Fort Gaines, Dauphin Island, Alabama

Fort Gaines was established in the 1800’s and played a pivotal role in the Battle of Mobile Bay during the Civil War.  It was also used during the Spanish American War.

The fort has been well preserved and now functions as a museum.  Visitors can learn about the battles fought at the fort and how French culture influenced the area.

Historic Storage Building

Prior to the desegregation of the Alabama school system, this building was a school for African-American children.  Students from multiple counties would travel to this school, since there only a few available in North Alabama.

Researching the history of this school and the building was not easy.  There is very little information about it on the internet and most of what I learned came from the local people.

The building is now being used as a storage facility and is not being maintained well.
That seems like such a waste to me.  Here we have a building with great historical significance, just wasting away in obscurity.

If I could purchase the property, I would turn it into a civil rights museum.  That seems to be a better way of honoring the history of this site.

Wonder Works Museum

Wonder Works Museum is located in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.  The building looks like an upside-down house, which makes the museum a bit unique.

Wonder Works is filled with interactive exhibits for children and adults to enjoy.  It also has rides and games that are fun, educational, and challenging.

My favorite thing at the museum was the flight simulator.  I am sad to say that I crashed my spaceship while trying to land.  Oh well, it was till fun.

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Titanic Museum

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The Titanic Museum is located in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.  It contains artifacts salvaged from the Titanic, pictures taken of passengers and crew members, as well as replicas of the ship.  The museum also offers educational videos and recorded interviews done with survivors.

This is a wonderful museum, because visitors are able to learn a lot about the Titanic disaster and it personalizes the stories of the individuals affected by the disaster.

Lottery Winnings and Museum Renovations

The Houston Memorial Library is located in Athens, Alabama.  The house was owned by George Houston, a former governor of the state of Alabama.  George Houston died in 1879,  and the Houston family donated the property to the city of Athens, with the stipulation that it be used as a library/museum.

However, over the years the building deteriorated and the city failed to complete the required maintenance to keep the facility functional.  In 2016, the city indefinitely closed the museum for renovations.

It breaks my heart to see this building in such a deplorable state.  All those historical documents, old books, and antiques are locked inside the building.  The building is full of items with educational and cultural value, but it’s all just rotting away.

If I won the lottery, I would buy that building and have it fully restored.  I would open it back up for the public to use and have activities for children, so they can learn to appreciate the value of museums and libraries.

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A Writer’s Work is Never Done

Writers spend a lot of time writing, but that’s only part of the job.

Writers must also read constantly.  They should read books, magazines, news articles, fiction, and non-fiction.

Writers need to go out into the world and explore.  Writers need to try new things and have adventures.  If you spend all your time locked up in your house reading or writing, what will you have to write about?

One major benefit of being a writer, I can turn anything into a work related activity.  If I spent the whole day reading, I was working.  Going to the movies, museums, hiking, amusement parks, and having all sorts of adventures may be fun, but it is also research.

As a writer, my brain is always thinking about how I would describe everything I see, hear, or do.

I am a writer and I am always working.

 

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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.