The Houston Memorial Library and Museum is located in Athens, Alabama. George Houston was the governor of Alabama and a US senator.
George Houston died in the 1870’s. In the 1930’s, Houston’s family donated his house and property to the city of Athens. The property was freely given, with the stipulation the city would create a library and museum.
The museum was filled with historical documents, books, and various artifacts. I always enjoyed visiting, because I would find something I missed during my prior visit. I also loved the atmosphere of rooms filled with old books and their smell permeating throughout the house.
Unfortunately, the building was not properly maintained. The house is no longer safe for the public to visit, so the city closed the Houston Museum and Library last year.
I am not optimistic about their plans. The sign says it is, “Indefinitely and temporally closed for renovations,” which makes me cringe on so many levels.
Yesterday, I went to a car show in downtown Athens, Alabama. I was impressed by how much work and attention to detail went into each of the vehicles. The owners did an amazing job restoring their cars. Each one is a true work of art.
The oldest graveyard in Athens, Alabama, is a block from the courthouse and is known as Old City Cemetery. Most of the graves are unreadable and many of them have been damaged over the years. However, the grave of John Craig received a new marker recently. He was a soldier in the Revolutionary War, so his grave has been maintained over the years.
I was sitting in the cemetery looking at his grave and wondering about his life. His world was filled with uncertainty. The American Colonies were going to war with England (a world super-power at the time).
If the war was lost, he could be executed for treasonous acts. If the war was won, his world would still be filled with upheaval and unknown circumstances. He would be living in a brand new country that was trying to establish a government.
I wonder what he must have thought about his future possibilities. Did he think about future generations and how much his actions would effect them? Was he afraid of the unknown future? Was he filled with feelings of invincibility and the optimism of youth?
John Craig was fighting a war for a country that was only a dream at the time. He was willing to die, for the idea of a free land and an independent nation.
His willingness to fight and give his life, if necessary, is still honored today. His grave marker is maintained and replaced when needed.
Did he ever wonder if he would be remembered by generations that would be born hundreds of years in future? Could he even imagine the idea of someone sitting at his grave thinking about his life in the year 2016?
I took these photos at Big Spring Park in Athens, Alabama.
Yesterday, Gwen only had a half day of school and I thought going to a museum would be a fun way to spend the afternoon, so Gwen, Mom, and I went to the Houston Library and Museum in Athens, Alabama.
The house originally belonged to George Houston. He was the governor of Alabama in the 1870s and he also had a law practice in Limestone County.
Houston was an extremely popular Governor. He developed the mining industries, advanced manufacturing in the state, invited immigration and capital into the state, and encouraged education for children. Houston also restored the budget and cut expenses, which earned him the name “Watchdog of the Treasury.”
I learned a lot during our visit and everyone seemed to enjoy touring the museum. The museum is free and worth a visit if you are ever in the area.
The U.G. White Mercantile Store has been serving Athens, Alabama, since 1917. The store was founded by Ulysses Grant (U.G.) White and has been passed down to his descendants for generations.
It is a very unique store filled with old style toys and household items.
When you walk through the store you will probably feel nostalgic or may even feel like you are in a museum.
If you are ever in Athens, Alabama, take a minute and check out U.G. White. You will not be disappointed.