and significance to the history of the city.
“During the process of curating the exhibit,” said Becky Crisswell, “it just came naturally; the bringing together of various groups and people in the area. There are so many lovers of Montevallo history. Many photos were located at the Carmichael Library at the University of Montevallo with the help of archivist, Carey Heatherly. Another great source was Henry Emfinger of the Aldrich Coal Mine Museum. Also, I attended several months of the Montevallo Historical Commission meetings, and their members were an immense help putting facts and dates together.”
Among the pictures of buildings, churches, bridges, streets and landmarks, there are several exciting photos depicting Main Street between Middle and Shelby.
That area was once the bustling hub of the city, where neighbors met and tended to all of their business within that 300-foot strip. There were, at any one time in the ’30s, ’40s, ’50s and ’60s, two grocery stores, a hardware store, two drug stores, a dime store, two or three clothing stores, a church, a doctors’ and two dentists’ offices, a bank, a restaurant, two barber and two beauty shops, a photography shop, and the Strand “picture show” where four new movies were shown every week.
“I hope the exhibit will spark an interest and have a positive impact on Montevallians,” said Crisswell. “This project was a volunteer effort on my part for the community in which I am kin to so many people that I meet…a gift, really.”
There will be a panel discussion with comments about the various photos by members of the Historical Commission on Sunday afternoon, Oct. 3 at 2 p.m. in the library meeting room. The program and a reception will follow the annual meeting of the Arts Council. The public is invited and encouraged to attend.
For information about this and other Arts Council events, go to Montevalloartscouncil.org.
Catherine Legg can be reached at email@example.com.
Darkness Into Life Exhibit
Darkness into Life, a powerful exhibit of original paintings and photographs that tell the stories of nine Holocaust survivors with Birmingham ties, was on display at Parnell Memorial Library Gallery October 25 through December 4, 2010 and was visited by a record number of people.
The exhibit, produced and sponsored by the Birmingham Holocaust Education Committee, was co-sponsored by Parnell Memorial Library and the Montevallo Arts Council.
A special program and reception at Parnell Memorial Library on Sunday, November 7, at 2:00 P. M. honored the Holocaust survivors and featured traditional Jewish music played by a Klezmer band organized by Dr. Alan Goldspiel, Chair of the Music Department at the University of Montevallo.