Weeden House Museum – Huntsville, Alabama

I throughly enjoyed my visit to the Weeden House Museum.  There are a lot of interesting things to see and the tour guide did a fabulous job.

The Weeden House was built in 1819, by H.C. Bradford.  The intricate woodwork and the federal architectural style is stunning.  The Weeden family owned the home from 1845 to 1956.

Maria Howard Weeden (1846-1905) lived in this house her entire life.  She was a poet and an artist.  Maira was particularly interested in the lives of the black people she encountered on a regular basis.  She was bothered by the way they were treated and wanted to give them a voice in the world.

Maria Howard Weeden painted realistic portraits of the black people, instead of the cartoonish images that were popular during the Reconstruction period.

Maria also spent hours talking to the black people she painted, so she could learn their life stories.

Maria used poetry to expose the horrible circumstances of their lives.  The rhythm and cadence reflected the positive personalities of the people, in spite of their lifelong suffering.

Maria Howard Weeden was truly a woman ahead of her time.

House of Ill Repute Becomes a Hospital

Huntsville Hospital is located in downtown Huntsville, Alabama, and it has a very interesting history.

The city started out with a small infirmary, but the building was inadequate.  Huntsville Hospital moved to its current location in 1904.  Mollie Teal donated the building and land to the city.  Prior to the donation, she used the property to run a prostitution business.

From house of ill repute to city hospital, I think that’s an interesting story.

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Oakwood Historic Slave Cemetery

There is a monument at the Oakwood Historic Slave Cemetery in honor of the slaves buried on the property.

The slaves were viewed as sub-human, so they were placed in graves with no headstones or makers of any kind.  There is no way to know who is buried here or even the exact number of people buried on this land.

We all know about the horrible existence of many slaves.  They were traded like cattle, beaten by their owners, and had less rights than my dogs do today.

I like to go to the cemetery from time to time.  It helps me remember the past and what can happen when we start judging people based on their race, religion, ethnic group, sexual orientation, or anything else that may make that person different from us.

 

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World’s Largest Jukebox

Gwen and I decided to check out the world’s largest functioning jukebox, which is located in Huntsville, Alabama.  It’s 22 feet tall and built on the side of a building.

The jukebox has inferred cameras and songs are played based on where people stand on the sidewalk.  It was cool that we didn’t have to pay to listen to the music; however, getting it to play a specific song was a bit cumbersome.

We stood on the sidewalk, listening to the music, and laughing about the whole thing.  It was an interesting thing to experience.

Exotic Pet Fair

Yesterday, we went to the Exotic Pet Fair in Huntsville, Alabama.  We saw all sorts of animals: pigs, birds, hamsters, genie pigs, monkeys, lizards, rabbits, squirrels, frogs, and snakes.

I know it sounds strange to most people, but I have no fear of snakes.  I kept asking the venders to let me hold the snakes, so I could get a close up view of them.  They are actually kind of cool.