Category: Alabama History

The First Day of School and the Unclaimed Tooth.

Monday was our first day of school. Except that it wasn’t actually our first day of school because Friday was our first day of school. But we started school with a field trip day, as one does, therefore making Monday the first day we sat down with textbooks. So we’ll go with Monday. As with […]

Hands-On Alabama History: The Conclusion.

From the beginning… I promise this was from the beginning of this school year. Ignore the wrong dates. I’m a qualified teacher really I am. To the end. It was an absolute adventure. And my most ambitious and longest school year yet is finally over. Although we’d finished most subjects, we officially ended it all […]

Hands-On History: Sloss Furnaces

Sloss Furnaces, part of the reason for Birmingham’s existence, has always fascinated me – especially photographically. I’ve taken pictures of it for years, but have never truly explored it. I have left it so unexplored that I didn’t even realize they had a gorgeous visitor’s center, gift shop, and museum. But naturally it was on […]

Hands-On Alabama History: DeSoto Caverns

DeSoto Caverns was not on my all-encompassing spreadsheet of Alabama History. In fact, after studying Alabama History and reading one very detailed story about how Hernando De Soto came to Alabama with the sole purpose of stealing from and brutally slaughtering as many Native Americans as possible, I felt a bit queasy from the happy […]

Hands-On Alabama History: Helen Keller

So I think I missed a couple things in my own Alabama education. I missed that Helen Keller was an international superstar, and I missed that she lived until the late 1960s – she died only 13 years before I was born. The first fact I believe I missed precisely because I’m from Alabama. Sure, […]

Tinglewood at Orr Park – Faces in the Trees.

A study pops up in my orbit semi-regularly that makes the case that neurotic people are more likely to see faces in random objects. If this idea scares you with regards to your own mental health, do not – I repeat DO NOT go to Orr Park in Montevallo. If it doesn’t, though, you need […]

Hands-On History: Brierfield Ironworks

After a few false starts, we finally got back into the groove of history field trips after the holidays. It’s harder now, because our dear friend and adventure comrade Carla Jean has moved to Colorado, and nothing is as much fun when you lose your buddy. We set out to Brierfield Ironworks, a furnace built in 1862, […]

Hands-On History: Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum.

Birmingham was founded on the iron industry, and the iron industry required some heavy transportation to succeed. Therefore, trains are a vital part of our history, too. The Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum is our favorite place to experience that piece of our past. The HODRRM can be found in Calera, about 45 minutes outside […]

Hands-On History: Tannehill

We go to Tannehill Ironworks Historic State Park fairly often. It’s not close to our end of Birmingham, but it’s a beautiful place to hike, get outdoors, explore pretty places, and to photograph. Plus, my family camped there often when I was a kid, so I have very fond memories. I do not, however, remember […]

Hands-On Alabama: Archives and History Museum

One of the dozens of benefits of Carla Jean joining us on our project (aside from her fabulous research, entertainment of and by my children, having another adult along for long car trips, and her spectacular articulation of our journeys) is that people have read her articles and emailed her, inviting us to places we […]