Vaughan-Smitherman Museum

109 Union Street, at Alabama Avenue

Saturday, 8:30 am – 4:00 pm

One of Selma’s most beautiful sites, the Vaughan-Smitherman Museum, is also one of its most historic.  The impressive three-story structure was built in 1847 by Selma’s Masonic Lodge #27 as a boys and girls school at a cost of $15,000.  Serving as a school for orphans and a Confederate hospital, the Dallas County Courthouse, and later, the Vaughan Memorial Hospital, this structure was renovated in 1969 and reopened formally in 1971 as a museum and conference center.  Honoring the former Mayor Joseph T. Smitherman, who was instrumental in its preservation and restoration, it houses an extensive collection of Civil War memorabilia and exhibits of medical and political artifacts.

The museum proudly displays exquisite Victorian antiques, nationally acclaimed art from local artists, antique documents, military memorabilia and uniforms, and medical equipment.  Outside the building, the tranquil gardens beckon visitors out for a stroll along brick walks and among flowing fountains.

The gardens are framed in back by four large columns rescued from the old Hotel Albert, which was built to resemble the Doge’s Palace in Venice.   

The columns are part of a larger structure that recreates the facade of part of the Hotel Albert and houses four paintings depicting Selma life by artist Kirk Miller.