History Outreach Program for Educators (HOPE)
These Education Resources are part of the HOPE (History Outreach Program for Educators) program of the Huntsville-Madison County Historical Society. They are available for use by anyone (teachers, students, parents, scholars) who is interested in history of Huntsville and Madison County.
The items on this page are also organized into the following topical pages which can be accessed directly from the Education Resources box in the page header.
- Use this SEARCH to access a wide range of public resources on the History of Huntsville and Madison County.
- Email us is you have any questions.
Tours, Games, Audio, & Activities
- Take the Marker Challenge. Visit Madison County’s 125+ historical markers. Earn a certificate each time you complete a trail and a medallion when you complete all trails (while supplies last).
- Tour Historic Downtown Huntsville with The Historic Downtown Huntsville Walking Tour.
- Meet Huntsville's early residents in The Historic Maple Hill Cemetery Tour.
- Explore the Huntsville Public Square and Big Spring in 1823 as depicted by Sarah Huff Fisk.
- Glimpses of Old Huntsville - A series of brief audio recordings by Nancy Rohr, a local historian, author and storyteller whose familiar voice tells stories about life in early Huntsville, the residents of historic homes and local heroines of the Civil War.
- Looking Back: How Well Do You Know Huntsville? - A series of short quizzes - 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19
- Olde Towne Brass - Huntsville's Olde Towne Brass performs in the manner of Early American and Civil War bands, playing original Civil War Music on actual Civil War Over-The-Shoulder (OTS) Brass Horns.
Full-Text Books Searchable on PDF
- A Dream Come True: The Story of Madison County and Incidentally of Alabama and the United State, Volume I by James Record, 1978, courtesy of the family of James Record.
- A Dream Come True: The Story of Madison County and Incidentally of Alabama and the United State, Volume II by James Record, 1970, courtesy of the family of James Record.
- A History of Early Settlement: Madison County Before Statehood, 1808-1819, Jacque Reeves, Editor, published by the Huntsville-Madison County Historical Society (HMCHS), 2008, courtesy of HMCHS.
- An Alabama School Girl in Paris, 1842-1844 by Nancy M. Rohr, 2001, courtesy of Nancy Rohr.
- Changing Huntsville: 1890-1899 by Elizabeth Humes Chapman, 1932. Republished by the Historic Huntsville Foundation (HHF) in 1989, courtesy of HHF.
- Early History of Huntsville, Alabama by Edward Chambers Betts, 1916.
- Echos of The Past: Old Mahogany Table Stories by Nancy M. Rohr, 2010, courtesy of Nancy Rohr.
- Eden of the South, A Chronology of Huntsville, Alabama, 1805-2005 by Raneé G. Pruitt, Editor, published by the Huntsville-Madison County Public Library (HMCPL), 2005, courtesy of HMCPL.
- Farming for a Better Future: African American Land Ownership in North Alabama by Jenna Pirtle Tran in collaboration with Benjamin J. Hoksbergen, 2019, courtesy of Benjamin Hoksbergen and New South Associates.
- Free People of Color in Madison County, Alabama by Nancy Rohr, 2015, courtesy of Nancy Rohr.
- Historical Markers of Madison County, Alabama by Frank Alex Luttrell, III, Editor, published by the Huntsville-Madison County Historical Society (HMCHS), 2001, courtesy of HMCHS.
- Incidents of the War: The Civil War Journal of Mary Jane Chadick by Nancy M. Rohr, 2005, courtesy of Nancy Rohr & HMCHS.
- Maple Hill Cemetery, Phase One by Diane Robey, Dorothy Scott Johnson, John Rison Jones, Jr., & Frances C. Roberts, Huntsville-Madison County Historical Society (HMCHS), 1995, courtesy of HMCHS.
- Memories of Madison, A Connected Community, 1857-2007 by John Patrick Rankin, 2007, courtesy of John Rankin.
- North Alabama Civil War Generals: 13 Wore Gray, the Rest Blue, A selection of Essays from the Authors of the Tennessee Valley Civil War Round Table (TVCWRT), 2015, courtesy of TVCWRT.
- Northern Dollars for Huntsville Spindles by Patricia H. Ryan, originally published by the Huntsville Planning Department, 1983, courtesy of the City of Huntsville.
- Photographic Memories: A Scrapbook of Huntsville & Madison County, Alabama compiled by Elise Hopkins Stephens, published by the Historic Huntsville Foundation (HHF), 1991, courtesy of HHF.
- Poplar Ridge School, "Still Standing After All These Years", 5th Ed. by Priscilla J. Scott. courtesy of Priscilla J. Scott.
- Power to Explore: A History of Marshall Space Flight Center 1960-1990 by Andrew J. Dunar and Stephen P. Waring, 1999, courtesy of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NASA History Office.
- The Huntsville Parker Historical Edition 1900-1955 edited by Sarah Huff Fisk, 1955.
- The Jewish Community of North Alabama: A Brief History, 2019, courtesy of Temple B’nai Sholom.
- The People Who Lived On The Land That Is Now Called Redstone Arsenal by Beverly S. Curry, 2005, courtesy of the Beverly S. Curry family.
- Why Is It Named That? by Dex Nilsson, 2005, courtesy of Dex Nilsson.
