Museums and Other Venues

On a bluff high above the mighty Alabama River, you’ll discover hundreds of years of rich history in Selma.  Century-old buildings that warehoused King Cotton and Civil War munitions are now home to delightful specialty shops, cafes, offices, and museums.  From its earliest days, Selma has made history.  During the Civil War, it was one of the South’s main military manufacturing centers, producing tons of supplies and munitions, and turning out Confederate warships such as the ironclad Tennessee.  Union General J. H. Wilson’s troops destroyed Selma’s Confederate arsenal, factories, and much of the city, in a fiery, bloody siege. 

To see Selma manufactured munitions and war relics, visit the Vaughan-Smitherman Museum.  Tour gracious Antebellum Sturdivant Hall, a Greek Revival mansion designed by the cousin of Confederate General Robert E. Lee.  The Old Depot Museum offers a window to Selma’s rich past from before the town’s founding in 1820 through the Industrial Revolution and past the Voting Rights movement of 1965.  A new feature at the Old Depot for Pilgrimage will be book signings by Selma authors Alston Fitts III, Sharon J. Jackson and Lynda Blackmon Lowery.

Located at the foot of the Edmund Pettus Bridge, tour the recently expanded Selma Interpretive Center (NPS). This center is part of the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail. Visitors can explore exhibits, watch videos and shop at the bookstore dedicated to telling the story of the voting rights movement. Then cross the famous Edmund Pettus Bridge and remember the courage of the thousands who overcame violence and hardship on their 1965 Selma to Montgomery March for voting rights.

Kenan’s Mill, an 1860’s gristmill that operated until the 1970s, will grind meal in the afternoon, and cornmeal & grits can be purchased. Wandering troubadour Paul Garner will sing and play his guitar, and pilgrims can also tour the mill house, a charcoal kiln, walk a swinging bridge across Valley Creek and enjoy the park-like grounds.

Other venues include the Selma Art Guild show both days and Alabama Plein Air Artists Show and Sale Saturday from 4:30 to 6 p.m. At Carneal ArtsRevive, there will be an art exhibition by Paper Workers Local plus a traveling waterways exhibit from the Smithsonian’s Museum on Main Street.