Alabama is awash in landmarks, museums and historic sites that offer an unparalleled look
at events that shaped the nation.
Each place documents the trials and triumphs of our past.
Centuries of History
From antebellum architecture to Native American mounds, there are stories to be told all
across the state. Equally fascinating are the state's amazing collections of regional art
and artifacts, such as the Birmingham Museum of Art, Auburn's Jule Collins Smith Museum
of Fine Art and the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts.
Civil War Sites
From the telegram ordering the first shots at Fort Sumter to the last major battle of the bitter
conflict, Alabama played a pivotal role in America's Civil War saga. After Abraham Lincoln was
elected President of the United States, delegates from Southern states that had seceded met in
the Alabama State Capitol in February 1861. Within a few days, they had written a constitution
to create the Confederate States of America and elected Jefferson Davis of Mississippi its
president. You can stand on the spot where Davis received the oath of office and tour the restored
Capitol, as well as the
First White House of the Confederacy
across the street.
The most significant naval action of the war occurred in Mobile Bay, the only Southern port still
open in 1864. Tour
where Union Adm. Farragut gave his famous "Damn the torpedoes" order that led his fleet to victory.
Confederate Memorial Park
began as the only home for Confederate veterans. Today, you can see uniforms, weapons and graves,
and learn about the old soldiers who spent their lives there. Some 18 reenactments take place
annually across the state.
Alabama Civil War Trail
brochure, available online for download or at any Alabama Welcome Center, has listings for dozens
of museums, cemeteries and battlefield sites.
Center Stage for Civil Rights
From voting rights marches in Selma and bus boycotts in Montgomery to sober reminders of tragic
events in Birmingham, Alabama played a vital role in the fight for civil rights. Today, many
civil rights-era sites have been preserved and made open to the public, while a number of
interpretive centers and museums bring the struggle to life for new generations.
From sprawling plantation houses to humble cabins where legends were born, Alabama's historic
homes also have much to share. In the luxurious estates that predate the Civil War, voices from
years past echo among the gleaming hardwood floors, stately Corinthian columns and ornate furnishings.
In the Gulf Coast region, discover Mobile's well-preserved homes, from the Greek revival style of
and the Italianate style of the
Richards DAR House
to the Creole cottage-style farmhouse of the Carlen House Museum. Head to Clayton in the Lake
Eufaula region and visit the Octagon House, the only antebellum example of octagon-style
architecture remaining in the state. Eufaula is home to Alabama's oldest annual tour of homes.
In Tuskegee, pay tribute to Booker T. Washington and Tuskegee University at
The 1899 home was built by students and faculty with bricks made by the students. Or walk in
the steps of courage at Ivy Green in Tuscumbia, where Helen Keller was born. Built in 1820,
the site hosts a performance of
The Miracle Worker
each summer to retell her remarkable story.
Native American Heritage
Explore Alabama's rich Native American history at the
Indian Mound and Museum
The mound is the largest domiciliary mound in the Tennessee Valley, and the museum houses a large
collection of Native American relics found in the area, with chronological displays and explanations
Whether you're looking to hear the whistle of an old steam engine racing down the tracks or
want to visit a reconstructed Native American village, you'll find it all in Alabama. Our
diverse museums and historic places chronicle natural history, the struggle for civil rights,
art from across the centuries and many other topics that could keep history buffs busy for
years. Alabama boasts 1,200 sites listed in the National Register of Historic Places, including
36 National Historic Landmarks and one National Monument.
Among these historic places are the Fort Morgan Historic Site on Alabama's Gulf Coast and Russell
Cave National Monument, which was used as a shelter by prehistoric Native Americans. Other sites
which explore early Alabama history include Fort Toulouse State Historic Site, the Pioneer Museum
of Alabama, Montevallo's American Village and Vulcan Park and Museum in Birmingham. For a different
spin on history, visit Calera's
Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum,
which preserves, restores and operates railway equipment significant to the history of not just
Alabama, but also the entire nation. Or visit the
Alabama Department of Archives & History
in Montgomery to research government archives, private historical records and family genealogy.
It is the oldest state-funded archives in the United States, and the department's museum boasts
historical artifacts, rotating exhibits and hands-on galleries for kids.