Linda Maples, TVCSAR
Other Digital History Resources
- Alabama Mosaic - AlabamaMosaic is a repository of digital materials on Alabama's history, culture, places, and people. Its purpose is to make unique historical treasures from Alabama's archives, libraries, museums, and other repositories electronically accessible to Alabama residents and to students, researchers, and the general public in other states and countries.
- Historic Alabama Newspapers - Some of Madison County's historic newspapers are available for free through the Alabama Department of Archives and History.
- Huntsville Historical Review - Read about Huntsville's History in this publication of the Huntsville-Madison County Historical Society.
- Historic Huntsville Quarterly - Read articles about Huntsville's Historic Buildings in this publication of the Historic Huntsville Foundation.
- Huntsville-Madison County Public Library Digital Archives - Browse hundreds of high-quality images, photographs, and other resources from the archives of the Huntsville-Madison County Public Library.
- The UAH Digital Archives - This site contains a wealth of local history, space history and other digital items from the Archives and Special Collections of the M. Louis Solman Library at the University of Alabama-Huntsville.
- Huntsville History Collection - The Huntsville History Collection compiles information and resources about Madison County's history in a searchable, easy-to-use comprehensive Wiki-style page.
- Huntsville Revisited - Founded in 1978, Huntsville Revisited is dedicated to preserving and sharing the rich, diverse history of Huntsville-Madison County, Alabama.
- Huntsville Rewound - Browse hundreds of images, photographs, and other media from Huntsville and Madison County's past.
- Alabama State Archives - Browse the extensive Digital Collections or explore the resources available to Educators.
- Alabama History Education Materials Collection - The Alabama History Education Materials Collection features instructional activities and lesson plans that were created from the collections of the Alabama Department of Archives and History. The materials in this collection cover topics in Alabama History from the First Alabamians to the modern Civil Rights Movement and more. These materials are downloadable, printable, and free to use.
- Rocket City Civil Rights - The Rocket City Civil Rights project is capturing the stories of Huntsville’s civil rights movement and sharing this history with a larger audience.
- Huntsville African-American History Project - This locally organized project is collecting oral histories from Huntsville's African-American community. Their collection, available for viewing and listening, contains interviews concerning the civil rights movement, local schools, local music, and Redstone Arsenal and Marshall Space Flight Center, among others.
- Find Place - A database of information on Huntsville's Historic homes and structures in Twickenham, Old Town, Five Points, >Marshall Space Flight Center and other locations. Over 1900 places can be accessed via the Find Place list or from a variety of maps. Each place has a gallery of current and/or historic pictures, as well as drawings, audio recording and other related information such as architectural style, approximate date of construction, etc.
The Southpaw Postcard Collection
- Find People - Information about people, past & present, who have shaped Huntsville and the World.
- The Southpaw Postcard Collection - A collection of about 500 Huntsville and Madison County postcards provided by George (Buzz) & Peg Heeschen.
- Vintage Vignettes - A series of short stories about the people and history of Madison and Madison County, originally published in The Huntsville Times.
- AL.com Vintage - Links to AL.com stories of historical interest.
Local Museums & Historical Sites
- Harrison Brothers Hardware - Harrison Brothers, located on South Side Square in Huntsville, is the oldest operating hardware store in Alabama. Founded in 1879 by brothers James and Daniel Harrison as a tobacco store on Jefferson Street, the business was moved to its present location in 1897. It is maintained by the Historic Huntsville Foundation.
Burritt on the Mountain
- Weeden House Museum - The Weeden House Museum, located at 300 Gates Avenue, Huntsville, Alabama is home to the artwork of Maria Howard Weeden and currently houses many of her works in the museum collection. It is now owned by the City of Huntsville and is leased by the Twickenham Historic Preservation District Association and maintained as a 19th Century house museum.
- Burritt on the Mountain - This museum, situated on Round Top Mountain with a view of downtown Huntsville, sits on 167 acres of land with 10 miles of hiking trails that connect to the Land Trust and Monte Sano State Park. The museum features Dr. William Henry Burritt's eclectic 1938 mansion, open daily for tours and exhibits, and a historic park with six 19th century houses relocated from across the Tennessee Valley. The historic park includes a blacksmith shop and barnyard as well as a historic church that hosts plays and events throughout the year.
- Alabama Constitution Village - Forty-four delegates of the constitutional convention gathered here in a vacant cabinet shop on July 5, 1819, to organize Alabama as the 22nd state. John Boardman's print shop, Clement Comer Clay's law office, the Federal Land Surveyor's office, a post office and sheriff Stephen Neal's residence surround that cabinet shop.
- Huntsville Depot & Museum - Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Depot served as the local passenger house & the corporate offices for the eastern division of the Memphis & Charleston Railroad. An active passenger station until 1968, the original depot building now stands as a symbol of Huntsville's transportation history and city growth.
- North Alabama Railroad Museum - The center piece of this museum with over 30 railroad cars is the Chase Depot, the smallest union depot in the country since it served more than one railroad when in service. If you visit the museum on a day when the train is running, you can ride a vintage train over the museum's own Mercury & Chase Railroad.
- Earlyworks Children's History Museum - "The South's largest hands-on history museum" provides a number of history-related activities for children.
- U.S. Space & Rocket Center - Home to Space Camp, Aviation Challenge and X-Camp; The U.S. Space & Rocket Center is recognized as one of the most comprehensive U.S. manned space flight hardware museums in the world.
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